Pension changes could see over 80,000 pensions cut

Proposed changes to pension residency criteria could see over 80,000 pensioners cut off.

Unhappy pensioners

Each year Australian taxpayers pay nearly $800 million to support over 81,000 pensioners living overseas, but changes to criteria could see their Age Pensions reduced or cut altogether.

Over the last two decades, the number of Australians living overseas who receive Age Pensions has tripled. Currently, more than 81,000 full- or part-age pensioners live offshore, with a further 6500 disability support pensioners (DSP) in the same situation.

In 1993 around 23,000 age pensioners and 8455 disability support pensioners lived overseas. In 2013, that number rose to a total of 87,791 being supported.

Most of these pensioners live in New Zealand, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Britain and Spain.

According to The Australian, Social Services Minister Christian Porter wants to enforce the “residency-based nature of Australia’s welfare system” but, so far, his wish has been blocked in the Senate by Labor.

“The annual combined cost of these is $765.4m,” said Mr Porter. “$660.8m from the Age Pension and $104.6m from the DSP."

In response to this, the Government has proposed to reduce the period that the means-tested Age Pension, as well as some other payments, can be paid to people living outside of Australia. It plans to reduce this period from 26 weeks to six weeks.

Currently, Australians who receive a full Age Pension must have worked in the country for at least 35 years.

However, the proposed changes to residency criteria, will see pensioners have their rates adjusted according to how long they’ve worked in Australia. So if someone has worked in country for 13 years but move overseas one they retire, they will receive 13/35ths of the Age Pension they’d receive if they stayed here.

“This measure will provide savings of $168.4m over the forward estimates, which Labor has opposed. This change reinforces the strong residency based nature of Australia’s welfare system,” said Mr Porter.

A Labor spokesperson has said that the proposed changes would affect 190,000 “migrant pensioners”, such as those who want to travel overseas for more than six months at a time, as well as close to 90,000 who live permanently overseas.

Are the proposed changes fair? Will they affect you? Do you think they should apply to travellers overseas or just to permanent residents?

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    COMMENTS

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    BDW
    27th May 2016
    10:46am
    The proposed changes seem reasonable to me.
    Star Trekker
    27th May 2016
    10:56am
    I agree. If you get the money from Australia it should be spent in Australia. (Not including short holidays if you can afford them)
    LiveItUp
    27th May 2016
    11:01am
    I agree.
    jackie
    27th May 2016
    1:06pm
    I agree. The majority of these people are wealthy because would have squirreled their money overseas while they earned it.
    Aussie
    27th May 2016
    3:56pm
    READ MY COMMENTS .....YOU RICH PEOPLE
    motaleon
    29th May 2016
    4:16pm
    Of course it is reasonable. We are now paying the price for the family reunion scheme, where elderly migrants come here , enjoy the benefits of Medicare, and not too far distant in time, the pension. Some will go back to their native land where they can do very well on the Australian pension. Australian pensions should only be paid to those who live here, and some who do live here should count themselves very lucky to have qualified on some extremely liberal terms. The whole system needs to be tightened up.
    Anonymous
    30th May 2016
    6:03pm
    motaleon, elderly migrants cannot come to Australia and get a pension
    I know of people in their 60's who had to pay something like $50,000 for a visa to come and join their daughter in Australia who had to act as a sponsor and they are exempt from claiming Medicare; its not all beer and skittles
    Anonymous
    30th May 2016
    6:04pm
    Star Trekker, why not get more draconian and make sure every dollar is spent in Australia! Overseas holidays are not necessary.
    Cruisaholic
    27th May 2016
    11:11am
    I support these changes.
    I think they are commonsense, I would like to experience life overseas and the option is still available if I want to try it. I have spent all my working life in Australia paying taxes for 51 years.
    Aussie
    27th May 2016
    4:36pm
    Well try it mate

    Rent 150 x month a home not a room
    On the beach maybe about 400 x month beach apartment

    Food average = 100 x week full fridge - meat veggies rice all you need plus plus

    Car, petrol etc maybe about = 100 x week
    Electricity = 20 x month
    Gas 15 every 3 month

    So basic pension of

    Basic pension O/S $794.80 x fortnight
    suplement min rate = $22.70

    Total Fortnight = 817.50

    That's it ....
    Scrivener
    1st Jun 2016
    3:28pm
    Crikey! That's cheap rent.
    Aussie
    6th Jun 2016
    12:03am
    Yes mate ...only 150 dollars x month a 1 bedroom home and I can get better if I want for about 100 dollars x month 2 bedrooms he he he better life than Aussieland mate much better
    Kaz
    27th May 2016
    11:36am
    Agree
    Ageing but not getting old
    28th May 2016
    2:48pm
    AUSSIE: I presume all costs are quoted in $AUD? May I ask from which country or countries you are getting those rental costs from, as well as the other categories? You may be referring to a country where many of us have no relatives or connection with; or a country in a continent where our 'style of life' (not just the cost of basics) are not suitable for us (i.e. the weather, the cuisine, the language etc.)
    And the $100 per week for car, petrol etc - does that include a car payment or rental, or is that petrol & depreciation only? Inquiring minds want to know....
    Aussie
    6th Jun 2016
    12:09am
    Mate the life where I am at the moment may not be ok to many people new friends (European and Australians - Lots) Food is different and car you can buy cheaper that Australia either new or used.
    Hot weather but airconditioner everywhere so is ok but I like hot so no worries for me.
    Home same style as our homes but just simple, BBQ, gardens ....etc.
    People that move out of Aussieland must be open mind and be able to adjust to everything .... if you can do that I guarantee a much much better healthy and very happy life for the rest of your days (I am 72 and starting again he he he)
    forget about insurance and the other things we pay and pay and pay and for nothing I have no medical insurance only 3er party on the car

    27th May 2016
    11:37am
    If you live overseas and don"t like your pension cut there is one solution pay your own way like a lot of us have too.
    Anonymous
    1st Jun 2016
    9:00pm
    How about all the privileged now beating their chests and claiming to be ''paying their own way'' give all the superannuation, negative gearing, and capital gains tax concessions they enjoyed during their working life to the battlers who never earned enough to enjoy those benefits. Then the battlers might be able to afford to pay their own way, Robbo.

    Your arrogance and contempt is showing, and it's not a nice look.
    Aussie
    6th Jun 2016
    12:10am
    No comments Robbo no comments ....enjoy your nice retirement in Australia .....Suffer ...we are happy outside he he he he
    Blue
    27th May 2016
    11:41am
    People should have the freedom to live where they want and receive the pension from the country they have worked all their lives. I'm Australian born but if I wanted to live for a while overseas for a period then that should be my choice, I've paid my taxes all my working life and like other countries it shouldn't matter where you choose to reside. Older people become a burden on the health system so if you are not here the government saves on your medical treatment anyway, that in itself is a saving.
    Tassie
    27th May 2016
    11:51am
    I'm UK born but I would never consider moving anywhere and think I could take my government pension with me for life...the Australian pension is not a right because you have worked all your life..it's a privilege for us who need it...not a RIGHT....I get part pension the rest comes from my superannuation pension.- now that's a RIGHT..just saying????...
    Sundays
    27th May 2016
    11:54am
    Yes, but what if I haven't worked all my life, and never paid taxes? What if I've always been on welfare? if I now want to go back to my country of origin should Australia still support me? I don't think so
    micky d.
    27th May 2016
    2:03pm
    Blue, you're absolutely right.
    My wife and I lived overseas for near on 6 years and continued to receive our age pensions - reduced, in that we no longer received extraneous allowances. Coupled with that was the loss of an Australian Medicare card.
    Whilst overseas we "paddled our own canoes" asking nothing extra from the Government. We paid our own medical expenses, world class and cheap.
    We have since returned to Australia and derive no satisfaction from saying that we have used more of the public purse than we had ever hoped to do by having our allowances automatically re-instated on our Age Pension payment as well as making heavy calls on Medicare.
    The cost to the nation has substantially increased by us NOT continuing to live overseas.
    Furthermore there are circumstances where, by being declared a "Non-Resident Australian Citizen", Non-Resident tax (at 29%, then)
    is payable on ALL income earned in Australia - on every single $ earned in this country - including Age Pension !!
    This is another loss to the Government by having us return to Australia.

    So to all those mean-spirited contributors who jealously regard those pensioners living overseas (Yes , jealous since they are not enjoying themselves quite as much) as somehow a burden on the Australian community, I say THINK AGAIN. Get some facts and realise that it can cost the country considerably more to keep its Age Pensioners from residing overseas.
    Methinks
    27th May 2016
    2:23pm
    By what mathematical alchemy did your taxes pay for a pension of some $20,000 for the rest of your life? Assuming that you were an average wage or salary earner (or else you would have enough by now to look after your own retirement), even if ALL your taxes had been set aside for your pension payments only (and you received everything else, e.g. hospitals, police, good roads, fire brigade, etc., in short, all the benefits of a well-organised, civilised country FOR FREE), it would never cover such large pay-outs over what could well be the next twenty or thirty-more years. Anyway, to extend your logic, those who never worked and never paid taxes would therefore NOT be entitled to a pension! The reason that they are entitled to it is because the pension is WELFARE! What YOU are referring to is superannuation which, unfortunately, in this country was made compulsory far too late.
    Aussie
    27th May 2016
    3:59pm
    Agreed Read my comments
    This is not news is already apply My pension got cut after 6 week
    Retired Knowall
    28th May 2016
    7:35am
    Methinks...You need to stop posting Facts and Logic on this forum.
    You will get bombarded by the Entitled Brigade crying about the Taper Rate change and how it will effect their assets and standard of living.
    Can't wait to see the dibble from Rainey.
    Anonymous
    2nd Jun 2016
    9:46am
    Retired Knowall, ignorant and derogatory remarks do nothing for anyone, and your assumptions make a prize ASS out of you.

    I am not of the ''Entitled Brigade'' and I have never ''cried about the taper rate change'', because it doesn't actually affect me - at present anyway. I have, however, drawn attention to the illogical and economically damaging policy that hurts all Australian taxpayers, and to the gross unfairness of a very flawed policy that needs careful reassessment.

    It's NOT about assets or standard of living. It's about what's good for the nation as a whole, and shows respect for the needs and rights of people who have made a major contribution to society, and are now - through no fault of their own - unable to meet their needs.

    Of course the chest-beating egomaniacs who rorted the system to achieve greater wealth than the majority will always scorn the less fortunate, but the reality is that you have nothing to gloat about. The capitalist society enables the privileged to exploit, plunder, legally defraud, and take grossly unfair benefit from both the discounted labour of the real lifters and the natural resources that ought, morally, to be shared. It gives little to those whose lot was reduced by theirs or their parents' sacrifices in war, rescue operations, or other poorly rewarded community services, but much to the elite whose efforts contribute very little to the well-being of society, but much to their own selfish gratification.

    There was a time when Australians believed in a ''fair go'' and showing respect and appreciation of the contributions and sacrifices of others, and empathy for those in hardship. Back then, we formulated pension and benefit systems that recognized the flaws in the capitalist system and reflected human decency. That's gone, sadly - replaced with greed, extreme selfishness, and total arrogance. Now, it's more important to the retired know-alls of this world to maintain a position that allows them to gloat and claim superiority, and scorn others, than to contribute to a healthy, well-functioning society.

