Working while you’re getting Age Pension

If your income goes over the cut off point, we'll pay you $0 for that fortnight. In some situations, we can suspend your Age Pension.

You must tell us if you or your partner start any paid work and you must report any employment income you or your partner have been paid. If you don’t, we may pay you too much Age Pension and you’ll have a debt to pay back. We may also stop your payment. Read about employment income reporting.

If you have employment income you don’t need to give us any payslips unless we ask you for them.

Work Bonus

The Work Bonus lets you earn more income without reducing your Age Pension. Read about who can get it and see if you meet the eligibility rules.

Watch this video to learn more about working while getting Age Pension.

Suspending your Age Pension

When your employment income goes over the cut off point, it will reduce your Age Pension to $0 for that fortnight. If your income goes over the cut off point for more than 6 fortnights in a row, we’ll suspend your Age Pension payment. We’ll do this for up to 2 years so you don’t have to reclaim if you start earning less or stop working.

We’ll do this if both of these apply:

  • you get Australian employment income
  • your income goes over the cut off point for more than 6 fortnights in a row.

You don’t need to ask us to suspend your payment, we’ll do this automatically. When this happens, we’ll write to you to let you know. We’ll tell you the dates of the period we can suspend your payment for.

You won’t need to report your employment income while your payment is suspended.

You can also keep your Pensioner Concession Card for up to 2 years during the suspension. We won’t suspend your Age Pension if any of the following apply:

  • you don’t get Australian employment income
  • you have a Work Bonus balance
  • you only earn income from self-employment, even if your business is in Australia.

Your partner’s payment

If we’ve suspended your payment, your partner may also have their payment suspended. This can happen if they get one of the following:

Your partner’s payment may also be suspended if they get one of these Department of Veterans’ Affairs payments:

  • Age Pension
  • Income Support Supplement
  • Invalidity Service Pension
  • Veteran Payment.

Read about these payments on the Department of Veteran Affairs website.

If we suspend your partner’s payment, they can also keep their Pensioner Concession Card for up to 2 years. You don’t need to ask us to suspend your partner’s payment. If they’re eligible, we’ll do this automatically.

Restoring your Age Pension

You can ask us to restore your payment within 2 years if any of the following apply:

  • your income reduces below the cut off point for Age Pension
  • you stop working.

If this happens, call us on the Centrelink Older Australians line and ask for your Age Pension to be restored. You must contact us within the period on the letter or email we sent you. If you contact us after this period, you’ll need to submit a new claim for Age Pension.

Page last updated: 1 February 2024.
QC 63876