7th Oct 2018
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Centrelink Q&A: Can Liv get an Age Pension overseas?
Author: Janelle Ward
Can Liv get a pension overseas?

I have been living overseas for three years and I’m 65. Prior to those three years, I lived and worked in Australia for 32 years.

To qualify for an Age Pension to be paid while I am overseas, I understand that I must be in Australia for two years to apply for the pension and meet the income and asset test. What do they mean by two years? Will there be restrictions on my travel plans during this time?

A: You will need to return to Australia to apply for the Age Pension and remain here for two calendar years before your Age Pension is considered portable.

There are a few things you should note: It can take a considerable amount of time for Centrelink to process and approve your claim. We have had emails from people who have been waiting in excess of five months.

Centrelink does not issue specific guidelines for overseas holiday travel, so you will need to confirm directly with a Centrelink officer as to whether your travel plans could affect your two-year residency period.

As you do not have a full 35-year work life residency, your Age Pension will be paid pro rata based on the 32 years you lived and worked in Australia.

If you have a Centrelink question, send it to newsletters@yourlifechoices.com.au and we’ll do our best to answer it, or find someone who can.

Are you eligible for an Age Pension? Do you know your rights? The RetirePlanner™ tool has all the information you need.

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    COMMENTS

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    MarLin
    8th Oct 2018
    11:30am
    The last time I asked, they told me that 'upto 3 months a year' is acceptable for overseas holidays during the two years qualifying period. You also lose supplements after 6 weeks overseas.
    Still not sure why the gov't doesn't go the opposite way with pensioners wishing (needing?) to retire overseas by making it easier for them to go, because they're no longer an impost on the annual budget.
    Someone suggested that the gov't penalises people going overseas because they're no longer paying tax while living and making purchases in Australia - but most people have already been taxed on their income anyway, so it surely shouldn't matter?
    But stranger things have happened, I suppose - and it would probably never apply to politicians because they amass so much money and 'perks of office' that they can live very comfortably in Australia or elsewhere anyway!
    Cowboy Jim
    8th Oct 2018
    12:05pm
    Might be easier to cheat on asset and income rules when living overseas, one reason I could think of' the other is cheaper cost of living in Asia. Certainly would not apply to Europe or North America.
    Some people might inherit a family home overseas and that particular asset would go under the radar unless one sells it. The banks are reporting accounts to Govts these days. Most countries do not recognise asset tests, only income.
    Old Geezer
    8th Oct 2018
    11:51am
    Simple if you don't live in Australia then you should not get the Australian pension.
    1984
    8th Oct 2018
    12:20pm
    What a load of cods wallop.
    If you have worked & paid taxes in Australia & you are ENTITLED to a pension or part pension after income & or asset testing then you or the government have no right, no right whatsoever to tell me or anyone else how or where we spend our money. There are 100's of reasons why retirees live overseas & not just for lifestyle change.
    Old Geezer
    8th Oct 2018
    12:26pm
    OAP pension has nothing to do with how much tax you have paid or how hard you have worked. It is a welfare payment given to those who have no other means of support. If you don't live in Australia then you should get your means of support from the country in which you live.
    1984
    8th Oct 2018
    1:47pm
    Rubbish again OG. If people qualify for an entitled OAP full or part they don't want you, governments or anyone else telling them or me how & where to spend said monies.
    If you qualify for any entitlement how you spend it is your business, we don't need people like you being dictatorial
    Old Geezer
    8th Oct 2018
    1:55pm
    Well it is a good thing that the welfare card is on its way for all those on welfare then as the money will then only be able to be spent in Australia.
    marls
    8th Oct 2018
    2:51pm
    Billy's bonkers
    Totally agree the aged pension is reciprocal it works both ways my cousin from Europe was receiving a widows pension living and spending her money in Aust
    If your entitled to the aged pension you have the rights to live where you chose and all us tax payers also paid 7.5% of our wages towards our pension it's the gvt that got greedy and stole it google who stole the workers compulsory pension fund by Australian morning mail
    marls
    8th Oct 2018
    2:51pm
    Billy's bonkers
    Totally agree the aged pension is reciprocal it works both ways my cousin from Europe was receiving a widows pension living and spending her money in Aust
    If your entitled to the aged pension you have the rights to live where you chose and all us tax payers also paid 7.5% of our wages towards our pension it's the gvt that got greedy and stole it google who stole the workers compulsory pension fund by Australian morning mail
    marls
    8th Oct 2018
    2:51pm
    Billy's bonkers
    Totally agree the aged pension is reciprocal it works both ways my cousin from Europe was receiving a widows pension living and spending her money in Aust
    If your entitled to the aged pension you have the rights to live where you chose and all us tax payers also paid 7.5% of our wages towards our pension it's the gvt that got greedy and stole it google who stole the workers compulsory pension fund by Australian morning mail
    marls
    8th Oct 2018
    2:51pm
    Billy's bonkers
    Totally agree the aged pension is reciprocal it works both ways my cousin from Europe was receiving a widows pension living and spending her money in Aust
    If your entitled to the aged pension you have the rights to live where you chose and all us tax payers also paid 7.5% of our wages towards our pension it's the gvt that got greedy and stole it google who stole the workers compulsory pension fund by Australian morning mail
    marls
    8th Oct 2018
    2:51pm
    Billy's bonkers
    Totally agree the aged pension is reciprocal it works both ways my cousin from Europe was receiving a widows pension living and spending her money in Aust
    If your entitled to the aged pension you have the rights to live where you chose and all us tax payers also paid 7.5% of our wages towards our pension it's the gvt that got greedy and stole it google who stole the workers compulsory pension fund by Australian morning mail
    HKW
    8th Oct 2018
    3:37pm
    Old Geezer is a government agent and a WATCHER!