    Methinks is WRONG in her interpretation of the aged pension. It was NEVER intended to be ''welfare''. That's just a convenient misinterpretation by the greedy and selfish who choose to ignore the facts of history, and who lack the basic human decency and empathy that is supposed to differentiate us from the animal species (but clearly no longer does!)

    Yes, today we contribute to superannuation. But for decades, Australians CONTRIBUTED to a pension fund. That is was stolen by a corrupt and dishonest past government - WITHOUT cancelling the contribution program, so we STILL all contribute to it - is NOT the fault of those entitled to benefit from that scheme, and they should not be the ones suffering for the wrongs of politicians.
    Tassie
    27th May 2016
    11:45am
    Soooo agree...spend our money in our country..why should this ever have been allowed??????
    Aussie
    27th May 2016
    4:01pm
    You must have a big super ...good 4You sorry but we do not ...
    Anonymous
    2nd Jun 2016
    10:28am
    Agreed, Tassie - pensions should be spent in Australia. So raise the pension to a level that permits a decent lifestyle in this country, and doesn't put recipients below the poverty line. I'm sure most would then be happy to live here.

    But let's retain some respectful provisions for those who need, for family reasons, to go out of the country for more than 6 weeks (which is hardly enough to even get anywhere if you can't fly, and certainly not enough to achieve a goal of providing support to parents or children who may be in need, or to obtain essential medical care that isn't available here).

    Some folk are too quick to jump to baseless conclusions, with no consideration for facts and circumstances outside their own limited personal experience.

    Oh, and by the way... how is it fair to pay a full pension to someone who was able to spend a year touring the world at age 40 or 58, but deny a miserable part pension to someone who, for whatever personal or family reasons, had to delay their one-and-only trip of a lifetime until after reaching age pension age? So many double standards in this society - all favouring the rich and privileged chest-beaters who FALSELY CLAIM to have earned their superior lifestyle, but who actually attained their assets through tax rorts that weren't available to the battlers who did the real lifting.

    BTW. Before any of you make ASS-U-MEs about my circumstances, I I still work (despite being over 65 and a full-time carer), and depending on how things pan out in my personal life over the next few years, I may well be a self-funded retiree for most, if not all, of my retirement. I overcame unbelievable disadvantage to achieve that status. But I do not look down on those who didn't do as well, and I DO have the decency and appreciation to acknowledge that some good fortune contributed substantially to my success. Those who claim it was all hard work or smarts are LIARS. Nobody EVER became financially secure in this country without a healthy helping of privilege or good luck. And decent people recognize that and give back to the society that enabled their prosperity.
    Rickyoz
    27th May 2016
    11:48am
    If an Australian resident is also entitled to an overseas pension, Centrelink demand that you claim it, and the amount you receive, is used to reduce your pension here, to no longer pay the pension to the overseas residents while requiring countries that Australia has an agreement with to continue to pay those here is another case of Government double dipping. Pensions from overseas countries are an entitlement, pensions here are regarded as welfare. In many European countries, pensions are not means tested, as they are regarded by their Governments to be a reward for contributing to their economy, in Australia, super contributions for all are a relatively recent thing, which was never meant to replace the pension. Many overseas recipients are living there to eke out the small amount that they do get, living in a country with a lower cost of living than here. Anyway, the average amount is less than $10,000 per person, not exactly a fortune to live on is it?
    Gigi
    30th May 2016
    1:55pm
    Centrelink does ask that its claimable but only since 2001 UK/Australia Agreement but I suggest you read this Agreement, it does allow for double dipping. It also allows for UK expats to 'top up' their UK pension. This in effect, is like a Superannuation rather than a Pension as such.
    John
    27th May 2016
    11:48am
    You have got to be joking hitting the pensioners again why don't we start with the MPs how much money to get our much pension to get 10 to free flight see you business class the systems all wrong you were called your life for you and you get penalty lies if you want to go and live in another country that is your choice these MPs in government is a rip-off yes but you to live off the pension you can't afford to rents say have to move to your vehicle and Aussie want to do is take the money off you where it's cheaper to live your pager taxis it is not a handout let's start with you bastards cancelling all free flights I think that it saves millions let's change the government to a working class people that understand people want to get all need the pension and they can decide what to do with the pension
    Methinks
    27th May 2016
    7:24pm
    Government of the Working Class? I think it was called the USSR (Soviet Union) and it was dismantled in 1991 because the socialist Gospel of Envy (he gets something for nothing; I want to get it, too) simply didn't work - more to the point, it sends the country broke. I think your chances of resurrecting it in Australia are pretty slim :-) As for your comments on MPs' perks, you're right on target but it's a different subject and them getting something for nothing shouldn't entitle you to getting something for nothing - Gospel of Envy, remember?
    jonno1_au
    27th May 2016
    11:48am
    I agree, to get the age pension you should live in Australia not overseas.
    Aussie
    27th May 2016
    4:05pm
    You are Another one that have no idea ...do you have a pension only ???? no super no rental or any other income ?????
    THINK THINK Use your brains and calculate if you can have a decent live with $1,800 x month to pay rent and food ...calculate and then answer ......
    Aussie
    6th Jun 2016
    12:17am
    Of course very silent as I expected
    Sundays
    27th May 2016
    11:48am
    I think there should be some concession for people who want to visit family overseas and need more than 6 weeks. However, for everyone else, the pension should stay here and help our economy by being spent here. We cant sustain the view that the pension is our entitlement no matter what. What next, live overseas and still get the dole.
    BigBen
    27th May 2016
    12:06pm
    This is the main point of contention for a lot of people. 6 weeks is not a long time for somebody who wants to visit family overseas, in the UK for instance. The cost of travel means that most won't be going every year so to penalise them with a 6 week rule is unfair.
    The current 6 months rule is both workable and fair.
    Anonymous
    27th May 2016
    3:38pm
    Bigben how about using your own money when overseas or get your relatives or overseas friends to pay your way. If you haven"t got any money, hardly any ones fault but your own. (keep out of the pokies or tab where most pensioners go.)
    BigBen
    27th May 2016
    9:21pm
    Robbo, If somebody is on a pension they wont have much of their own money why should friends and family pay for them whilst they are visiting them overseas? Also some pensioners will still have home expenses while they are away such as rent, standing charges for utilities etc. Your remark about pokies is stupid and adds nothing to the debate.
    Grey Voter
    27th May 2016
    11:51am
    Looks like we are losing command of the English language because we keep mistaking a sacrosant right for support in old age in the form of a decent pension and calling it WELFARE.
    The next thing we might hear is that pensioners are to be channelled into a detention centre to ensure they do not "escape" . Shame on this society and all politicians for what matters, for regarding elderly citizens as a burden and worse still for moving to restrict their movements and choices. Come on, put some money aside for creating a concentration camp in the middle of the Nullabor to cast everyone who dares to live beyond 60. Looks like the extreme right is alive and well in our beloved Australia. Sad indeed.
    Methinks
    27th May 2016
    4:15pm
    We are not discussing the 'right to support' (although the ones you call the 'extreme right' could be excused for reminding you that the only helping hand is at the end of your right arm - or left, if you're left-handed :-) but the LEVEL of support. Yes, it is WELFARE and if welfare ever approaches the level of what somebody else achieves by working and saving (the two go hand in hand), then it becomes misguided welfare and a disincentive to those who do work and do save.
    Anonymous
    2nd Jun 2016
    10:42am
    Methinks, it's already a MASSIVE disincentive to work and save. Look at the stupid taper rate change that says to someone earning 5% or less- FIXED FOR LIFE - on their meagre savings ''Spend up big and we'll give you 7.8%, indexed and rising every 6 months, PLUS pensioner benefits''. Only a fool who can't do math would see that as logical when offered to someone whose savings aren't sufficient to earn as much as the pension - let alone to come even close to the pension plus allowed earnings!

    Working and saving now pays ONLY if you can achieve over about $1.2 million in returning assets, or if you can attain high investment returns.

    But that really has nothing to do with the discussion here. What is relevant here is that people with family overseas should be allowed to visit and to travel to attend to family needs. Those who delayed holidays because of work or family commitments - SERVING SOCIETY - should have the same right to their ''trip of a lifetime'' as those who were luckier and could go before claiming their aged pension.

    As for living abroad - why not, if the government doesn't want to pay enough to raise pensioners above the poverty line? Or is your goal to trample on the less advantaged and see them suffer? Does that give some here personal gratification?

    The aged pension is NOT welfare. Study history. It's a benefit that was determined to be a universal entitlement, paid for by direct contribution to a fund set aside for the purpose. Greedy, corrupt, dishonest politicians stole the money, without stopping the contribution program, and then changed the eligibility rules. That does NOT change the status of the payment or the rights of contributors.

    Tell me, if the government now claimed ownership of all superannuation monies to fill the black hole and cover the cost of pensions, would you still class the pension as ''welfare'' and insist that rigid conditions were placed on it that denied folk a decent lifestyle? I think not!
    Hairy
    27th May 2016
    12:08pm
    The question is WHY live overseas .The answer is simple the aged pension is not enough to live on without skimping and scraping.the cost of living rents travel utilities rates.try running a vehicle to get to your part time work.fuel services wear and tare.by the time you've worked for the work bonus it's not worth the bloody hastle.i thought our diggers fought for freedom.now they are treating pensioners like prisoners spend here or you don't get it.where is the freedom our great soldiers fought for.stop discrimination of pensioners.go screw the big rorters at the top.this is typical of Aussies kick people when they are down I'm ashamed to be part of this
    Aussie
    27th May 2016
    4:43pm
    This is the min O/S pension we get after 6 weeks:

    Basic = 794.80
    Supplement = 22.70
    Total = 817.50 a fortnight

    I can live like a king with this no worries I rent a home 1 bedroom full house with my own garage for $150 x MONTH

    Can I get this anywhere in Australia If someone tell me that I come back very quick ,,,,, the answer is ......Nobody can

    that is my simple answer to the pension O/S and agreed with you mate
    Appathetic
    27th May 2016
    12:37pm
    Just checking - if I have worked for 35+ years in AU and then travel overseas for a year I still get the full pension - apart from the Supplement? If so, then it seems fair. $170m savings means there are a lot of age pensioners who don't fit this scenario.
    I wonder what happens to those living in - say - Italy where there is an international agreement. Will Italy 'top up ' the difference or does the agreement mean that the maximum payment is the revised payment?
    Methinks
    27th May 2016
    8:29pm
    Age Pension recipients who travel overseas to a country with which Australia has an International Social Security Agreement should be able to retain their full payment under such agreements.
    Gigi
    30th May 2016
    2:03pm
    Methinks, you need to read "other Agreements" which such as UK/Australia Agreement as well as other countries agreement/s with Australia. ALL will decrease their pension based on what is being received from elsewhere. Why should any ONE pensioner wind up getting more from, let say 2 Governments that any one person is entitled to from Australia or any other government? Doesn't seem fair & equitable to me
    Not a Bludger
    27th May 2016
    12:38pm
    I agree and, in particular, the Disability Support Pension should not be paid to those who choose to live overseas,under any circumstances.

