Pension Bonus Bereavement Payment
A payment to the surviving partner of a deceased member of the Pension Bonus Scheme who did not make a claim for the bonus before their death.
Eligibility & payment rates
You may be eligible for the Pension Bonus Bereavement Payment if all of the following apply to you:
- your partner died on or after 1 January 2008
- your partner was a registered member of the Pension Bonus Scheme for at least 12 months
- your partner had not made a successful claim for Age Pension and Pension Bonus before passing away
- your partner had not received an income support payment excluding Carer Payment since their Age Pension qualification date
- you meet residence requirements
- you meet the income and assets test requirements
- you submitted a completed claim for the payment in Australia within 26 weeks of your partner's death - in special circumstances, the claim lodgement period may be extended
Your claim for the Pension Bonus Bereavement Payment does not affect your eligibility to claim the Pension Bonus in your own right.
If you are a registered member of the Pension Bonus Scheme and are working, you may wish to claim Age Pension and Pension Bonus in your own right. Alternatively, you may wish to continue working and claim Age Pension and Pension Bonus at a later time.
If you were relying on your partner's work to meet the work test requirements, you will either need to claim your Pension Bonus or start work within 26 weeks of your partner's death.
Our Financial Information Services (FIS) officers can help you review your options.
To make an appointment with a FIS officer, call 132 300.
The Pension Bonus Scheme has closed to new registrations. The surviving partner of a deceased member of the Pension Bonus Scheme may still claim and be paid a Pension Bonus Bereavement Payment after that date.
To claim Pension Bonus Bereavement Payment your partner must have:
- been an Australian resident at the time of their death, and
- lived in Australia, as an Australian resident for:
- 10 years continuously
- at least 5 years continuously at any time and more than 10 years in total, or
- 104 weeks immediately prior to their death - for a woman who was widowed while both she and her partner were Australian residents
What may be different
If your partner didn't meet the above requirements, you may still qualify for a Pension Bonus Bereavement Payment if your partner:
- was a refugee on arrival in Australia, or
- got Widow Allowance, Partner Allowance, Widow B Pension, or Mature Age Allowance when they turned age pension age
In most cases, an income test and assets test are used to work out how much you can get. The rate that you can get will depend on the combined income and assets of you and your partner, immediately before your partner passed away, excluding:
- your and your late partner’s employment income, and
- regular or a lump sum compensation payment
Pension Bonus Bereavement Payment is a tax free lump sum payment.
The payment is a tax free, lump sum payment for the surviving partner of a deceased Pension Bonus Scheme member who did not make a successful claim for Age Pension and Pension Bonus before their death.
It helps you, as the surviving member of a couple adjust to your changed financial circumstances.
The payment is based on the bonus periods accrued by the deceased member. It reflects the amount of Pension Bonus that might have been payable if they had claimed shortly before their death.
The payment amount will also depend on the length of time that your late partner was an accruing member of the Pension Bonus Scheme, and on your relationship status with them during the time that they deferred claiming Age Pension.
If your late partner was permanently blind, your Pension Bonus Bereavement Payment will be exempt from the income and assets tests.
The payment rates are updated on 20 March and 20 September each year.
|Years in Scheme||Pension Bonus Bereavement Payment - maximum rate||Pension Bonus Bereavement Payment - maximum rate for a couple separated due to illness immediately prior to their partner's death|
You should submit your claim for the payment within 26 weeks of your partner's death.
Managing your payment
You can get help to manage your money if your bank account is overdrawn.