Pension Bonus Bereavement Payment

Help for the partners of Pension Bonus Scheme members who died and didn’t successfully claim the bonus.

Eligibility & payment rates

Who can get it

You can get the Pension Bonus Bereavement Payment if your partner:

  • died on or after 1 January 2008
  • was a Pension Bonus Scheme member for at least 12 months
  • didn’t successfully claim Age Pension and Pension Bonus before passing away
  • didn’t get any income support payment other than Carer Payment, or Carer Service Pension since first qualifying for Age Pension
  • passed the work test rules for at least 12 months from the date their membership started

You must also:

  • meet residence rules
  • have income and assets below the limits
  • submit your claim within 26 weeks of your partner's death, unless you get an extension

If you get the Pension Bonus Bereavement Payment, you’re a registered member of the scheme and you’re working, you can still claim Age Pension and your own bonus.

If you relied on your partner's work to pass the work test, you’ll need to:

  • claim your bonus within 26 weeks of your partner’s death, or
  • start work

Our Financial Information Service (FIS) can help you review your options. To book an appointment, call the FIS line.

The Pension Bonus Scheme is now closed. If your partner was a member, you may still claim and get a Pension Bonus Bereavement Payment.

Residence rules

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

Income and assets tests

We use an income test and an assets test to work out how much Pension Bonus Bereavement Payment you can get.

We’ll assess your and your partner’s income and assets immediately before your partner died.

This doesn't include:

  • your and your partner’s employment income, and
  • compensation payments

How much you can get

Pension Bonus Bereavement Payment is a tax free lump sum payment.

The payment amount depends on:

  • how long your late partner was an accruing member of the scheme
  • how many bonus periods they built up (maximum of 5), and
  • your relationship status with them when they deferred claiming Age Pension

If your partner was blind, we won’t assess your income and assets.

Years in Scheme Highest rate Highest rate if apart due to ill health before your partner's death
1 year $1,546.10 $2,045.90
2 years $6,184.30 $8,183.50
3 years $13,914.70 $18,412.90
4 years $24,737.20 $32,734.00
5 years $38,651.90 $51,146.80

We update the payment rates on 20 March and 20 September each year.


Check if you’re eligible before you start your claim.


  • find out what you need before you start
  • fill in your claim form
  • submit the form and other documents we ask for
  • wait for us to assess your claim and tell you the result


Managing your payment

My bank account is overdrawn

You can get help to manage your money if your bank account is overdrawn.

Read more about what to do if your account is overdrawn


Manage your money


We’ve got advice and tools to help you with budgeting, borrowing and credit, and managing debt.

Read about how to manage your money.

Page last updated: 20 September 2017