C18/1999 Pension Bonus Scheme Reviews | Compensation and Support Reference Library, Departmental Instructions, 1999

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C18/1999 Pension Bonus Scheme Reviews

Document

DATE OF ISSUE:  6 July 1999

Pension Bonus Scheme Reviews

Purpose

The purpose of this DI is to advise of the procedures for reviewing the status of participants of the Pension Bonus Scheme (PBS).

Background

From 1 July 1998, eligible people were able to register to participate in the Pension Bonus Scheme.  The scheme involves an eligible person deferring receipt of income support for a minimum of 12 months, and continuing to work.  When eventually claiming pension, eligible participants receive a one-off lump sum bonus payment.

Additional information

Other departmental instructions have previously been issued for the pension bonus scheme.  These give background information on scheme conditions, available systems and how to claim a bonus.

DI C34/98 – Pension Bonus Scheme (registrations, etc.)

DI C47/98 – How To Use The Pension Bonus Scheme System

DI C17/99 – Pension Bonus Scheme - Phase II; claiming and paying a bonus

Contacts

Any queries should be directed to the Pension Bonus contact person in your state.  Contacts are:

NSW

Lyn Firth

Vic

Kerry Jay, Liz Scott

Qld

Geraldine Howard

SA

Beverly Tregloan

WA

Derrick Jaquet, Sandy Vidot

Tas

Tammy Kennedy

The National Office contact for Pension Bonus is Elizabeth Quinn.

Work test

To be eligible for the scheme, participants must fulfil scheme requirements, including a work test.  The work test requires at least 960 hours of gainful work to be accrued in each 12-month period of deferral.  Scheme eligibility is explained in full in DI C34/98.

Lodgement period for claim

Generally, a scheme participant must lodge a claim for pension bonus within 13 weeks of the time they cease to fulfil scheme requirements.  Section 45TH sets out details for timing of application and registration.

Reminder letters

A reminder letter has been developed to enable an annual reminder to be sent to registered members of the scheme.  The purpose of this letter is twofold:

1.to invite participants to request an evidentiary certificate; and

2.to remind participants of their lodgement period.

The reminder letter will be available on the standard letters system.  Example of a reminder letter is at Attachment A.

Evidentiary certificates

An evidentiary certificate is a written statement that a person was an accruing member of the scheme for a specified period and that the total number of hours worked during that period was at least the numbers of hours necessary for scheme participation.  The certificate will be available on the standard letters system.

Evidentiary certificates can only be issued on request from the participant.  Evidentiary certificates will remove the need for a person to provide proof of satisfying the work test at the time of applying for bonus.  This will simplify and quicken the processing of the claim.

Example of a certificate is at Attachment B.

Standard letters system

The standard letters system will be used to access evidentiary certificates and reminder letters.  Until these are available on the system, the contact officer in each state will have electronic copies available for use.

State offices will be notified when these items have been loaded onto the system.

AIS queries

The adhoc inquiry system (AIS) can be used to identify registered scheme participants at any time.

The relevant CMS classification is 825 (PBS registration).  To extract details of registrations, run a query searching for CMS classification 825 over the required timeframe.

Results can be sought as a list, for identifying clients, or as a total, for seeing overall scheme progress.  Recent results of this query by total are as follows:

Cases Registered

STATE

CLASSIFICATION

CLAIM RECEIPT DTE

NSW

QLD

SA

TAS

VIC

WA

Grand Total

825

Jul 98

0

3

0

0

0

0

3

Aug 98

0

0

0

0

2

5

7

Sep 98

7

15

13

2

25

9

71

Oct 98

1

17

3

0

5

3

29

Nov 98

1

6

0

1

7

1

16

Dec 98

0

5

0

1

1

0

7

Jan 99

0

8

0

0

4

3

15

Feb 99

1

2

0

0

1

1

5

Mar 99

0

3

0

0

2

0

5

Apr 99

0

2

0

0

0

1

3

May 99

0

0

0

0

2

0

2

825 Total

10

61

16

4

49

23

163

R J Hay

Branch Head

Income Support

Attachment A – Reminder letter

State specific letterhead

Dear

I am writing to you about your pension deferral through the Pension Bonus Scheme.

Evidentiary Certificates

At the end of each year of deferral, we can issue you with a letter to certify that you have met all the requirements of the scheme for that year.  This is called an “Evidentiary Certificate”.  To issue an evidentiary certificate, we need to see your work records to verify the work you have done.

When you eventually claim the bonus, bring your certificate(s) to prove that you have complied with the work test requirements.  Using an evidentiary certificate will make your eventual bonus claim easier and quicker, as you will already have proven that you passed the work test each year.

If you would like to be issued with a certificate, please contact this office on the number at the top of this letter.

Pension Bonus

When you are ready to claim your pension, you will need to claim pension bonus at the same time.  Please remember, unless you are a non-accruing member of the scheme at the time, your pension bonus claim must be lodged within 13 weeks of ceasing work, or within 13 weeks of no longer meeting the work test.

Commonwealth Seniors Health Card

While you are not receiving a pension, you may be eligible for a Commonwealth Seniors Health Card.  Applications are available from the department.

Please advise the department of any changes of address.  If you wish to discuss your situation, or any circumstances that have changed since you registered for the scheme, please call your nearest DVA office.

Yours sincerely

SPOC

Attachment B – Evidentiary certificate

State specific letterhead

IMPORTANT

PLEASE KEEP THIS CERTIFICATE IN A SAFE PLACE.

YOU WILL NEED THIS CERTIFICATE

WHEN YOU CLAIM PENSION BONUS

YOUR CLAIM FOR PENSION BONUS WILL BE PROCESSED MORE QUICKLY IF YOU PRESENT THIS CERTIFICATE WITH YOUR CLAIM

Pension Bonus Scheme

Evidentiary Certificate

This is to certify that you were an accruing member of the Pension Bonus Scheme during the {full-year / part year} from {date} to {date}.

During that year you gainfully worked {number} hours, of which {number} were worked in Australia.

AND/OR

During that year your partner {partner's name} gainfully worked {number} hours, of which {number} were worked in Australia.

During the accruing period you were single for {number} days and partnered for {number} days.

Include if appropriate

You were a non-accruing member for the following periods:

Date from

Date to

Reason

Reasons include:

  • you gave away assets
  • you received compensation
  • you received a carers payment
  • you participated in a CDEP
  • you were in gaol
  • your partner was not an accruing member of the scheme
  • you were on sick leave
  • you had a bereavement

You were a post 70/75 member for the following period: {date} to {date}.

Signature

Date