    And, as already mentioned - what next? - the dole paid to those living overseas?
    Methinks
    27th May 2016
    8:35pm
    Not as ridiculous as it may sound: when I lived and worked in Greece in the early '80s, there were many a Greek taxi-driver who told me that he received the dole from Australia. Presumably that slackness in our Social Security department has since been tightened what with better ID checks etc. but one wonders how much of this may still be going on. After all, which public servant [sic] will go out of his or her way to make life difficult for themselves? Tick the boxes and get back to discussing what was on last night's telly :-)
    Lescol
    27th May 2016
    12:42pm
    Here we go with more pollie talk designed to be divisive, distract and create anguish. I accept the prorating principle but I truly believe pensions should be transportable globally; they were earnt and taxes paid. Simple. This matter confirms why the current government has to be replaced 2 July.
    dweezy2176
    27th May 2016
    1:03pm
    As a £10 pommie tourist & OAP I easily pass the 35 year rule but having been home last year found 4 weeks too long so here I'll stay ... though I am baffled as to why DSP is transportable O/S surely there are medical check-ups to satisfy and/or forms that need filling in, occasionally .. if not. no wonder, it is a well-documented rort ..!
    jackie
    27th May 2016
    1:12pm
    Of course it's not being checked on when their are young males on it going to war for ISIS and working full time in cash in had work.
    Gigi
    30th May 2016
    2:15pm
    Unfortunately some DSP recipients should not have been granted this pension (most are entitled but not all) but that is now in the past. DSP recipients should not be allowed to receive DSP overseas unless on holiday with a specific return date. Who is to blame, well possibly our Politicians for not being creative thinkers when drafting legislation.
    Nan Norma
    27th May 2016
    1:08pm
    We receive a pension, not welfare. Welfare is for people that rightfully should be working. Aged people are not required to work.
    If you're having a holiday and visiting relatives, say in the UK, six weeks is nothing.
    Methinks
    27th May 2016
    2:40pm
    Welfare = aid in the form of money or necessities for those in need (note: no mention of the word 'work')
    jackie
    27th May 2016
    1:10pm
    I think this should be applying to everyone that is hiding their wealth off-shore. They should not be entitled to a pension even if they are living here.
    Aussie
    27th May 2016
    4:09pm
    On this I have to agree with you and they are many very rich people that have properties on a family names in OS and money around but they show nothing to Centrelink.
    Under this circumstances I agreed with you
    Read my comments
    This cuts are not new they are currently applying after 6 weeks anyway
    young davo
    27th May 2016
    1:19pm
    I've just been on the human services website, and to qualify for the age pension one only needs to have worked in Australia for ten years. !
    Bubbles
    27th May 2016
    1:27pm
    I totally agree provided it only applies to persons who spend a lot of time overseas each year.
    Methinks
    27th May 2016
    1:38pm
    The Australian Age Pension is NOT superannuation! It is "Welfare" for those citizens of this country who've fallen through the cracks and depend on the help of their fellow-citizens to live out their lives in reasonably decent conditions. Pensioners are offered this help as fellow-citizens by their fellow-citizens and it follows that if you are no longer a fellow-citizen, you no longer qualify for this help. Not pro-rata or anything but NOT AT ALL! And the argument that the overseas-living pensioners do not draw on Australian medical care doesn't wash because all of them are back here in a heartbeat when it comes to anything but a minor procedure. Of course, even policing this pension cutback would be almost impossible as right now many of those already overseas never notify Centrelink and maintain an Australian address and an Australian bank account.
    Retired Knowall
    28th May 2016
    7:44am
    Wrong Methinks. Centrelink are notified by Customs and Border Control as soon as you leave the country, then the clock starts ticking and if you exceed the time limit, your money stops.
    Methinks
    27th May 2016
    1:46pm
    P.S. Disability Support Pensioners drawing on the Australian taxpayer overseas? The mind boggles! How little disabled can you be to qualify for the DSP but stand the rigours of overseas travel? From personal observations, in many cases the DSP could be re-classified as TLOTD (too long on the dole) where the recipient has been found so totally unemployable that he or she was simply shunted off to the DSP.
    KB
    27th May 2016
    1:53pm
    Your opinion is extremely insensitive. I do not choose to be disabled. I certainly do no travel very far at all
    Gigi
    30th May 2016
    2:21pm
    Methinks, a person does NOT qualify as a DSP recipient being a TLOTD. Methinks you should read the Legislation
    unfortunately under older criteria to many people qualified allowing GP to make application but this has been rectified, a Specialist is consulted prior to giving DSP.
    Anonymous
    30th May 2016
    8:40pm
    If we had a pension system like the UK (where you paid into it every payday) I would totally agree you should be able to live where you like.

    However, we do not and I believe the changes are fair and the money received should be spent in Australia.

    We all pay tax during our working life but we are not all entitled to the pension. The taxes that I paid and everyone else who was working went into providing roads, rail, infrastructure, housing, schooling, health etc.

    I know many will not agree with me but that is how it is regarded by government (it is welfare)

    It is there as a safety net for those who for one reason or another do not have sufficient funds for a reasonable retirement.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2016
    7:43am
    Methinks, there are many cases of Australians who were severely disabled or desperately ill who HAD to go overseas for treatment that wasn't available here. I guess they should have just stayed and died?
    Anonymous
    1st Jun 2016
    8:52pm
    Pepe La Pew, we DO have a pension system where you pay in every payday. Unfortunately, a past government stole the billions that had accumulated due to every taxpayer contributing every payday, and they redirected the contributions to general revenue. But they DID NOT stop the contributions. All taxpayers are still paying the levy. We just don't get what we paid for because our politicians are inept, corrupt and dishonest.
    KB
    27th May 2016
    1:48pm
    Pensioners who live permanently overseas should have their pensions axed. Aged pension should be only acceptable in Australia. If people have short term holidays such as 6 weeks to see family overseas then that is okay, The majority of us scrimp and save for holdays in Australia.
    flowerpot
    27th May 2016
    1:50pm
    It seems reasonable on the surface but then there are always anomalies. My husband (Aussie born) and I (UK born) went to the UK at Xmas to visit my mother aged 92. We stayed seven weeks and then discovered on return that his pension was to be cut as we had overstayed the six week limit. He now has to repay the difference. I can't bring my mother here to live, much as I would like to, because the visa would cost $40,000 and would take at least 2 years to process -not feasible at her age. She would also have to pass a medical which she would fail. So we are stuck with crossing the world every six months to give my UK based brother a break. I am about to go again (alone this time) as the pension rules are too restrictive for my husband. I am not yet on a pension as I am under 66. I'm not complaining -I met my husband in Europe and that's the only reason I came to Australia- but for those who think it's all about people exploiting the system then think again. Some of us have very good reasons for going overseas that have nothing to do with holidays or lifestyle. If we wanted to live with my Mum to look after her we can't as my husband's pension would suffer under this legislation.
    KSS
    27th May 2016
    5:31pm
    Unfortunately those are the decisions we make when we choose to emigrate to another country. It is not the responsibility of the host country to fund repatriation at will to the 'home' country regardless of the circumstances. And before all the haters start in on me, ALL my family are overseas and as their circumstances change so I have to deal with that. It is not the responsibility of other Australians or the incumbent or any other Government to fund any trip back I may or may not have to make.
    Aussie
    27th May 2016
    5:44pm
    KSS yes agreed I save small dollars every fortnight to fly back every time to visits the kids sometimes they send me a return ticket for Christmas and that is nice I love my kids but I do not be a burden for them so I left but when I move permanently I am sure they will come for holidays on the beach ......
    Living OS is great no worries nothing my blood pressure is down to 125/75 I never been as healthy as I am now I am 72 no taking any medicines at all and still kicking strong :-) :-)
    Andy
    27th May 2016
    2:22pm
    oh my god, so many of you have got it so wrong, proberly brought on by Politicans. The old age pension is not a welfare payment, as described by dishonest John. old age pension is 2.5 % of all taxes collected by ATO. that law is neally as old as Australian Politicans. That amount of money is much more than pensioners get, where is all that extra going? Nothing to do with pensioners living where they desire, weather it be an out house in Aust. or a mansion over seas. IF the time you worked and paid taxes is to apply, then it should apply to all, in Aust. or not. Immigrants are a different kettle of Fish, and different laws should apply.
    OZ
    2nd Jun 2016
    7:24pm
    So true, narrow minded Australians - Only country in world that has self funded retirees, pensions are given in UK/Europe to its people that have paid taxes all their lives & they can live in any country. I paid into a fund for years in New Zealand called a pension fund, as I now live Spain not NZ I can not receive it, so they have stolen my money. Europe is full of retired Brits living off their entitled pensions as an Australian or NZ you have no choices. By the way
    Superannuation was not around for my generation long enough to make difference.
    T-T
    27th May 2016
    2:26pm
    Unfortunately everyone overlooks the fact that pensioners living overseas do so mainly because it is extremely difficult to survrive in Australia and whilst living overseas they are already paid less than if they were in Australia, My way of putting the point is Please all pensioners living abroad return to Australia and demand immediate full payments and also rent assistance and show up the government and so their false believers that it is cheaper to keep expats off shore. definitely remove those that should not be eligible, but for goodness sake people wake up to yourselves and most importantly find out what your goverments agenda really is because it is not saving money, when I come back for the election I will immediately get a rise of approx $80 aF/n and then I shall claim another $180.00 F/n So for me to be in my country of birth and the country I love The Government will have to find in excess of an extra $200.00 Per F/N so how can any of you believe it would be cheaper to have us all return?
    niemakawa
    27th May 2016
    3:06pm
    Many who are against pensioners living overseas and claiming their RIGHT to an Australian pension are plainly jealous and resent those who do.
    Anonymous
    27th May 2016
    3:40pm
    Hey t-T thats why people hate pensioners and they get called bludgers.
    Aussie
    27th May 2016
    4:16pm
    Mate is incredible all this people jealous .... no really they do not have the balls to change their life and take a change for better quality.
    How can we live with $1,800 x month including rental assistance ????

    Rent, food, medicines, doctors, transport, rego, Electricity, Gas ??+++

    If someone can tell me how I will shut up but unless someone can prove this to me I will continue contributing to us the poor pensioners

    Yeah I have the Balls and they can call me bludger I do not give a shhhh ...I only feel sorry for them that are not man enough and only complain and complain
    Kevanne
    28th May 2016
    8:07am
    JJ, agree completely. All Aussies returned would cost a fortune! Let's just tax the millionaires and multinationals and LEAVE PENSIONERS ALONE! Actually, increase their pensions so they can live more comfortably.
    step
    27th May 2016
    2:30pm
    about time this matter was addressed, and changes made, as pensions should only be paid in Australia, except for exceptional situations, or international agreements
    Aussie
    27th May 2016
    4:19pm
    You are Another one that have no idea ...do you have a pension only ???? no super no rental or any other income ?????
    THINK THINK Use your brains and calculate if you can have a decent live with $1,800 x month including rental assistance to pay rent and food, electricity, rego etc +++++...calculate and then answer .....
    If you can give me an answer I will shut up else just think
    Charlie
    27th May 2016
    2:31pm
    Its fair, our rate of pension is worked out for our economy, on the cost of living in Australia. To receive pension at our cost of living and be able to spend it at the cost of living in a poorer country is a good perk, but its not fair. I cant understand how it has been happening for so long. They were on to people doing that with the dole in the 1970's.
    Aussie
    27th May 2016
    4:20pm
    You are Another one that have no idea ...do you have a pension only ???? no super no rental or any other income ?????
    THINK THINK Use your brains and calculate if you can have a decent live with $1,800 x month including rental assistance to pay rent and food, electricity, rego etc +++++...calculate and then answer .....
    If you can give me an answer I will shut up else just think
    Methinks
    27th May 2016
    4:26pm
    Aussie, perhaps you ought to have had those sobering thoughts while you were still working (and presumably NOT saving for the future). You are now on welfare paid to you from the taxes of other, working Australians who at this very moment are trying to do what you evidently did not do: save to provide for their own retirement.
    Sundays
    27th May 2016
    4:50pm
    Yes Aussie, you stated you had $200,000 super when you retired. That would have given you $10,000 per year in extra income if you hadn't spent it. I'm not jealous of your overseas lifestyle, but find it galling that you throw it back in the faces, of thousands of age pensioners who do manage solely on the age pension.
    Aussie
    27th May 2016
    5:11pm
    Thanks guys just for you to know I only get the pension after 2014 when I stop working for extra 300 x week and spend the rest of my super drinking on the local pub playing the pokies like many of you guys do ok ??? that make me the same right ???