    The zionist government wants it all!
    Old Geezer
    8th Oct 2018
    3:52pm
    HKW just say you don't agree with me as that's what people who abuse me are really saying.
    MarLin
    9th Oct 2018
    2:54pm
    As others have pointed out on this and many other occasions, OG, there are myriad reasons for people leaving Australia to live abroad. In our case, it's because my brother-in-law died and his widow is only able to work in the markets 3 am - 11 am (poor family - no education) and hence not able to feed or take their daughter to school, so we volunteered to help by sharing the load with a sister-in-law for at least five years, when we will all review the situation.
    Whilst o/s for just less than the ATO tax residency threshold 183 days a year, we still pay 'network connections' for electricity, gas and phone/internet, apartment security, water bills, rates, etc etc - but all our medical costs are incurred overseas (and day to day living expenses similarly duplicated o/s), hence my original comment at the top of this conversation trail about not being an impost on the govt's annual budget.
    I was not buying into the 'he says, she says' argument about whether full or part pensions should be paid to people living outside Australia - one which you clearly feel strongly about - I was simply saying that I can't understand why the gov't doesn't make it easier for people to move offshore because their taxes have paid for their pension (research the origins of Australia's pension system) and now they, or at least we, are net contributors into the Australian government's coffers!
    Old Geezer
    14th Oct 2018
    3:07pm
    A world citizen that pays no tax no where and expect a pension from Australia. No way should that be allowed.
    MarLin
    14th Oct 2018
    3:32pm
    Totally agree with that statement, OG, but I'm not sure who you're talking about - maybe Jared Krushner or his father in law the orange clown? Certainly not me - my wife and I have always submitted our tax returns and I invariably end up giving the ATO a few hundred of my hard-earned because I'm not one for inventing claims or offsets that don't legally exist. And we make a lot of effort to retain our Oz residency for tax purposes even though others in similar circumstances find it cheaper to become non-residents.
    My point is that there are many different reasons for Australian citizens electing to live offshore - it's not always as simple as you may think (and I invite you to see Russell's recent post further below for more evidence of the same).
    johninmelb
    8th Oct 2018
    12:07pm
    And we're off again.

