How many hours can I work after retirement?

Centro Workshop

Retirement promises a lifestyle of relaxation, a time in which you can enjoy the best of life and say goodbye to the working world. While the majority of people plan trips of a lifetime and fill their days with new hobbies, after a few years of a retired lifestyle it’s not uncommon for retirees to crave the structure of the working world. But there’s a lot to consider about returning to work, including contractual limits that can affect your Super or Age Pension. 

Keep reading to learn how returning to work may affect you.

The benefits of returning to work after retiring

Retirement presents an opportunity to enjoy a lifestyle you dream of. While retirees often enjoy their new-found freedom and gain a new lease of life it can be difficult to leave the structure of the working world behind. 

Returning to work comes with many benefits, from providing a sense of belonging to creating opportunities to explore new industries. It can also be a method to alleviate the financial stress on your retirement fund. 

That said, there are specific policies and regulations you should be aware of. 

Will returning to work affect my super fund? 

Whether or not your superannuation fund is affected by returning to work depends on several factors including the age at which you retired and how many hours you intend to work.    

Retiring at your preservation age  

Your preservation age refers to the age at which one receives their super, however, it’s not a one-size-fits-all, your preservation age varies depending on the year you were born. You can find yours out here. 

If you decide to retire when you reach your preservation age and have made an application to access your super fund, you must sign a declaration stating you will not be gainfully employed (not working more than 10 hours a week) and that you did not intend to return to full-time employment.

If this applies and your financial situation changes or you simply miss the working world you might be required to prove to the Australian Tax Office that early retirement was genuine and you were not accessing your Super before it would have otherwise been released. 

Retiring at 65

The majority of super bonds are accessible once a person turns 65 and can be accessed whether or not they are still working. You can continue working for as long as you like, and your employer is still required to pay super contributions at the minimum national rate, provided you earn more than $450 a week.  

You can access your super as a lump sum, or schedule a regular income stream. Learn more about planning your finances in retirement in our recent article. 

Will returning to work affect my age pension? 

The age pension is in place to support basic living standards for Australians. The current qualifying age is 67 with financial income dependent on individual circumstances. To receive the age pension you are required to complete an income and assets test for the government to deem your eligibility. 

The government incentivises qualifying retirees to continue working with a work bonus, in which the first $300 of fortnightly income is not assessed as part of your income assets and, therefore does not affect your age pension income. 

Seek professional advice 

Overall, there is no limit on the amount of house a retiree can work, unless they accessed their super fund before reaching their preservation age. It’s important to be aware that the amount of hours you work can impact your monthly income streams. 

It’s essential to seek independent financial advice to assess your individual circumstances. Returning to work after retiring is a fantastic option for many, but it’s important to make informed decisions.

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