Membership in the scheme

Only accruing membership can count toward your Pension Bonus.

Periods of accruing membership may be broken by periods of non-accruing membership. Non-accruing membership may allow you to stay in the scheme, if you can’t work.

Accruing membership

As a registered member you can accrue bonus periods toward your Pension Bonus if you meet all of the following. You:

  • pass the work test
  • are younger than 75
  • aren’t in a period of non-accruing membership.

If you’re over 75 years

If you’re 75 years of age and still work, you can’t accrue bonus periods. You can still be a member of the scheme if you continue to pass the work test rules.

If you rely on your partner’s work to pass the work test, their non-accruing periods may affect your bonus.

Non-accruing membership

You may stay in the scheme while you’re a non-accruing member. This membership won’t count toward your Pension Bonus.

Your membership is non-accruing if any of the following applies to you. You:

  • get periodic or lump sum compensation payments
  • get Carer Payment from us
  • take part in a Community Development Employment Project
  • are in prison or psychiatric confinement because of an offence.

Your membership is also non-accruing if you give away more than certain amounts during specified periods. This applies if you, your partner, or both you and your partner do this.

This happens if, after 30 June 2002, you gifted more than $30,000:

  • in any 5 financial years starting 5 years before you became member of the scheme
  • during the time you’re a member of the scheme.

This also happens if you gift more than $10,000 in a single financial year. A single financial year includes:

  • each or any of the 5 years before you became a member of the scheme
  • any year that you’re a member of the scheme.

Your membership in the scheme may be non-accruing if you fail the work test for either of these reasons:

  • you were on continuous sick leave for 4 to 26 weeks before 1 January 2008
  • since 1 January 2008 you’ve been on any paid or unpaid leave for up to 26 weeks.

Your membership may also be non-accruing if you fail the work test for other reasons. For these other reasons, we’ll allow you up to 13 weeks before you have to meet the work test rules again. These reasons are:

  • your partner dies
  • you had less paid work on or after 1 March 2006 because of Cyclone Larry
  • you had less paid work on or after 24 August 2006 because of a major disaster.

Gifting exemption

Since 20 September 2006 parents and immediate family members can place up to $500,000 combined in a Special Disability Trust. This is for the care and accommodation needs of a person with severe disability.

The social security or Veteran’s Affairs means tests and gifting rules:

  • will affect amounts over the $500,000 limit
  • won’t affect amounts under the limit if the contributor meets certain rules.

Change of circumstances

While you’re a member of the Scheme you don’t have to tell us about changes to your circumstances.

We do recommend you tell us if you change address. Also tell us about other events that might affect your bonus payment, such as a change in relationship status.

Page last updated: 9 September 2019