Australian pensions overseas

My position is I am 64 next birthday and have been living in Thailand for 4 years. I brought 80,000 AUD here and have been living on this money. I have money invested in Aust. and am still paying tax. I have been told to get the aged pension at 65 I would have to stay in Australia for 2 years or I would lose it if I travelled outside Australia. I phoned centrelink and was told that I could return now and get newstart and then get the pension. This seems unbelieveable that I have worked all my life in Australia and am a 5th generation Australian, also have paid taxes all my life. Centrelink also told me that they did not consider this. I consider this to be discrimination against someone who has done the right thing. My mother is still alive and my son and his children are in Adelaide. I travel home at least once a year to visit. I have emailed Centrelink but cannot get a personal response. I would be grateful for any information you can give me or any suggestions you may have.

A.We have passed your details to our Centrelink contact and asked them to respond to you direct. In the meantime, we suggest you contact National Information Centre on Retirement Investments (NICRI), who can advise the best course of action for money you have invested in this country and may also be able to advise on your pension issue.

For more information on NICRI, click here.