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Record Keeping Requirements for Pension Bonus Scheme Members

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Passing the work test

    

In order to pass the work test, a member must meet the following requirements:

  • provide the Department with a recognised work record, and

either

  • produce a payment summary (group certificate) for gainful work done in the period, or
  • produce an income tax return that relates to any gainful work carried out in the period.
Work record

The work record must contain the following information:

  • the nature of the gainful work[glossary:,:]
  • the dates on which gainful work was performed,
  • the total number of hours gainfully worked,
  • the total number of hours gainfully worked in Australia,
  • the name or names of employers concerned (where appropriate), and
  • such other particulars as the Commission requires.

An example of a recognised work record will be issued to members when they register for the scheme.

Evidentiary certificates

    

Members can request DVA to issue them with an evidentiary certificate stating that they have passed the work test for a given number of bonus periods. It is highly recommended that they do so. Upon request from the member, the Commission can then issue a written statement, stating that the member was an accruing member who gainfully worked at least the specified hours, and that no more than a third of the hours were worked outside Australia. A member can also request a certificate confirming that they were a non-accruing member of the scheme.

Centrelink evidentiary certificates

Members registered at Centrelink can request Centrelink to issue them with an evidentiary certificate. These certificates can be accepted by DVA as evidence that the member has passed the work test. Situations where this would be necessary are:

  • when a member transfers from Centrelink to DVA, or
  • if the non-working member was registered at DVA and their working partner was registered at Centrelink.
Monitoring the work test

Evidentiary certificates can be issued for full and part years. They can also be issued to the non-working partner to say that a person's partner worked the specified number of hours.

Members do not have to approach DVA and complete a work test at the end of each deferment year. They may continue on the scheme and monitor their own performance for each year and approach the Department when they are ready to claim pension and bonus. However, in doing so, they run the risk of unwittingly failing the work test and not being eligible to receive a pension bonus.

Additional information may be required

The Commission may also require a recipient to provide additional information to support their claim. This power should only be used if there is some doubt as to the validity of the recipient's claims regarding work performed during the deferment period. Documentation should only be requested if it is reasonable to expect that the person can obtain the information. It is the recipient's responsibility to provide the information in order to receive a bonus.

Notification provisions

A member of the scheme is not required to advise DVA of changes in their circumstances during the deferral of pension. However, as certain events can affect their pension bonus entitlements, a member should be encouraged to notify the Department within 14 days of any:


Gainful work is defined as work for financial gain or reward as an employee, self-employed person or otherwise. Irregular, infrequent and minor absences are to be treated as gainful work.

Management of family financial investments or domestic duties in relation to a person's place of residence does not count as gainful work.

The Commission has discretion to treat an activity as gainful work.

 

 

Gainful work is defined as work for financial gain or reward as an employee, self-employed person or otherwise. Irregular, infrequent and minor absences are to be treated as gainful work.

Management of family financial investments or domestic duties in relation to a person's place of residence does not count as gainful work.

The Commission has discretion to treat an activity as gainful work.

 

 

According to Section 179 of the VEA, the Commission is a body corporate under the name of Repatriation Commission.

 

 

The Department of Veterans' Affairs.

The Commission can issue a written statement upon request of a member of the pension bonus scheme stating that:

  • they were an accruing member;
  • they were gainfully worked at least the specified hours; and
  • no more than a third of the hours worked were outside Australia.

These certificates can be issued for full and part years. The certificates can also be issued to say that a person's partner worked the specified number of hours.

 

 

Centrelink is a Government service delivery agency responsible for delivering a range of Commonwealth Government services (including social security pensions and allowances) to the Australian community through a network of more than 400 Centrelink offices.

According to Section 179 of the VEA, the Commission is a body corporate under the name of Repatriation Commission.

 

 

Excluded payments are income support pensions, benefits or allowances paid by DVA or Centrelink. If a person is in receipt of an excluded payment, they are not able to accrue bonus periods under the pension bonus scheme.

 

 

Means carer payment under the Social Security Act 1991.

Someone who has responsibility for a person who requires ongoing care, attention or support due to severe incapacity or frailty to enable that person to continue to reside in his or her home.