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Requirements for Registration


Last amended: 12 August 2014

Closure of registrations

Applications for registration as a member of the pension bonus scheme (PBS) cannot be accepted unless lodged before 1 July 2014. 

The following table summarises the provisions for late registration in relation to the 1 July 2014 closure of registrations in the PBS.


Date of registration application

Date of extension request

Registration application lodged within extension period


Before 1 July 2014



Accept registration application

On or after 1 July 2014

No extension


Reject registration application


Before 1 July 2014


Accept registration application




Reject registration application


On or after 1 July 2014


Reject registration application


Written application essential for registration for the scheme

Registration for the pension bonus scheme is compulsory in order to be able accrue bonus periods and claim a bonus. Applications must be in writing and in accordance with DVA's Application for Registration as a Member of the Pension Bonus Scheme form. An application for service pension or income support supplement that was received before 1 July 2014 can also be considered to be an application for registration for the scheme.

Proof of identity not required for registration

Proof of identity is not required at time of registration for the scheme, but the delegate must have sufficient information to determine the person's eligibility for the designated pension.    


Pension payability is not relevant when registering

At the time of registration, the designated pension does not have to be payable, and no assessment of pension payability is required. It is assumed that the person is registering prior to their retirement.

Note: This should not be confused with a person who will not qualify for payment of a pension bonus, for example, a person who is within one year of the upper age limit by the date of their registration and cannot accrue the minimum one full year bonus period. The person may still register as a member of the scheme to assist their partner with the work test.    


Registration for PBS can be rejected




Section 45TI VEA – Application in accordance with requirements


VEA → (go back)


A person seeking to register for the scheme can have their application rejected if they:

The decision to reject must be advised in writing and is an appealable decision.

Time frame to register




Section 45TH(1) VEA - time frame to register


VEA → (go back)


If a person registers for the scheme in the period 13 weeks before reaching the person's special date of eligibility, and up to 13 weeks after that date, their registration automatically takes effect from the date of eligibility for the designated pension.

Conditions for late registrations

Late registrations may only be accepted for people who were eligible for the PBS before 20 September 2009. Assuming the person had been a member of the scheme during that period prior to application, they must have either:

  • been a non-accruing member for the whole period, or
  • passed the work test for each applicable test period.

for the Commission to exercise the discretion to accept the late registration.  Deliberate late claims in order to receive a larger bonus are not acceptable.      


Note: The term “test period” in this context is similar in meaning to bonus period. These periods are called test periods in cases where backdated registration is allowed and the bonus periods are being worked out retrospectively.    


Passing the work test for each test period



The record keeping requirements are relaxed for the purpose of determining whether the person has passed the work test for each test period before registration. For example, group certificates may suffice as evidence of employment. However, usual record keeping requirements apply to the period following registration and if the late registration is backdated due to special circumstances, the person must provide evidence that they have passed the work test for each bonus period.     


How to work out the test period



The test period is worked out as follows:

During the period that the person would have been an accruing member of the scheme:

  • if that period is 365 days or less, the test period is the whole of that period,
  • if that period is longer than 365 days, the test period is:
  • the full year, starting from the date the person would have begun being an accruing member, and
  • any subsequent full year period, and
  • any remaining period.



The pension bonus scheme closed to new entrants on 20 September 2009. Existing members can continue in the scheme under the rules that existed prior to 20 September 2009. The pension bonus scheme provided an incentive for older Australians to remain in the workforce and defer receipt of income support pension. The incentive was a bonus, payable if all eligibility criteria and rules were satisfied.

The pension bonus was a once-only, tax-free lump sum payable to a person who, on reaching their special date of eligibility, voluntarily deferred retirement for at least one year and registered as a member of the scheme. The pension bonus was claimed at the same time as claiming pension and is calculated using the annual rate of basic pension payable at grant, multiplied by the bonus periods accrued.

The Department of Veterans' Affairs.

Special date of eligibility is defined in section 45TB VEA and relates to the pension bonus scheme. A person's special date of eligibility for:

  • age service pension is the first day on which a person becomes eligible for an age service pension,
  • partner service pension is the first day occurring on or after the person reaches pension age and is eligible for a partner service pension,
  • income support supplement is the day the person
    • reaches [glossary:qualifying age:DEF/Qualifying Age], or
    • becomes eligible for income support supplement if this is after the person has reached qualifying age.

If a person is registered under DVA and Centrelink schemes and therefore has 2 or more special dates of eligibility, only the first date is to be counted.