    Maybe This statement will make you happy and yes I should NOT GET any pension because I came to Australia in 1970 with a resident visa (I pay my way - not $10 from UK) pay big taxes for 45 years.
    So I should not be entitled to pension correct ???

    Bye Bye jealous people you have not ball to do this at all he he he he he he ... I am happy and very rich with my REDUCED PENSION paid from your taxes he he he

    Happy now ....I hope so he he
    niemakawa
    27th May 2016
    2:52pm
    "Currently, Australians who receive a full Age Pension must have worked in the country for at least 35 years."

    This statement is not correct. People who have lived in Australia even for 20 years can still get the full pension. Somebody could be here for 35 years and NEVER worked, they would still be able to claim a pension. The reduction occurs when a pensioner opts to live overseas. Then the pension is based on actual number of years residency in Australia. So 20 years will equate to 20/35 of their entitlement.

    I do not agree with the proposal. Pensioners have the right to live here or outside of Australia. A pensioner living permanently overseas cannot have access to medicare. They would be classified as non-resident for tax purposes and be subject to those tax rates. There is no tax free threshold for non-residents who have assets in Australia and income is taxed from the 1st dollar.
    Retired Knowall
    28th May 2016
    7:51am
    Wrong niemakawa. You only need to RESIDE in this country. The rule does not mention WORK.
    Residence requirements

    In addition to the age requirements, you also have to meet residence requirements in order to be eligible for payments for the age pension, which currently are;

    On the day you submit your claim. You must be an Australian resident and physically present in Australia.
    10 year residence requirements. This requirement has to be met by any person who wants to receive an age pension. The 10 year qualifying residence requirement states that you have to be living in Australia continuously for a period of 10 years. If you have lived in Australia on and off, then the total of all such periods of residence must be equal to or more than 10 years. Within these smaller periods, there should be at least one period where you have lived in Australia continuously for five years.
    There are exceptions to this rule if you were a refugee or receiving a widow allowance.
    MmtuMoja
    27th May 2016
    3:01pm
    What if after years of working and paying taxes (income and GST) circumstances mean you are left alone in Australia - widowed, divorced, never married, remaining close relatives in another country say Afghanistan (you were a refugee but naturalised). As you age you need to be closer to family so they can help you. Does Australia let some of them immigrate to be your carers for your old age? Or do you struggle on alone with government services costed and provided or until someone notices you haven't been seen around for a while and your rotted corpse and those of your pets are found when the door to your unit is broken in? I don't think this is fair.
    Sundays
    27th May 2016
    3:52pm
    No different to any other elderly Australian who has no family. Sadly, there are many. What is your point?
    Methinks
    27th May 2016
    3:57pm
    His point is that he has now become 'naturalised' which means whinging comes 'naturally' regardless of how well of you are :-)
    bandy
    27th May 2016
    3:02pm
    Blue & Micky.d I can relate to what you had to say & agree fully,I could add to your letters with my reasons but with most of the comments posted I would be talking to a brick wall as it seems to me the same old people with tunnel vision who are to set in their ways would not be persuaded to have an open mind about why some people have moved overseas to live.
    Cheers
    Aussie
    27th May 2016
    4:28pm
    Well they should think about how to live with $1,800 x month including rental assistance ???

    No home - Must rent somewhere

    Food, Electricity, Gas, Car green slip, Petrol and much more

    How can you do it in Australia a room rent sharing bathroom cost you an average of $200 x week if you are lucky you get one for $150 x week ... so is average $800 x month only rent say average food $150 x week (Milk bread meat vegetables just basic) so that is $600

    In total $1,400 just to survive very basic
    No Internet payments no Phone payments ?????

    How can we live ????

    In OS I have been paying $150 x MONTH for small 1 bedroom HOME
    Can we compare ?????? sleeping on my car to sleep on a home ???

    Please explain he he crasy
    KSS
    27th May 2016
    5:39pm
    Oh do calm down Aussie. Stop your whinging and gloating in alternate measure. There are working Australians having to make do on $1800 a month. So your point?

    You are better off than some not as well off as others. That is life.
    Aussie
    27th May 2016
    5:48pm
    Sorry I do not try to offend anybody just make me crazy when the government attack us and everybody agreed ..... not correct, Pension is not a welfare is an living assistance provided by the government for our contributions over many many years
    Sorry If I offend someone
    Methinks
    27th May 2016
    5:51pm
    Well put, KSS. Aussie - and so many other Aussies like him - had a whole lifetime to prepare for their retirement. Now they blame the country for failing to have done so. And I can just see him on Kuta Beach, dressed up in his BINTANG t-shirt and thongs, adding to Australia's well-worn image overseas.
    Methinks
    27th May 2016
    5:51pm
    Well put, KSS. Aussie - and so many other Aussies like him - had a whole lifetime to prepare for their retirement. Now they blame the country for failing to have done so. And I can just see him on Kuta Beach, dressed up in his BINTANG t-shirt and thongs, adding to Australia's well-worn image overseas.
    Aussie
    27th May 2016
    5:55pm
    He he he he he he

    Yes Viva Kuta beach thank you for paying my retirement

    Bye Bye
    thommo
    27th May 2016
    3:02pm
    Labor has just shown themselves to be no different to the Liberals. A bunch of liars who will sell out the pensioners at the drop of a hat.
    I won't be voting for either of them. I'll vote for some other callithumpian, who can do a better job
    Anonymous
    27th May 2016
    3:42pm
    Hey thommo what about a nice Muslim they are all good teroists oops I mean people

    27th May 2016
    3:11pm
    The changes also seem reasonable to me as well.
    Aussie
    27th May 2016
    4:30pm
    You are Another one that have no idea ...do you have a pension only ???? no super no rental or any other income ?????
    Do you own your own home ?????

    THINK THINK Use your brains and calculate if you can have a decent live with $1,800 x month including rental assistance to pay rent and food, electricity, rego etc +++++...calculate and then answer .....
    If you can give me an answer I will shut up else just think

    27th May 2016
    3:23pm
    As has been mentioned above, six weeks is not a really long time when going overseas and wanting to see a lot of relatives or old friends, or even do a lot of things, whereas 26 weeks seems a very long time. Perhaps 12 weeks would be a better time limit. IF, and this little word is a big one here, wage/salary earners were paying a defined part of their wage into a government social security account (like the 3% automatically deducted from your pay in the U.S.) in addition to their regular income tax, I would think the above idea is unfair and would suggest the government to put it where the sun doesn't shine. There is merit to having retirees spending their money in the country where they earned it, but this 6 weeks "tether free" is too short.
    Maz
    29th May 2016
    10:24am
    Have to agree with you on the time frame, very sensible suggestion
    Mez
    27th May 2016
    3:31pm
    I agree Misty!
    Drew
    27th May 2016
    3:33pm
    Each situation for living overseas is different but I can assure mine is not that I have squirreled away my "wealth", I live overseas to look after my two daughters who are Australian but can't come to Australia, I get the base pension and that is cut back by overseas bank fees. If I have to return to Australia I leave two little girls living in the Philippines without my support. I would be living on the street back in Perth as the pension is not enough to live on in Australia and I have no family there. I would be still sending as much to my daughters as would be possible, so no benefit to the Australian economy. I earned my pension by working for over 35 years. The pension is not welfare, it's a right. I will be voting for whoever stands up for pensioners.
    niemakawa
    27th May 2016
    3:36pm
    Yes it is a RIGHT. That must not ever be forgotten.
    jonno1_au
    27th May 2016
    3:39pm
    I agree.
    Aussie
    27th May 2016
    3:56pm
    By the Way insensitive and ignorants NO EVERYBODY IS LIKE YOU THAT HAVE PROPERTIES AND BIG SUPER BEEN SAVED FROM YOUR EXTRA DEPOSITS ....COME ON OPEN YOUR EYES.....

    I ONLY HAVE MY PENSION LIKE MANY OF US... My super when I retire was only 200,000 Dollars after working my back side for 45 years and pay big taxes so what in hell you are talking about.

    This is what is happening now this is not new is already on...I have been OS for over 6 weeks and I got a reduce pansion as follows:

    Base rate only = $794.80
    Min Supplement = $22.70
    Total = $817.50 fortnight
    Total year = $21,255

    No other benefits, no medical or prescriptions or Medicare no rental assistance ..... nothing at all just 817.50 x fortnight on today's rates have a look here and learn .....Not everyone is as rich as some of you ....I have a lot of words for people like yourselfs

    http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/outside-australia-pension-rates-payable

    So this is not news for me is currently applicable to all of us going OS for over 6 weeks and by the way I can live like a king OS do not have to sleep on my car ... but hey the refugees gets a home the day they arrive on a boat + all benefits GREAT STUFF very fair ....
    KSS
    27th May 2016
    5:42pm
    Well balanced Aussie. A chip on both shoulders!
    Aussie
    27th May 2016
    5:49pm
    no double or triple chip on each shoulder ..
    fedup
    27th May 2016
    4:23pm
    What about these people on WELFARE who travel overseas to visit their relatives not once but numerous times who is paying their way and how do they afford it?? If you can afford to travel overseas find the money to pay your way here in Australia. No way should pensions be paid for those who decide to live overseas have they ever worked in Australia?? Who is checking these people.

