Work test

You must work at least 960 hours each year to pass the work test.

That’s an average of 18 hours and 25 minutes a week. You need to work at least 640 of these hours in Australia.

Leave doesn’t count as work. Leave includes holidays, long service leave, personal or family leave and unpaid leave.

The work test is flexible to meet all types of working patterns, such as seasonal work or regular hours. For example, you can pass the work test if you work 30 hours a week over a total period of 32 weeks.

If you’re partnered

If you and your partner are members of the scheme, only 1 of you needs to pass the work test.

If you both work, you can’t combine the hours you both work to pass 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.

Types of work

The work test requires your work to:

  • involve considerable personal, or physical and mental effort
  • provide goods or a service, and
  • be for financial gain or reward

Examples of work that counts can include:

  • running a commercial business
  • domestic work in other people’s homes, or
  • self employment, for example with a cleaning business

This work doesn’t count:

  • managing your or your family’s financial investments within a family company or trust
  • managing your and your family’s financial investments and bank accounts, or
  • domestic work in your own home

Records of work

You need to keep a record of the:

  • type of work
  • dates worked
  • hours worked
  • hours worked outside Australia, and
  • employer details

Total your hours so you know if you’re on track to work the hours required. This is important if there’s a chance you can’t keep passing the work test.

The Pension Bonus Scheme work record helps you keep track of your hours.

You might need to show us:

  • your payment summaries and tax returns
  • your own record of work, such as a diary
  • an invoice book
  • computer printouts showing hours worked
  • a contract of service
  • profit statements, or
  • in some cases, a letter from your employer or accountant

If you provide these documents at the end of each 12 month period, we’ll give you a letter confirming you’ve passed the work test. We call this letter an Evidentiary Certificate. When you claim your bonus you’ll only have to show us these letters to prove that you have passed the work test.

Page last updated: 19 February 2019

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