One of the best things about getting older is being able to reduce your workload and have more time to enjoy the things you love, but you may decide you’re not quite ready to leave your job and that you want to keep working after pension age.
Whether it’s because you need to maintain an income or you enjoy the interactions and challenges that come with employment, there are plenty of options if you want to call yourself ‘semi-retired’ and enjoy a reduced workload
Working after pension age
There are plenty of options to reduce your workload but not retire:
- Stay at your old job: To begin with, you can consider a reduced role with your current employer. Speak to your boss about going part time or taking on a position with fewer responsibilities.
- Consulting: If you have spent many years building your career, you could pivot into consultation. This way, you are still earning and working in your field but can choose your own hours and only work with a few clients at a time.
- Teaching and tutoring: Similar to consulting, teaching or tutoring can be another simple way to use your skills without working a full week.
- Join the gig economy: From Uber driving to selling products on Etsy, there are dozens of ways to make money through the gig economy and keep working after pension age. You can set your own schedule and you have the potential to work with people from all over the world.
- House sit/pet sit: Another great way to earn some easy money is to offer house sitting and pet sitting services. You can specify your availability and earn decent money taking care of people’s homes and pets while they are away. This is a good way to stay active and engaged in your local area.
- Join a temp agency: A temp agency will find you work in different offices and send you along to fill in for absent staff. You can specify your availability and work as much or as little as you please, and enjoy a reduced workload.
- Try local businesses: Coles and Woolworths are among the highest employers in the nation, and are always seeking new team members. You might also want to approach local cafes or retail stores to see if they need an extra pair of hands.
Right now in Australia, many businesses are desperate for staff. Having your help, even for a few hours a week, can make a big difference to them, so don’t be afraid to reach out.
One thing to be aware of is that working after pension age may affect your government benefits.
Anyone on an Australian pension needs to undergo the pension income test. This test assesses your income and the results determine how much you should receive in benefits.
The Australian government has also implemented the Work Bonus. Under this initiative, the first $300 you earn in a fortnight will not be assessed by the pension income test. This is cumulative until you have ‘banked’ a maximum of $7,800.
You can find out more about the Work Bonus here, or speak with your accountant.
You will also need to speak with your accountant or SMSF manager about how any money you make should be contributed to your superannuation. There may be ways to reduce tax by making non-concessional and salary sacrifice contributions.
If you want to keep busy but money is not a problem, consider volunteering.
Volunteer work will both keep you busy and provide you with a sense of well-being as you help your local community. Organisations like Go Volunteer and Volunteering Australia make volunteer work easy to find. The added bonus of spending a few hours volunteering is that you will make new friends and feel great about giving back to the community.
Working after pension age can be fulfilling and help you manage your finances. You can reduce your workload and still make a meaningful contribution, and the people you support will be grateful to have you around.