    Worked and paid taxes for 40 years? pay those people full pension for the next 40 years
    Troubadour
    13th Aug 2016
    11:06am
    Yes, I often wonder how these people do it - going on OS
    holidays etc., We are not complaining, we manage on our pensions
    but cannot afford many extras and certainly cannot afford a holiday overseas - we can only occasionally afford a long weekend or few days away locally. Cannot even afford to go Inter State anymore, mainly due to the rent we pay and the cost of amenities these days,
    Methinks
    27th May 2016
    4:40pm
    I have often wondered why the ATO and what is now Centrelink weren't combined into one. After all, it took the ATO decades to establish a proper database of all tax-paying citizens through its TFN whereas Centrelink suffered - and still suffers - from false identities, double-dipping, etc. There ought to be one 'account' for each citizen: on the debit side the taxes they paid to the government, and on the credit side the benefits paid to them by the government. Methinks, most accounts would show a huge 'overdraft' with many not even showing any sort of 'deposit'. Somehow I get the idea that those who scream and rant here the loudest are the ones with the biggest 'overdraft'. "... ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."
    Ellen
    27th May 2016
    4:59pm
    Very jealous and short sighted people talking who cannot see past the edge of their dinner plate. I have have kids married overseas (Germany), one works overseas to specialise (USA), another one in UK for the same reason. There are 9 grandchildren. The kids put money together for my flight, the grand-kids clear their room for me. How short sighted, narrow minded, petty and jealous can people be. These my kids will come back with more knowledge and a wider horizon. I cannot believe how superficial some of those statements are...
    niemakawa
    27th May 2016
    5:09pm
    Australia is well known as the land of losers. I agree with your comment.
    Aussie
    27th May 2016
    5:21pm
    Helen and niemakawa I agreed ... all this people are very very jealous because no balls or TT's he he to make a better life for themselfs.
    I do feel very sorry for them very very sorry
    I am very happy overseas and I will move permanently Jan 2017 Australia is now dead unlivable country unless you own your home have rental or other permanent income (Shares other rates ???) plus full pension

    To live in Australia with $1,800 x month including rental assistance ????? let you answer this
    Methinks
    27th May 2016
    5:30pm
    Aussie, don't feel sorry for them; feel grateful to them, after all, they're the ones who are paying for your retirement. And why wait until January 2017? I get the feeling you won't be missed. Just one small request: don't behave too much like an Ocker wherever you're going as we still want to be welcomed as an occasional tourist over there :-)
    Aussie
    27th May 2016
    5:36pm
    Methinks ... not really sorry just thanks for paying for my life great stuff I love freebeeessss like this one no worries mate Not Ocker here just an old man with ball to make a change on his life and live better from the freeebeees I get

    Many thanks to all taxpayers for paying for my living thanks a lot just forget that I pay for 45 years the living of another retire people but I guess that does not count .....is Ok no worries mate I am happy he he he :-)
    Mi casa es su casa ( My home is your home )... come for a visit to my palace :-)
    KSS
    27th May 2016
    5:47pm
    Poor Ellen, your family are all grown up and doing well having chosen to live overseas. So well in fact they are all specialists in their fields. Poor you, you really do suffer don't you? And how awful you might have to suffer more by ONLY having six weeks holiday a year if you are not prepared to forego the welfare you receive from the Australian taxpayer.
    Aussie
    27th May 2016
    5:52pm
    WOWOWOWOWO KSS .... so I have a chip on my shoulder WOWOWOWO what a joke UR he he he he h

    Sorry if I offend you with my comments but read your own u make to Ellen ...wowowowowo

    I am out of this Bye Bye
    Any complains send me a private message if you want
    Methinks
    27th May 2016
    6:03pm
    Aussie, the sooner you leave, not just this forum but also this country, the better for the rest of us. Unfortunately, as we all already can guess, you will be back one day, having given a bad account of yourself overseas (most countries do have deportation laws, you know :-)
    KSS
    27th May 2016
    6:25pm
    Don't let the door hit you on the bum on the way out Aussie. Enjoy your six weeks.
    Rae
    31st May 2016
    6:22pm
    Well Ellen you can go for the 6 weeks on a round world ticket still, stay 10 days with each and travel the other 12 days.

    I get nogovernment pension and can rarely get away for longer than 6 weeks as I need to contract work to make my income viable from savings now that investment returns are down.

    We are all having to give up some lifestyle perks as the economy contracts.

    Be graetful you can still see them. Mine are scattered across Australia and I see them for about 10 days each year.

    I consider myself lucky that I can do that.
    Methinks
    27th May 2016
    5:12pm
    As an anecdotal aside to this debate, have you ever wondered where all the $100 notes are in Australia? According to the Reserve Bank of Australia, 300 million $100 notes are in circulation, almost three times the number of $5 notes, but you hardly ever see one in circulation. Similar to possums in the daytime, we know $100 notes are there somewhere; we just can’t find them. Of course, an awful lot are used either for tax avoidance or criminal activities. And, in a climate of uncertainty, they are very often hidden away as store of wealth. And in some cases, they are quite literally stuffed under the mattress. By whom? Amongst others, by pensioners who want to pass the asset and/or income test because they feel so bloody-minded about their 'right' to a pension. They gladly forgo the income that this money could earn them just so that they will qualify for the pension. In the case of a neighbour of mine many, many years ago who had all those crisp notes buried inside kerosene tins in his garden (I kid you not!), the forgone interest exceeded the total pension he received! I revisited the neighbourhood some years ago and heard that he had died. Wondering if he had ever got around to digging up all that money again, I was sorely tempted to knock on the door to suggest to the new owners of the house to start digging :-)
    Aussie
    27th May 2016
    5:15pm
    send me the address i dig them out no worries mate ........he he he
    Methinks
    27th May 2016
    5:22pm
    I was wondering how long it would take to get such a reply, Aussie :-) Anything to lighten up the debate. Anyway, the proposed changes aren't law yet and in any case we can continue to live high off the hog before the lights go out altogether and the next generation will be called upon to pay the bill.
    Aussie
    27th May 2016
    5:26pm
    Well mate this changes are in place already after 6 weeks pension is reduced that's it there is no debate here he he he he but is good to boil there blood sometimes he he he
    Anonymous
    1st Jun 2016
    9:27pm
    Methinks, after Jan 2017 the earnings on investments are unlikely to come anywhere near the loss of pension one suffers for saving, so it really will pay to stuff those $100 bills under the mattress. When the stupid government starts paying attention to reality and structuring the system to work in the real world, for real people, we'll likely see those $100 notes back in circulation. In the meantime, it's not ''bloody-minded pensioners'' claiming a ''right'' to a pension that is causing the problem. It's a ''bloody-minded'' government that is structuring a flawed and unfair system without due consideration of reality.
    Maz
    27th May 2016
    6:48pm
    I know of several of our Asian neighbours who have migrated here to work (and live for now). They earn good money, live like paupers, send lots and lots of money back home for the rest of the family to live and build a house. When they retire they will return back to their homeland to live out the rest of their life. No, they should not be able to claim our Age pension and be paid it back home. Maybe a pro rata amount would be a good start point. And somehow, while here, they know every trick in the book to get the most out of our government to educate their kids too.
    Methinks
    27th May 2016
    7:06pm
    All the more reason to extend this WELFARE only to those who live out their retirement in this country. If you don't live here, you don't receive it full-stop. Any other arrangement would only introduce far too many shades of grey. Who would get it? Only those who were born here, or came here before a certain age, or stayed here for a certain length of time? What about indexing it depending on the spending power of the AUS$ in the country they retire to? Etc. etc. etc. It is welfare pure and simple, to keep people off the streets, to avoid anarchy, HERE in Australia! As for those terrible migrant workers who scrimp and save instead of pissing it up against the wall every Friday night, good luck to them! If more Australians acted as they do, perhaps Australia's finances wouldn't be in the terrible state they're in.
    musicveg
    27th May 2016
    7:53pm
    Does this include politicians? Let's start by cutting back in their pensions.
    Methinks
    27th May 2016
    8:06pm
    Absolutely, but again you miss the point of this particular discussion: we are talking about the age pension which is a welfare payment, equal across the board for all those who could not or would not provide for their own retirement. The pollies have written into their 'employment contract' superannuation entitlements - as do many other employees, both public and private - which are overly generous and happen to be paid out of the public purse but they have absolutely nothing to do with this discussion. Mind you, if I had it in my power, I would not only cut back all the pollies' perks but in fact sack most of them. Take ex-accountant Barnaby Joyce as an example: on top of his salary of $400,016 , he managed to spent $1,073,988 on other "stuff" in the fiscal year 2014/15. Why don't we 'en masse' refuse to cast our votes on 2 July so none of those bastards get back in? The country may run itself better without their meddling interference. Just a thought :-)
    cheryl ann
    27th May 2016
    8:44pm
    I just can't believe people can still get their aged or disability support pensions if they choose to move to and live in another country. I am totally lost for words, we (pensioners) are living in poverty here being paid the pittance they call the pension,but we can go overseas, and live anywhere we want and the Australian taxpayers are paying for this!!! Yes I know we worked and paid our taxes and all that but please we need to limit if not stop this from happening. I totally agree with the proposed changes and even more if possible. Please.
    Methinks
    27th May 2016
    9:06pm
    My sentiment entirely, cheryl ann. I just did some simple sums: if 81,000 pensioners living overseas had their pension cut completely, we'd be looking at a lazy $1.782 BILLION (81,000 x approx. $22,000p.a.) That's a lot of extra hospital beds and class rooms etc. for all those who still call Australia home!!!
    MarLin
    28th May 2016
    1:58pm
    Cheryl Ann - your opening comment, "...if they choose to move to and live in another country" indicates a lack of understanding of the various reasons why people may "choose" to move. Please read my post a few threads below to hopefully show another side to the story.
    I can assure you I don't welcome living for half of every year in a country where it's stinking hot and/or wet most of the time, it's almost impossible to cross the road without having an accident, you can't get anything done officially without paying "coffee money" to whoever's in charge, and the local population have spent so many years being shot at by "imperialists" (including Australia!) that they never had the chance of an education and consequently have no social skills - so standing in a queue or allowing someone to pass on the pavement unhindered simply doesn't happen. I could go on, but you hopefully get the picture - this is NOT a life I would choose, it was simply in the cards I was dealt and I'm doing the best I can as a human being with sufficient intelligence and humility to recognise that there are many people worse off than me! By not owning a car, not taking holidays, not going to pubs or restaurants, etc in Australia, we can afford to come here and give my wife's family and some of the local orphans a marginally better life than they'd otherwise have. Please understand that life is not always "black and white"!
    Rickyoz
    30th May 2016
    6:25pm
    A lot of the pensioners living overseas do not get a full pension, I have a small super pension and a part aged pension, together I get about $2500/year more than a full pension, this is after tax, yes I still have to pay tax. If all the pensioners returned to Australia, they would also be able to claim Medicare, that they cannot at the moment, this saves the Government a considerable sum, and no, they cannot rush back at the first sign of trouble, their Medicare card is cancelled after about 6 weeks, and they have to re-apply to have their entitlement restored. Cheryl-Ann, you say we live in poverty, and have to live on a pittance, but you want to deny those who are willing to move to where their money stretches further the opportunity to do so. Due to a marriage break-up I had to remortgage my home to pay off the ex, I still have to pay my mortgage out of my pension, as I "own" my house, I am not entitled to rent assistance, btw it is not a mansion, just a 60 year old fibro place. If I were to sell it, I could then get rent assistance, I prefer to battle on, but I may have to sell up and move overseas, I was employed from 1965 to 2014, so, 49 years working history, although I was unemployed for approx 1 year, which seemed like the longest 10 years of my life!
    ozrog
    27th May 2016
    8:45pm
    You can't get dsp if you live overseas. Staying out of Australia for more than 13 weeks and centrelink cut you of and you have to reply.
    Going on holiday overseas for more than 28days in any 12mth period and centrelink stop payment.
    So i think the dsp numbers are wrong.
    Methinks
    27th May 2016
    8:58pm
    How do they find out if a pensioner is overseas? Is there a tie-in with Immigration? I'd be surprised if there was. Centrelink wouldn't go out of their way to shorten their coffee breaks, I'm sure :-)
    Aussie
    27th May 2016
    9:48pm
    There is a full tie with immigrations centrelink knows within the same day if you go out of Australia and you do not have to tell anybody you are going or coming back they know immediately the computers are already link for many years.
    even now with the electronic passport is even easier for them to know.
    This is publish on the on line centrelink access through My Gov have a look
    poorwomanme
    27th May 2016
    9:14pm
    Okay, so have all these over-paid pension bludger's return back to Australia and guess what you end up with.
    Paying the same amount in pensions PLUS all their medical bills, pension subsidies and discounts they can legally get and it ends up costing, what, 30,50 100% more and guess what then?
    Oh yeah, the Gummint of the day start finding new excuses to make pensioners suffer and live further below the poverty line.

