What are Ray’s entitlements on returning to Australia?
After several years based overseas, YOURLifeChoices member Ray is considering returning to Australia but would like to know to what he will be entitled.
I am Australian citizen working and living in Vietnam, but will return shortly to Australia. I’m married to a Vietnamese woman and we have four-year old son who is an Australian citizen. I will be entitled to an Age Pension as I spent the major part of my life in Australia and am prepared to spend at least two years there once I start receiving pension. My wife is 34 years old and will migrate on a permanent visa seeking citizenship after two years. We know my wife cannot receive any payments for herself, but am I considered partnered or not for pension purposes? What are our likely entitlements?
A. Firstly, your wife will need to hold permanent residency status for four years and meet further residency requirements before she can apply to become an Australian citizen. You may wish to refer to the Department of Immigration website to confirm her eligibility.
You will be assessed as part of a couple for the purpose of calculating your Age Pension payments. You can view the current income and asset limits by clicking the links below.
In regards to how much you are paid, this depends on whether you qualify for a full or part Age Pension based on your income and assets. You can view the current payment rates by reading Pension increases March 2013.
You may also be entitled to rent assistance if you are not returning to your own home and are not renting from a government authority. You can find out more about rent assistance by visiting the Department of Human Services website.
As you have a child, you may be entitled to Family Tax Benefit Part A and Family Tax Benefit Part B. The rates at which this is paid is based on several factors, but you can find out more by visiting HumanServices.gov.au.
You can also use the online estimators to give you a guide of how much Age Pension and Family Assistance payments you will receive – you can find these at HumanServices.gov.au.
How much you actually receive will be based on your individual circumstances and only Centrelink can fully advise you of this. I appreciate that you have not found the information provided useful to date, but you may wish to contact Centrelink again before you make the move. You can find details on international contact numbers here.
Join YOURLifeChoices, it’s free
- Receive our daily enewsletter
- Enter competitions
- Comment on articles