    We have debated this question of the rights and wrongs of pension payments for travel, living overseas etc etc ad infinitum. We reach no resoluition.

    When are people going to learn that it is NOT going to change. You can jump up and down all you like but NO government is going to change it. Labor could have easily changed it when they were in office. They didn't. So I think we can safely assume that policy is set in concrete for evermore.

    Can we now move on to more pressing matters, and put this to bed once and for all. Everyone has had their say, many times over, to no avail.
    1984
    8th Oct 2018
    12:10pm
    "You will need to return to Australia to apply for the Age Pension and remain here for two calendar years before your Age Pension is considered portable."
    This is absolute rubbish & should be discontinued. If you've paid taxes while living in Australia & now reside overseas you should be able to apply from whatever country you reside in & be paid your entitled pension based on the 35 year rule.
    It's just another way of making it more difficult to claim & receive your entitlements.
    Rae
    8th Oct 2018
    12:16pm
    Except the aged pension isn't an entitlement or we would all get it after 67.

    Any broke country like Australia with millions of foreign workers and "immigrants" who desire to go home in retirement would be in a very bad way very quickly I suspect. We just don'r have the numbers of workers paying taxes to support all the largesse.
    Cowboy Jim
    8th Oct 2018
    12:17pm
    You have a point. In countries which have a social security agreement with Australia the rules might be slightly different. I do get a part pension from Europe and should I go back there to live I would get a part pension from Australia. Here, however, I get Medicare and over in Europe I would need compulsory health insurance.
    Too many people just look at the cost of living when on a holiday - permanently living abroad is rather different.
    Old Geezer
    8th Oct 2018
    12:28pm
    I agree it is not an entitlement so if you don't live here then no OAP.
    Cowboy Jim
    8th Oct 2018
    4:30pm
    Easy Rae - don't let any more of them in, specifically the ones going on Centrelink after arrival, and the ones breeding like rabbits to get more tax dollars. If you want to call me racist just go ahead.
    Rae
    9th Oct 2018
    12:55pm
    No Jim. It was very silly to allow so many new chums into a welfare state. Maybe the plan was to wreck the welfare part of the State and it seems to be well on the way.

