The work test and requesting an Evidentiary Certificate
The work test for the Pension Bonus Scheme requires you to complete at least 960 hours of paid work each year.
The work test for the scheme requires you to complete at least 960 hours of paid work each year. That is an average of 18.41 hours (18 hours, 25 minutes) a week. At least 640 of these hours must be worked in Australia.
Leave, such as time off for holidays, long service leave, personal or family leave and unpaid leave, does not count as work for the scheme.
The work test is flexible enough to meet all types of working patterns, such as seasonal work, as well as regular hours. For example, you can meet the work test if you work 30 hours per week over a total period of 32 weeks.
Your partner and the work test
If you have a partner who is a member of the scheme, only one person needs to pass the work test but you both need to be members of the scheme.
However, if you and your partner both work, you cannot combine your hours to meet the work test. For example, if you work 12 hours each week and your partner works 10 hours each week, you cannot add the hours together to reach the weekly average.
Types of work
The work test requires that your work:
- involves a substantial degree of personal effort or exertion
- is for the provision of goods or a service, and
- is for financial gain or reward
Generally, managing family financial investments, for example, a family company or trust, or your and your family’s shares, managed investments and bank accounts, does not count as work.
If your work involves a commercial business including self employment, then the work test may be satisfied.
If you are earning money by doing domestic duties in other people’s homes, or if you are self employed with a cleaning business, you may meet the requirements of the work test. However, domestic duties in your own home do not count.
Records of work
You will need to keep a record of the:
- type of work you are doing
- dates on which you did the work
- number of hours you worked
- number of hours you worked outside Australia, and
- name of your employer
You should keep a running total of your hours worked so you know whether you are on track to meet the hours required. This is especially important if there is a chance you may not be able to keep meeting the work test.
The Pension Bonus Scheme work record is a useful way to keep track of your hours of paid work.
You will need to show us your payment summaries and tax returns. In some cases, we may need to see a letter from your employer or accountant to help verify your work record. Other documents you may provide are:
- your own record of work, for example a diary
- an invoice book
- computer printouts showing hours worked
- a contract of service
- profit statements
If you bring in these documents with your work record at the end of each 12 month accrual period, we can give you a letter to certify that you have met the work test over the 12 month period. We call this letter an Evidentiary Certificate.
You would then only need to keep the Evidentiary Certificate as proof that you have met the work test when you claim your bonus.