    Pensioners are the whipping boys and girls for politicians and you mugs are applauding the action.
    Bloody shameful of you, that's what it is !
    Methinks
    27th May 2016
    9:30pm
    poorwomanme, from my own experience of having met quite a few retired Australians overseas, none plan to stay overseas indefinitely for two reasons: their host country may not want to let them stay indefinitely, and as soon as medical bills start to mount up, the retired Australians are back here anyway. On the subject of finding out who is here and who is there, I doubt there is the will or the mechanism for Centrelink to find out about the ones who don't want to be found out because, again from personal experience, I know that many retired Australians overseas had their pensions approved BEFORE they left and maintain an Australian address and Australian bank details to give the appearance of still being a resident of Australia.
    MarLin
    27th May 2016
    9:34pm
    Hate to disillusion you, Methinks, but Centrelink are in direct contact with immigration and know exactly when people leave and return to the country by simple fact of the departure and arrival cards. The last time I queued for an hour to tell Centrelink we were back in the country they said, "Yes, we know"!
    poorwomanme
    27th May 2016
    9:47pm
    I went to America last year for a 12 month Motorhome cruise around the Country. Around the six month mark, my pension was cut off. They were aware I was out of the Country and as I didn't reply to a letter sent to an old address( not the one I passed on to them before I left) they stopped my pension as a way to get a response out of me.
    It worked!
    Once they determined I was out of the Country for another six months, they cut my housing allowance and reinstated my full pension, minus that.
    There are no secrets between Gummint Departments, they know every detail about you, have done since the 80's so you can hide as much as you want but passports and Visas tell them a different story.
    When it comes to the Gummint, you can run but you can't hide.
    MarLin
    27th May 2016
    9:26pm
    Although you'd hardly think so by reading some of the comments on this thread, there are often many reasons for people choosing to live some or all of their lives overseas (or at least more than the six weeks proposed cut-off for continued pensions), besides "living the dream" in some exotic wonderland.
    My wife is an Australian citizen but she was born in Vietnam (ditto me, born in UK). We've both lived, worked and paid our taxes in Australia (me since 1974), but now that we're retired we want to do whatever we can to look after my wife's family who are doing it v.tough in Vietnam - particularly her Dad, who recently had a stroke and is bedridden because we can't afford to send him to a foreign hospital for specialist treatment. We could have sponsored most of her family to Australia and have them become burdens on the system, but chose not to do that because we're not selfish people looking for an unfair share of the "pot". Instead, we try to live about 50/50 Oz/VN each year - because although our lifestyle in VN is far rougher (more "basic"?) than downunder, it's much cheaper and so we can afford to look after the family by "sacrificing" some of our time enjoying the Australian lifestyle and various benefits taken for granted by most. Of course, I could ignore my wife's family - or even send her back to Vietnam to look after them herself - but I'm not made like that. Unfortunately, these types of circumstances, although fairly widespread amongst the expats we know in Vietnam, are not generally recognised within Australia's "me first" society - as sadly evidenced by some of the comments on this thread.
    Aussie
    27th May 2016
    10:02pm
    Mate by reading a commenting on this subject just make me very sick of the people jealous about us that live or will live overseas.

    I do not have anything left in Australia and I will move my address at the end of the year when I complete some current business still have (Company and other family issues).

    It is a lot cheaper to go to the hospital here and pay as you need for example I twisted my Knee and when to hospital and cost me $20 Australian dollars for consultation, bandages to be put on my knee and medicines for pain and anti inflammatories ....I do not have insurance.
    An Aussie friend got spine operation after a very big motorbike accident and got 6 pins inside and cost him 10,000 all up including private room fully aircon and TV and he pay the bill in 6 parts

    I have been in VN and is a beautiful part of the world and cheap to live ....have fun maybe I see you some time on my trips
    MarLin
    28th May 2016
    2:35pm
    Careful, Aussie - we wouldn't want people to think we're actually enjoying ourselves! The most enjoyment I get every day when we're in Vietnam looking after my wife's family is making it home through the maniacal traffic safely and without a stomach bug from a local street stall - as well as the smiles on the faces of the children and their poor little orphan friends as we give each of them a small handful of rice or packet of instant noodles (which we can afford by denying ourselves the "joys" of running around in a car downunder and spending big bucks in pubs, theatres and restaurants).
    I'm extremely disappointed at the selfish attitude of so many on this thread - the Aussies I met in the Army (Commonwealth Brigade, Malaya, early 1960s) and subsequently on arrival downunder in 1974 were extremely nice and generous people, and I blame successive governments (politicians) for the widespread move towards today's "me first" brigade at the expense of giving people "a fair go".
    Surely everyone, regardless of political persuasion, can understand that politicians are only in it for themselves - they invariably waste the money they get from us in taxes, and then look for other ways to fill up their coffers so they can waste some more.
    I just wish they'd find some other "whipping boys" and leave us pensioners alone!
    Aussie
    6th Jun 2016
    12:37am
    Have lots of fun mate --- I love nha trang beautiful place easy to live no worries
    poorwomanme
    27th May 2016
    9:52pm
    The bottom line on anything that affects my pension is, when Parliamentarians do something about their over-inflated entitlements, then they can tell me they intend to do something about mine.
    Until then, Hands Off!

    There really is becoming a mountain of reasons why the LNP is bad for us and bad for Australia.
    MarLin
    27th May 2016
    9:56pm
    Totally agree - it's more of the same: The rich get richer and the poor can please themselves..............
    Aussie
    27th May 2016
    10:04pm
    Careful boys the jealous people may get upset for your comments .... they got upset at my comments ...to hard for them ...:-) :-)
    Ayers Rock
    27th May 2016
    11:20pm
    The government proposal to reduce the old age pension entitlement amount based on the residency years in Australia is totally unfair. I reject the proposal, and whoever blocked this proposal in the Senate, they did their best and righteous response. No doubt on this. Besides, this proposal is a kind of penalty to those overseas born Australian citizens or double nationality citizens, eventually, who may not had full 35 of working years as a resident in Australia. Indeed, what is the purpose at the background to penalize them?
    Saving money is so small! Saving money must not be the issue here. Is there something on the background that a kind of NAZI policy germinating somewhere !!!
    FEDUP
    28th May 2016
    4:44am
    Labor is totally out of touch with the electorate on this one.
    MarLin
    28th May 2016
    5:44pm
    Why?
    Anonymous
    1st Jun 2016
    8:58pm
    Or maybe Labor is considering the rights and needs of citizens with a little more empathy, compassion, and understanding - realizing that people with family overseas need more than 6 weeks to visit given travel times, costs, etc. The 6-week limit is draconian and cruel. I support the objective, but as usual the government is going the wrong way about achieving its goal.
    Alexii
    28th May 2016
    8:38am
    The problem of age pensions would be solved if:
    a. The "top end of town" (big business, the extremely wealthy) had to pay the taxes they should be paying if they didn't have so many lurks and perks and off-shore accounts or
    b. Government clamps down on all medical assistance for the aged so they fall off the perch quickly.
    I imagine that choice "b" is the preferred for government.
    The Bronze Anzac
    28th May 2016
    10:33am
    It would be a huge saving for Australia, if aged pensioners lived overseas. Especially from the Medicare aspect. There would also be no burden for hospital or medical care, on top of no PBS for prescription medicines. If a person qualifies for the aged pension, why should the Government, or anyone else for that matter, be concerned where they live or what lifestyle they choose. Many of the already overseas pensioners live in countries that are far cheaper to live in than Australia. So it would be a win/win situation. Leave the current rules & regulations alone. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
    Grey Voter
    28th May 2016
    3:51pm
    Well said Bronze Anzac.

    We are more than fed up with these unrelenting attacks on pensioners. Why can't they leave us alone to enjoy what's left of our days ?

