Employment income

This is pay you get for work you've done for an employer.

What employment income includes

  • salary
  • wages
  • commissions
  • allowances unless you spend the whole amount on the thing it's meant for
  • pay for piece work, such as for an amount of fruit you pick
  • fixed and variable price contracts
  • fringe benefits
  • remuneration from your own private trust - it doesn't include distributions
  • remuneration from your own company - it doesn't include dividends
  • any drawings of income we see as being for work performed even though you may see them as non-remunerative lump sums - this includes things like directors’ fees

What it doesn’t include

It doesn't include:

  • money you get from your sole trader business or partnership
  • superannuation pensions
  • injury compensation
  • insurance payouts that relate to your job
  • lump sum leave payments when your job ends

How it affects your payment rate

To work out your payment rate we look at an income test and an assets test.

The test result we use is the one that gives you the lower payment rate.

Income free threshold

We don’t reduce your payment if your income is under the income free threshold.

The threshold amount depends on:

  • if you’re single or have a partner
  • if you get a pension or an allowance

Everything you earn above the threshold may affect your payment.

Income tests and reporting

Read about:

  • the income test for pensions
  • the income test for allowances - this covers Newstart Allowance, Partner Allowance, Sickness Allowance and Widow Allowance
  • reporting your income

Work Bonus

If you’re Age Pension age and still employed, you may qualify for the Work Bonus. This reduces the effect of your employment income on your payment rate.

Read more about the Work Bonus.

Page last updated: 1 April 2019

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