    I'm over the crush everywhere myself and the bumper to bumper traffic and overcrowding. None of the recent immigration policy has helped me one bit.
    Andy
    8th Oct 2018
    2:56pm
    I thought Hitler died a long time ago but no he alive and well in Australia, there are retired people all over the world living in counties other than the one they worked in and there always will be, but Australians are finding it harder all the time being paid a lousy $6.000 a year plus the value of the Aussie dollar going downhill against other counties every year.What would the gov. do if all living overseas started coming back to Aust?
    Tonky
    8th Oct 2018
    3:05pm
    I totally agree with your comments Old Geezer. The OAP should be there to help out the more disadvantaged and be seen as a privilege not an entitlement.
    Old Geezer
    8th Oct 2018
    3:53pm
    Way too many get the OAP that simply don't need it leaving less available for those who do.
    HKW
    8th Oct 2018
    3:35pm
    I came to live and work in White Australia, but after 37 years and witnessing the horrific changes that occur I want to leave ... MarLin is 100% right!
    Cowboy Jim
    8th Oct 2018
    4:18pm
    When I came here I was on an overseas OAP plan. After a few years my consulate sent me a letter stating I should stop paying in to the one at home as they are working on a Social Security Agreement between the 2 countries and Australia will take over my pension. Then the wheels came off and it was too late for me to reconnect to the previous system, and now in old age I am being means tested.
    I was young then and trusted governments like an idiot, they were not necessarily devious then. Learnt my lesson and stopped being productive at 58 and travelled the world every year just to qualify for the OAP here. I had to even up the score - I was livid about the duplicity of Govts and anyone trying to be self supporting is just bonkers.
    Old Geezer
    8th Oct 2018
    4:29pm
    Yes we self funded retirees are just bonkers but we are answerable to no one and don't have to tell Centrelink we just sneezed.
    Cowboy Jim
    8th Oct 2018
    4:36pm
    Well, Old Geezer. I do not have that much reporting to do with Centrelink and when they take a few dollars off my energy bill because I might stay too long in sunnier climes I just accept it. But I still get my electricity rebate, council rebate and bulk billing.
    As a self funded person you most probably have to deal with the ATO and other institutions so there is no savings there either. But good luck - my life suits me.
    Old Geezer
    8th Oct 2018
    4:52pm
    I get a lot of those things without them even asking me for a pensioner care card too. I just smile and say thankyou. Electricity bill is not enough for a rebate and I don't own a house so no rates. ATO is no problem and I don't deal with any other institutions. I've got best of both worlds.
    Marty1
    8th Oct 2018
    10:28pm
    OG:
    I have lived & worked in Australia for 46 years but due to a work place injury working for the Australian Army I'm now widowed and need help & dealing with Comcare to get some help is impossible. My family lives in the UK and they have offered to help look after my but I'll need my part pension which I have paid for through blood & tears & people like you want to denigh me this. If I was an illegal immigrant like we currently have thousands off at the moment would you rather pay them my money that I paid income tax for. If that's how you feel then the government can pay me back all the taxes that I've paid in a lump sum including compounding interest, I think that is only fair Hard Worker, I did a lot for the community I lived in being a Scout Leader, office bearer in the Neighborhood Watch Program, Vice president of the school concert band & President of the support group raising funds & the President of the Rate Payers Association among other community programs. So think again. OG:
    Old Geezer
    14th Oct 2018
    3:04pm
    No.
    Russell
    14th Oct 2018
    1:25pm
    Unlike the miserable Old Geezer I am an Australian born citizen and I live in Thailand for one simple reason. I continued to work up until I was injured at the age of 68 and I was typically screwed by my employer, the insurance company and the government because under the workers compensation act then anyone who was injured at work after the retirement age was not covered by workers compensation and owing to my injuries if I lived in Australia I would need to take 5 to 6 codeine based pain killers per day but because of the climate here I do not need any. So not having any income I was forced to use what was left of my Superannuation for living on until I could claim the aged pension and that I could not do until after the court hearing into my injury which was another screw over because of my age and the compensation law. So according to Old Geezer I should not get the aged pension and instead go and live in pain back in Australia. What a self righteous idiot.
    Old Geezer
    14th Oct 2018
    3:04pm
    No OAP if you don't live in Australia.
    MarLin
    14th Oct 2018
    3:41pm
    Yes we heard you the first time, OG - now please give it a rest, for all our sakes.
    Public forums (and I'm sure the YLC team would agree) are provided to allow everyone to air their views regardless how different they might be - they are NOT here for you to use as a soapbox, especially when you never address the specific point/s being made.
    Russell
    14th Oct 2018
    4:00pm
    Old Geezer is what is commonly called a Troll in the circles of forums simply because they do not or cannot contribute to any reasonable conversation and try to use the forums only to dictate their own stupid responses to make themselves look important but it normally only makes them look uneducated and stupid. There are many trolls on many forums around the world.
    Russell
    15th Oct 2018
    1:25pm
    One thing that Liv must understand is that if she does want to live overseas and have the OAP then the OAP and its entitlements are different than those if she was living in Australia.
    To live overseas on the OAP you only get the basic pension and part of the supplement. You do not get assistance with your rent, utilities bills, medical expenses, vehicle registrations and licenses. No Seniors Card, No Medicare Card, No Concession Card, No Healthcare Card. All these things that you get concessions for in Australia you must pay top rate with no concession when living overseas. If I was living in Australia and claiming the OAP then it would cost the government a lot more money than they pay me on the OAP. They would have to pay rent assistance, utility supplement, all my medical bills and all my medications, my vehicle registration and drivers license, my travel on public transport


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