    But don't worry mate, the election is very close and the grey vote will give these sadistic idiots a lesson.
    World Prophet
    28th May 2016
    4:13pm
    Goodness gracious me... What difference does it make where old age pensioners see out their Golden Years? The way most posters appear to see it, the pension is a God given right, unless someone chooses to live overseas. Then they should be stripped of pensions and be given a good flogging as well! In my view, a person who qualifies for an old age pension should have free choice of where they reside. Very simple. There is plenty of other low hanging fruit the government could be plucking to reduce welfare expenditure, before touching old age pensioners.
    DaveL
    28th May 2016
    5:20pm
    Note that the article state that "Labor" has blocked the changes. How come, they don't have a majority in the Senate. Maybe Mr Porter need some facts training.
    Under the Howard government my son lost his IT job due to the firm he worked for being taken over by an American company, who then transferred his work to India. He has successfully created a new life for himself. He worked in Australia for 15 years. No one is interested, but is he entitled to something? He paid taxes up until he left.
    OZ
    28th May 2016
    5:41pm
    The problem with Australia is they hate people with money. Only country that has self funded retirees in the world! People who have paid taxes & some very high taxes. In other parts of the world you get your pension because you deserve it & can live where you want to. The UK/Europe citizens can live & receive their pension where-ever they live - because it is their entitlement. Spain, Italy etc are full of Brits on their pensions why is Australia so tight because the people here are jealous of people having money or a better life!!!!
    Alex
    28th May 2016
    9:32pm
    Many of the pensioners who live overseas appear to do because they do not own a home here.
    If they are forced to live in Australia the net cost for the Government will rise considerably in paying for rent, medical and aged care. Sounds more spiteful than practical.
    MarLin
    28th May 2016
    10:14pm
    I've asked Centrelink, Medicare and our private health insurer on several occasions why they continue to penalise pensioners for living o/s when I would have thought their absence would ease the burden on all their services (particular by those who sell their homes to live o/s and would then probably qualify for rental support if they return). To date, no-one has given me anything like a reasonable answer (in fact, none at all from Centrelink and Medicare!).
    I sometimes wonder if the relentless pursuit of pensioners living o/s isn't perhaps something started by an over-zealous but misguided and under-supervised "public servant" and, in typical public service fashion, no-one's ever bothered to question it, so they just keep on finding more ways to stop people leaving the country (or perhaps they're being doubly clever and saying, "the pensioners are going to live o/s anyway, because they can't afford to live in Oz, so let's penalise them as much as we can...").
    Or (and this is tongue in cheek - at least I hope so!), maybe they're trying to make sure we don't all run off to the middle east to become ancient jihadis and then return to Australia and not only send Medicare bankrupt but also Centrelink with our rental assistance and pension supplement claims)!
    Gigi
    30th May 2016
    2:47pm
    Linhmartin, is easy Australia has Agreements with a number of other countries, part of those Agreements is to protect the other countries from being ripped off by their own Expat & vise visa. Like all other countries, Australia needs to look to the 'bottom line', there is a finite Income & a lot of Outgoings for all Governments. The world has more Baby Boomers reaching retirement, more people claiming benefits than ever before & less taxapayers, do the Math!!
    MarLin
    30th May 2016
    3:23pm
    Thanks Gigi - I'm well aware of the "double taxation agreements" between Australia and various other countries (including, in our case, Vietnam but not UK). But this debate is about a lot more than simple mathematics - which you'll hopefully realise if you read some of the other posts in this thread (including mine).
    If you really want to bring things down to "absolute simplicity", how about acknowledging that governments the world over have (or should have) realised for many, many years that their populations are ageing as health care improves and world wars lessen. But instead of saving for it and/or putting systems in place to manage it, they've left it to the "last minute" and now we're all paying for their lack of foresight and/or management ability. But that still doesn't mean they should pursue pensioners with a big stick (if the system was wrong before, it's not the pensioners' fault). I'd personally like to see politicians reduce their own income by as big a percentage as they propose to reduce ours!
    World Prophet
    31st May 2016
    8:56am
    linhmartin, I couldn't agree more. The only country I know of that has made any provision in a meaningful way is Norway, which invests their North Sea oil royalties on an ongoing basis in a sovereign wealth fund that cannot be touched by politicians and bureaucrats. They can use the interest but can't touch the capital, and they now make more from the interest annually than the actual royalties! The capital is held in perpetuity for future generations, and Norway is now the single largest investor in Europe. Imagine if we had invested all of our mineral royalties the same way, so that future generations, who will be deprived of being able to sell them, could share in the proceeds. Do we have politicians and bureaucrats with such vision here? Don't be silly - all we have are the usual bunch of myopic dickheads who only care about today, and stuff future generations. Now don't get me started on politicians...
    wisky171
    29th May 2016
    8:52pm
    I think Australian pensions should be spent in aus ,don't send our currency o/seas keep it hear where it will help our younger generations ,who obviously will be paying for our pensions. money's made to go around but better here in aus, 5 bucks can pay millions of dollars in bills , stimulate our own economy.
    Aussie
    24th Jun 2016
    11:11pm
    You must learn and read before u open you mouth
    We in overseas only get basic pension no other benefits we in fact saving a lot of money to the gov.
    Think think think do not be ignorant to the reality
    Gigi
    30th May 2016
    1:44pm
    Many people currently receiving DSP should never have been given this pension (has been rectified but not before time!) AND anyone who live full time overseas should loose either Aged or DSP pensions. Can only happen in Australia, we are such bleeding hearts, we will tolerate just about anything & when it becomes obvious that we are being ripped off, blame the Government!!
    Anonymous
    31st May 2016
    8:06am
    But this isn't about living overseas, Gigi. Nor about the DSP. It's about people who worked for years in Australia and, perhaps because investment returns crashed and savings were lost in the GFC - often through no fault of the retiree - now need some financial help to survive old age. Maybe they have family abroad they want to visit? Maybe they have a sick child who lives overseas and needs temporary help. Maybe they can't fly and it takes a month by ship to reach their destination?

    Why are people so quick to makes wild, baseless assumptions and support cruel and ill-thought- out government changes that persecute some unfairly. What is it about Australians that makes them so quick to judge and so content to see other people hurt? Just because it doesn't hurt YOU, it's okay. Well, watch out for the next change. And don't expect anyone to speak for you when the government comes for you - and it will!

    30th May 2016
    5:58pm
    No they are not fair. If you are entitled to a pension that's it, it shouldn't matter where you spend it. Especially if you don't own your own home and with public housing being another pipe dream, on the meagre pension it can be a lot less expensive to live in some places overseas. 26 weeks to 6 weeks overseas is also mean spirited. Just another appalling money grab by the coalition, even more appalling when you consider what politicians pocket in perks.

    31st May 2016
    7:48am
    I am confused by the changes, but clearly they are unfair. What if people have family abroad they want to visit? What if there is a family emergency that requires them to go abroad for more than 6 months to be with a sick or needy child living overseas? What about folk who can't fly and have to travel by ship - taking a month just to get to their destination and a month to return.

    While I support the objective, the implementation seems draconian and cruel to me.
    Thai Traveller
    31st May 2016
    1:19pm
    I have to agree with everything AUSSIE has said.

    I lived and worked in Oz for more than 35 years, but have chosen to live in Asia, where I can afford to live comfortably, rent a 1 room apartment for $90.00 a week, complete with kitchen, bathroom, furniture, TV, microwave and save for a bit of travel.

    I get the base pension each 4 weeks, and from this I pay for everything, with no Aussie subsidy. $70 for Oz and Asian bank fees, rent, power, water, dentist, doctor, pathology, specialist tests, surgery.

    If and when I return to Oz, all of the above will be either subsidised or fully paid for by the Aussie public. There are no free bus fares here, no cheap train travel. Everything is all cash up front.

    To top it off, every time the dollar drops in value, that's less pension we get.
    Aussie
    5th Jun 2016
    11:59pm
    Well mate no matter what we say or do will change anything in Aussie land .... so let's enjoy our retire life with a reduced pension without any extra bits he he he yes mate same as me I pay for everything I just stuff my knee and Doctor Xray 2 visits and medicines cost me $30 he he he he I do not have any insurance I just pay as I need.

    Same as you mate ......Have fun maybe I will meet you somewhere in Asia he he
    Flea
    2nd Jun 2016
    8:37am
    Seems ok. Don't know why we'd pay people who don't live here
    Aussie
    5th Jun 2016
    10:58pm
    Hey ...How about this ..unbelievable expense to people that govern us ...Incredible


    Australians demand end to generous pensions for retiring politicians
    Date
    May 7, 2016
    Read later

    Adam Gartrell
    National Political Correspondent
    View more articles from Adam Gartrell
    Follow Adam on Twitter Email Adam

    Former Speaker Bronwyn Bishop delivers her valedictory address. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
    Almost 90,000 people have signed an online petition demanding an end to generous post-Parliament perks for politicians.

    Most of the 25 federal politicians who are not re-contesting the July 2 election will be paid a pension of $118,000 a year – and in some cases much more – for the rest of their lives.

    Nineteen are believed to be eligible for the controversial Parliamentary Contributory Superannuation Scheme, a defined benefits scheme that already costs taxpayers more than $40 million a year.

    Most will be paid a minimum of $118,125 – or 75 per cent of a current MP's base salary for superannuation purposes of $157,500. Many will also benefit from extra allowances for time served as ministers or office holders.

    Former speaker Bronwyn Bishop, who was dumped by her party last month, will be one of the biggest beneficiaries, grossing around $255,000 a year. Former deputy prime minister Warren Truss and long-serving ministers Ian Macfarlane and Philip Ruddock will get between $150,000 and $200,000 a year.

    While the scheme is only available to politicians elected before 2004, the petition calls for it to be scrapped entirely.

    Started by Queensland woman Michelle Pedersen, the change.org petition started last year hit the 88,000 mark on Saturday.

    Ms Pedersen, a support worker in the disabilities sector, says she started the petition out of "sheer frustration" that politicians continued to suck on the public teat long after they stopped serving the public.

    "The current 'leaders' of this country say that we have to tighten our belts, to live within our means," she said.

    "I am sure that you, like myself, would like to continue being paid a pension and entitlements after holding a position for a few years until the day we die. However, this is not how it is for us. We don't make the rules."

    The petition is more than halfway to its goal of 150,000 signatures.

    The Parliament is losing more than 400 years of lawmaking experience with this year's mass exodus.

    And that's not including the MPs and senators who have called it quits since the 2013 election, sparking by-elections or Senate vacancies.

    Of those, former prime minister Kevin Rudd, former treasurer Joe Hockey and senators Brett Mason and Kate Lundy also qualify for pensions.

    John Howard scrapped the pension scheme for new MPs in 2004 after coming under pressure from then-opposition leader Mark Latham.

    Several of the longest-serving MPs, including Mrs Bishop, Mr Ruddock and Mr Truss, will also be eligible for the Life Gold Pass, which entitles them to 10 taxpayer-funded business-class return flights a year.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/australians-demand-end-to-generous-pensions-for-retiring-politicians-20160506-goobhn.html#ixzz4Ahztsb00
    Follow us: @smh on Twitter | sydneymorningherald on Facebook

    NO MATTER WHAT WE DO NO MATTER WHAT WE SAY WE ARE OLD AND READY FOR THE BOX ......THAT IS MY FEELING OF THE WAY THEY THINK ABOUT US THAT IS WHY THEY DO NOT CARE IF WE HAVE A PLACE TO LIVE OR EAT ... THEY DO NOT GIVE A S....T ABOUT US AS LONG THEY FILL THEIR POCKETS .....WELCOME TO BEAUTIFUL AUSTRALIA ....
    killjim
    24th Jun 2016
    2:06pm
    I can understand why they choose to live elsewhere. They have probably earned the pension, but it is cheaper to live elsewhere. Australia has a very high cost of living.
    Also it is fun to do something different in your later years. Maybe pensioners from Canada and Britain who get higher pension payments and can afford to live here in Australia, should be made to stay in their own country, and not spend their pensions in a Australia or any other foreign country.
    Aussie
    24th Jun 2016
    3:03pm
    Thank you for understanding because there are so many jealous without the will to make a change for better life.
    I have receive lots of insults and bad comments when I post that I was moving OS taking my pension OS at the end of this year you will not believe this people.

    So Thank you very much I do appreciate your understanding on this subject I am now 73 and building a new life and all I have is a reduced pension so Yeahhh great adventure I AM LIVING MY LIFE FULLY ....

    Thanks mate
    Flindersbar
    24th Jun 2016
    10:46pm
    I wish you all luck in sharing the 168m saved by this dickhead idea.
    Birdwoman
    2nd Jul 2016
    9:51am
    I think it's quite reasonable and fair if you expect to keep receiving the pension you must be permanently living in Australia and not overseas. However I do think the allowable time for travelling overseas before the pension is cut should be perhaps up to 12 weeks.
    Aussie
    2nd Jul 2016
    1:59pm
    Let me say that you do not have an idea how we people with only the pension as income realy live ...well let me tell you so I put some knoledge on your head...

    We receive the maximum pension a fortnight = 1004 dollars including $130 for rental assistance.
    So from that we have to pay the following:

    1 - Rent = average 250 dollars x week for a room sharing bathroom in someone's home

    2.- Pay for our basic food = say average = $200 x week including everything (If you are lucky) to be healthy.

    3.- Electricity = average maybe about $20 x week

    4.- Water = say average = $8 x week

    5.- Petrol for car (If you have one) = $20 x week

    6.- Green slip x week savings = $15/20 x week

    How I am doing so far ??? Sub total x week = Ok = $518 dollars x week wowowo Ok

    7.- Internet = say $15/20 x week

    8.- Medicines if you need them = maybe about $10 x week

    9.- Some entertainment x week so we keep happy = Maybe $8 dollars x week (2 coffees/Tea on a coffee shop)

    10.- Maybe Newspapers magazines or books (FREE ON THE LIBRARY ...Great )

    11.- Clothing x week savings = say $2/4 dollars (Let's use St Vincent the Paul - Great place for us)

    12.- Any other extras = Maybe $2 x week.

