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Pension Bonus Scheme
Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986
Part IIIAB, Sections 45T to 45UU
The Pension Bonus Scheme was designed to encourage people of retirement age to remain in the workforce longer by offering a one-off, tax-free lump sum bonus if they deferred receipt of a pension for up to five years after reaching pension age (or qualifying age in the case of deferral of the income support supplement).
There are certain criteria that must be met to qualify for the bonus. The person must be:
- a veteran with qualifying service or their partner;
- a war widow or widower eligible for income support supplement; or
- a veteran in receipt of DVA disability pension or their partner.
They must also:
- have reached pension or qualifying age;
- defer claiming income support pension for at least one year when they become eligible;
- have registered with DVA before 1 July 2014 as a member of the Pension Bonus Scheme;
- remain in the workforce or be a partner of an eligible person who remains in the workforce;
- work (or have a registered partner who has worked) a minimum of 960 hours each year; and
- be an Australian resident.
Amount of Pension Bonus Payable
The bonus is calculated as 9.4% of annual basic pension entitlement multiplied by each year of deferred retirement and by each year of deferred take-up of pension, to a maximum of five years.
The actual amount of bonus will vary according to the rate of pension payable at the time of claim and how long pension has been deferred. A top up bonus may be payable if the person's rate of pension increases due to a reduction in their income or assets in the 13 weeks after the pension bonus is granted.
Date of Introduction
The Pension Bonus Scheme commenced on 1 July 1998.
Significant Changes in Criteria or Purpose Since Introduction
The top up pension bonus was introduced, which allows payment of a additional amount of bonus if the value of the person's income or assets has decreased within 13 weeks of the initial pension bonus determination.
Introduction of a pension bonus bereavement payment (PBBP) for surviving partners of eligible members who had not claimed the bonus before they died. The PBBP applies to members who die on or after 1 January 2008.
The Pension Bonus Scheme is closed to people who have not reached pension age or qualifying age before 20 September 2009.
The Pension Bonus Scheme closed to new registrations from 1 July 2014. Only those registered before 1 July 2014 are eligible to claim a Pension Bonus payment.