How much money can I earn before my pension is affected?

Self-employed income (single, standard income):

You can earn up to $172 per fortnight before your pension is affected.

Your pension will reduce by 50 cents for each dollar over $172 that you earn in a given fortnight.

For once your income reaches $2004.60 per fortnight, your Age Pension will reduce to zero.

Check your payment here.

Check your income tests here.

Do the math.

Here’s an example:

If you are in a couple and your partner isn’t earning, and you’re on transitional rates, how much would an additional $350 per fortnight affect your income?

As a couple, you would be receiving $1239.20 per fortnight.

Transitional Rates

Some people who were getting part pensions on 19 September 2009 are on transitional rates until they catch up with the current normal rates.

Per fortnight Single Couple each Couple combined Couple apart due to ill health
Maximum rate $753.90 $609.00 $1218.00 $753.90
Energy Supplement $14.10 $10.60 $21.20 $14.10
Total $768.00 $619.60 $1,239.20 $768.00

Table taken from Australian Government Department of Human Services and correct as of 29th November 2018.

Then you would apply the income test.

Your combined income is over $304 so your combined pension will reduce by 40 cents for each dollar over $304.

Transitional Pension Income Test

These are the income rules for transitional rate pensioners and Disability Support Pension customers who are under 21 years, with no dependent children that had affecting income as at 19 September 2009.

Single person

If your income per fortnight is your pension will reduce by
up to $172 $0
over $172 40 cents for each dollar over $172

Couple living together or apart due to ill health

If your combined income per fortnight is your combined pension will reduce by
up to $304 $0
over $304 40 cents for each dollar over $304

Tables taken from Australian Government Department of Human Services and correct as of 29th November 2018.

$350 - $304 = $46

Reduction = $46 x $0.40 = $18.40

Your pension will reduce by $18.40 to $1220.80. You will also have made $350 in sole trader income.

You can do this calculation as often as you need at different rates, to check how it affects your income.

Remember that, as a sole trader, you will be subject to PAYG tax if your total taxable income exceeds $18,200. More details here.

Please also check with your accountant.