People today are generally healthier, more active and living
longer than previous generations. Many are able and willing to mix
semi-retirement and part-time work. According to a report by the
National Centre for Economic and Social Modelling at the University
of Canberra, 2 in 10 Australian men aged 60 to 64 and almost 6 in
10 women are transitioning to retirement by working part-time.
In this section, we look at some of the benefits of part-time
work, the government incentives to encourage you to do so, and the
implications for your age pension.
Benefits of part-time
Working part-time allows you to top up your super.
Full-time work may feel too much, but that doesn't mean you have
to give it up completely. A 2009 Australian Bureau of Statistics
report found that 1.1 million people who work full-time intend to
switch to part-time work before retiring. At present, the average
retirement age is 57.5 years but this is expected to rise rapidly.
Use our calculator to work out when you will be entitled to the Age
Pension and superannuation.
and pension age calculator
The main reason why people work past 55 is because they need the
money. Working longer has two benefits. You draw less on your super
in the early years of retirement. You also have the chance to top
up your savings.
Women, in particular, could benefit from continuing to work past
55. Due to career breaks and lower incomes, many women do not have
enough super money to sustain a comfortable retirement.
For many people, working part-time is a way of keeping our minds
active. Work also gives our lives structure and purpose and allows
us to identify with and interact with others.
The Australian Government has a number of incentives in place to
encourage people to continue working past the retirement age.
The mature age tax offset encourages older Australians to keep
working. It entitles you to an extra $500 each year if you
are over age 55. See the Australian Taxation Office's mature age worker tax offset overview for
Another policy which encourages older people to keep working is
transition to retirement. This
allows you to draw down an income from your super when you reach preservation age, even if you continue to
work. You pay no tax on your super income after age 60 and can
continue to top up your super from your work income.
How part-time work affects your age
If you are single and your income from all sources is more than
$156 per fortnight, your age pension will drop. It will go down by
50 cents for every $1 you earn over $156. For a couple who are both
on the age pension, the limit is $276. It goes down by 50 cents for
every dollar of income over this limit.
Part-time work may fit in well with the age pension. Check your
situation with Centrelink.
Working part-time gives you an opportunity to
boost the amount of money you have when you do decide to retire.
There are government incentives in place to encourage you to work,
but keep in mind the income you earn can affect your age
Last updated: 16 Apr 2014
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