Employment income

This is pay you get for work you've done for an employer.

What employment income includes

Employment income includes all of the following:

  • salary, wages or commissions
  • some allowances
  • pay for piece work, such as for an amount of fruit you pick
  • fixed and variable price contracts as an employee only, not for self-employment 
  • fringe benefits
  • salary sacrifice amounts
  • payments from a private trust you’re involved in that aren’t distribution or loan repayments
  • payments from a company you’re involved in that aren’t dividend or loan repayments
  • other income you get for work performed including lump sums such as directors fees.

Employment income paid from a private trust or company includes:

  • wages
  • directors fees
  • other remunerative lump sums such as bonus payments or commissions.

Read more about private trusts and companies.

What it doesn’t include

Employment income doesn’t include any of the following:

  • money you get from your sole trader business or partnership
  • superannuation pensions
  • injury compensation
  • insurance payouts that relate to your job
  • lump sum leave payments when your job ends.

How it affects your payment rate

To work out your payment rate we apply both an income test and an assets test.

The test result we use is the one that gives you the lower payment rate.

Income free threshold

If your income is under the income free threshold, we don’t reduce your payment.

The threshold amount depends on whether you’re single or have a partner, and are getting a pension or allowance.

Everything you earn above the threshold may affect your payment.

Income tests and reporting

Read any of the following for information about:

Work Bonus

If you’re Age Pension age and still employed, you may qualify for the Work Bonus. This reduces the effect of your employment income on your payment rate.

Page last updated: 2 February 2024.
QC 28946