    So Ok let see how we go now living in Australia with only Pension and no other income:

    Income a week = $502 Dollars (1,004 x Fortnight)
    Basic Expenses so just survive the day = $558 Dollars x week
    Profit & Loss = $56-

    So this is just a basic cost of living for us pensioners in Australia so we need to cut cost correct ???? ok tell me where to cut and have a decent with no worries life ???? I will come back running to my beautiful and lucky country.

    My next reply to you is my expenditure in Overseas at the moment (Will be permanent after Dec or Jan 2016) but you may say go now ...

    Please think about this before you make the statement you made on your comments
    Aussie
    2nd Jul 2016
    2:25pm
    Now this is living Overseas with Australian pension.

    After several month studying the cost of living in Asian countries the following is the result of my investigations in person.

    Same on my previous comments but O/S

    We receive the maximum pension a fortnight = $794.80 Basic Max Pension Plus $22.70 supplement all equal to $817.50 x fortnight or 408.75 x week (No Rental or any other payments)
    So in my book I am saving the government over $4,000 dollars x year if I live overseas.

    Ok then from that we have to pay the following:

    1 - Rent = average 60 dollars x week for a SMALL HOME WITH TOTAL INDEPENDENCE or 1 BED. APARTMENT depending where you are

    2.- Pay for our basic food = say average = $60 x week including everything and fresh nothing frozen all fresh.

    3.- Electricity = average maybe about $7 x week

    4.- Water = say average = $2 x week

    5.- Petrol for car (If you have one) = $6 x week

    6.- Green slip x week savings = $5 x week

    How I am doing so far ??? Sub total x week = Ok = $80 dollars x week wowowo Ok lets say $150 x week

    7.- Internet = say $0.80 x week

    8.- Medicines if you need them = maybe about $5 x week (Hospital provide all medicines after consultation)
    Note in some countries the hospital must help you even if you are a foreign person and you just pay as you go and very very cheap.

    9.- Some entertainment x week so we keep happy = Maybe $20/30 dollars eating out probably 3 to 4 times a week across the ocean restaurants

    10.- Maybe Newspapers magazines or books (All free news on TV 24 hours a day)

    11.- Clothing x week savings = say $2/4 dollars (let's say the same as Australia)

    12.- Any other extras = Maybe $2 x week (Ok same as Australia)

    So Ok let see how we go now living overseas and comparing with Australia with only Pension and no other income:

    Income a week = $204 Dollars (409 x Fortnight)
    Basic Expenses so just survive the day = $181 Dollars x week
    Profit & Loss = $23+ Profit

    So in comparison I look at the total cost of living with quality and happiness and no worries I stronger believe as follows:

    1. - I am saving the Government over $4,000 x year
    2.- No Medicare for me
    3.- No $2.00 free transport x day (In NSW)
    4.- No Rental Assistance (Saving of $130 x fortnight)
    5.- No free home care
    6.- and more and more stuff we get free IF WE PENSIONERS ARE IN AUSTRALIA.

    I hope this provide you with some knowledge of how we live overseas and a comparison to live in Australia.

    Please think about this before you tell me that I am wrong and should get my pension in Australia please

    A pensioner with Balls to make a change on his life (73 Years old and very very healthy and happy)
    Aussie
    3rd Jul 2016
    1:56am
    Of course total silence after my notes.
    It is obvious to me that you didn't know what you were talking about ... I hope now you understand why people goes out of Australia with the pension.
    We do not want to go ..... we HAVE to go to have a decent life and do not sleep on the car because we can not afford rent.
    Also no many people will rent a room to an older person .....is very hard to even rent a room but in O/S we are welcome and get a place quick no problems no papers to fill up or wait for approvals.
    Birdwoman
    3rd Jul 2016
    8:26pm
    Aussie - after reading all your information I understand your predicament. It is a shame that you have to live overseas to be able to afford a reasonable lifestyle. I wish you a happy life.
    Aussie
    3rd Jul 2016
    10:43pm
    Thanks Birdwoman but I am not the only one I have 2 Aussie friends in even worse situation because they do not have a full pension and they live O/S very well with 2 kids (He is married with a local lady) so they live with only his pension and a few $$ she make selling food on street market they are very very happy and they will never go back.
    I know is terrible but the reality is different for us so in my case I will go back soon and close all ties with Australia say Bye to my 3 kids (Adults) and live O/S I am sure they will come for a visit he he he.

    I understand your concern to spend the money in Australia and I wish I could but unless the Govt. provide us with sustainable pension to have a decent living not much we can do.

    By the way there are many many Aussies living in Asian countries that I know like Bali, Thailand, Laos etc and they all on their 70's and they have a great life.

    Thank you for understanding and let me say that you are the minority of intelligent people in this forum.

    Thank you
    Birdwoman
    4th Jul 2016
    6:44pm
    Thanks for your kind words Aussie. Judging by your comments on other topics you appear to be an intelligent, decent and well-adjusted human being yourself. Stay happy and keep being yourself.
    Troubadour
    13th Aug 2016
    10:36am
    Well you learn something new every day. I was totally unaware that we had so many living
    abroad and still getting the Aussie Pension.
    KB
    15th Aug 2016
    10:14am
    II agree with the proposed changes. If you need the pension then you should be living in Australia full time. There should only be room to move on this if you have family living overseas and want to visit them on a short term basis, If people want longer holidays then ist should come out of their own savings. Retired people live overseas because life is cheaper. The government must looks at curbing the cost of living for us all. The pension should only be given on a needs basis to pay for the general cost of living.
    Savta
    8th Oct 2016
    10:26am
    Given our need to do something about bringing down Australia's national debt it makes perfect sense to me! Stay here, spend here, make a contribution to getting this debt under control for those who are coming after us. Cuts have to be made somewhere to government spending. People who have enough money to keep coming and going just to keep their pension don't need the pension! Some old folks struggle to keep petrol in their cars let alone go OS whenever they like!
    Aussie
    8th Oct 2016
    3:02pm
    Savta,

    Please have a look my comments above on the 2nd of July 2016.

    You are really very ignorant to the reality of life of a pensioner to survive with only a pension in Australia and have a happy decent life.
    You maybe have savings, rentals and other income and good super well I am happy for you.

    But respect us the people that only have a pension to live been over 70 years old and no chance to get a job in Australia .....By the way I work until my 70's is that enough for your small narrow mind ....I contribute big taxes and provide for others for over 45 years now is my time to relax

    So THINK before you make those stupid comments that only show disrespect to others ... Yes we are overseas because the law allow us to take that option and we have the balls to make our life happier and better and able to take the risk of living outside Australia .......

    Oh also a round ticket to AU from almost any Asian country will cost you about 400 dollars with just a carry case.
    Also you do not need to come back to AU every 6 month to continue getting your pension OS ....read Centrelink information here ...

    https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/subjects/australians-overseas

    I Suggest you learn before you talk ... You are jealous that what it is very very Jealous like a few other people that make the same stupid comments

    Good Luck to you ....leave us alone we already contribute and learn to be respectful to others
    Drew
    7th Dec 2016
    9:46am
    Don't agree, everyone entitled to a pension should be allowed to spend their remaining years wherever they wish, politicians can. I see that people say that the pension should be spent in Australia, if so then all overseas workers should not be allowed to remit their money home. Pensioners earned their pensions with 40 years of work and should be allowed to spend it wherever. Overseas retirees are not living the life of Riley, with bank charges for overseas ATM withdrawals, each time you withdraw of around $5 and a fortnightly fee of $40 along with the low Aussie $. it's still a struggle especially if you have a family to take care of.
    Aussie
    7th Dec 2016
    6:38pm
    Drew,
    Change to Citibank I do not pay a cent in ATM only on the local banks OS but nothing on my account also I get no charges on my account is all free as pensioner and the type of account ..... mate if you are in Australia get a CITI account
    More info on a private message if you want
    LYRAD
    4th Jan 2017
    7:53pm
    To the MANY ill informed !!!!!
    Years ago a referendum was passed in the federal parliament that compelled EVERY working person to pay a Levi of 4% above and in addition to their normal tax rate...and that money would go into a special holding fund called "the old age pension 'A compulsory savings like super attenuation with on exception.....IT WAS UNDER THE GOVERNMENTS CONTROL. A great idea and an enormous amount of money paid and held until required at retirement.....THE LIBERAL PARTY SPENT THE LOT......It was not their money....not money like collected taxes .it belonged to me and every working person that was compelled to pay into the pension fund....They unlawfully took that pension bank saying they would fund the pension out of the GNP.........well thats failed and now they cut the pension......I point out why Australians are paying the highest power costs in the OADC is because the Liberals sold the Gas ,Electricity,Water Communications to the highest bidder and stuff all Australians......I sit with a blanket in winter because l cant afford to turn on the gas heating....it costs $1.32 a day to have the electricity connected without turning on a light....gas the same.These charges are going up and my pension that l have paid for all my working life is being reduced.I have $6000 saved for my funeral and that reduced my pension also...I CANNOT AFFORD TO LIVE IN THIS COUNTRY ANYMORE and contemplating to move to a third world country where l can and the bastards want to cut my pension even more ...I can remember when this was the best country in the world but now it is a shit hole full of immigrants all here for the free hand out and have done nothing to contribute to the country...They are lined up in centre link 20 deep when l was there and l was the only white Australian This Government is taking from the most needy who have paid all their working life to every breed ,creed . color ,muslum everyone with their hand out.......I am infuriated by the incompetence of out politicians to recognize this problem and STOP it One thing is for sure ,,,,after voting Liberal all my life ,state and federal ....I WILL NEVER VOTE LIBERAL AGAIN....
    Aussie
    4th Jan 2017
    9:48pm
    Mate ... I am with you I have done a lot of research about living OS and talk to many people currently living OS mate they pay only $150 AU dollars rent for a month 2 Bed home rental he he he he

    If I can help you let me know Private ...... I will tell you what did I find out.
    Bribri
    28th Apr 2018
    12:01pm
    Perfectly reasonable to me especially if the person has refused to become an Australian Citizen. Never worked here and gone to live in Canada and received full pension and gets her kids to even buy her medications here in Australia and send it by mail to Canada.....
    Bruce
    23rd Oct 2018
    3:30pm
    this 6 weeks bull, was defeated in parliament, its 26 weeks, an immigrant only get paid a % of time lived in Australia, many jealous people commenting here, worked, lived, paid taxes, why not be free to live where you want? immigrants below 35 years, need to be paid by their original country, Australia only tops it up, open up your green with envy eyes, and see the reality,
    Aussie
    23rd Oct 2018
    4:04pm
    Bruce,
    Sorry but after 6 weeks your pension gets reduced to the basic $834.40 plus only $23.60 for supplement .....nothing else after 6 weeks you loose all entitlements and only get the basic pension .... the 26 weeks may be for rental assistance or other type of payments

    Please read the Yearly pension (Divide by 26 to get the fortnight payments) info on the web ....

    https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/enablers/pension-rates-payable-people-outside-australia


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