Michael would like to know how overseas trips will affect his payments.
Michael has just been granted a part Age Pension and, as a keen traveller, would like to know how overseas trips will affect his payments.
I have recently been granted a part Age Pension together with the Pensioner Concession Card. As a frequent overseas traveller, I now intend to maybe spend several months overseas during the winter months.
I am aware that if I am out of the country for a certain period of time (unknown to me at this stage) I have to advise Centrelink.
Can you please advise on:
a) the period of time I need to be out of the country before I need to advise Centrelink
b) how this effects my part pension
c) how this effects my utilities concessions
d) why this is necessary
e) the ramifications of non disclosure?
A. You are correct that you need to advise Centrelink if you leave the country and you should do this if you are planning an overseas visit of six weeks or more.
Your part Age Pension will still be paid at the same rate unless you intend to travel overseas for more than 26 weeks. If this is the case, then you will have the Work Life Residency calculation applied to your payment.
You should contact your utility provider for details on how it applies your concession when you are outside of Australia for a certain period of time; however, should you remain eligible for a Pension Concession Card, then it is likely that your utilities concession will not be affected.
The legislation is in place to stop people claiming an Age Pension and then moving overseas, where they may no longer qualify due to income and asset limits. If you don’t advise Centrelink and it has the need to contact you, then your payment can be stopped if contact isn’t made.
Centrelink also has to be confident that Australia is indeed your main country of residence, or it can relinquish your Age Pension payment.
If you were granted an Age Pension after returning to Australia following a period overseas, you have to remain in the country for two years or your payment may be stopped.
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