5th Feb 2015
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Age Pension and overseas travel
Age Pension and overseas travel

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. 

Q. Michael

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.





    COMMENTS

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    Boydie
    9th Feb 2015
    10:24am
    If you are travelling overseas on any Centrelink payment for any length of time you need to advise Centrelink, they will run whats called "portablility" on your record and tell you if your payment can continue, otherwise leaving the country will be picked up by immigration and your payment will be stopped immediately.
    MICK
    9th Feb 2015
    10:51am
    I find it strange that immigrants living here from all acounts (??) are being paid a pension from their country of origin. Sounds like it is one way traffic, but if our government has its way I suspect that many Australians will be thrown off any pension entitlement altogether.
    We live in interesting times.
    *Imagine*
    9th Feb 2015
    11:55am
    Correct Mick. I worked in the UK for 11 plus years in the sixties and for that I receive a part UK pension that is neither asset nor income tested, but will not increase over time. However, Centrelink, who instructed me to apply for the UK pension, deduct that amount from my part AUS pension. Result, the Brits are working to support my UK pension that is twice that received by Centrelink, despite working in AUS for 30 plus years on a much higher wage. Interesting times indeed.
    MICK
    9th Feb 2015
    2:10pm
    Thanks for the background Imagine. It is always good to get a perspective.
    SGW
    9th Feb 2015
    11:12am
    Big Brother again
    SGW
    9th Feb 2015
    11:21am
    Ive been a labour voter all my life, but both lots put me in despair, I'm in a safe Labour seat, has been for as long as i can remember (30 odd years) so i don't think it will change, but i would the whole political system changed.
    I remember reading a brilliant article by former NSW MP Ted Mack about changing the system.
    If anyone can find it, please post it here.
    MICK
    9th Feb 2015
    11:33am
    Ted Mack is a man who I respect and this is not true for most of our political representatives who are out there for their own needs and who are happy to sell out the nation if it keeps them in a well paying job with perks everywhere. And you wond why Mack was demonised when he spoke against insiders who gave themselves deals which nobody else could.
    ballaratboy
    9th Feb 2015
    12:08pm
    Oh, that the whole system needs changing is SO TRUE, but don't hold your breath waiting for it to happen. If only our politicians would work together for the betterment of our country instead of concentrating on getting re-elected.
    Radish
    11th Feb 2015
    5:39pm
    SGW...did a bit of research and I think I have found what you were wanting.

    https://parkesfoundation.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/hporation2013.pdf
    Mike
    9th Feb 2015
    11:35am
    Could anyone clarify what happens when a part old age pensioner and his partner who also happens to be his carer want to go overseas for a holiday
    ourjeffie
    9th Feb 2015
    12:46pm
    Mike I suggest you contact Centrelink directly about this
    SGW
    9th Feb 2015
    11:50am
    Silly me posted my last post on the wrong page
    SGW
    9th Feb 2015
    11:54am
    Remember Mick we didn't earn our pension it's a hand out off the government, thats why i paid my taxes for 40 years
    MICK
    9th Feb 2015
    2:21pm
    You seem to be contradicting yourself there SGW. Whilst a pension is an 'entitlement' it is inherently wrong for any first world government to throw people who have worked all of their lives into financial misery. The current government would if it could but seems happy to send $8 billion a year to the fossil fuel industries (Carbon Tax repeal) as well as bribe genY voters with a Paid Parental Leave Scheme.
    Howeve, we need also to be realistic and to realise that average Australians can do quite nicely on the pension if they own their own home and are frugal. I make this observation because my wife and I are self funded and with just a little more than the equivalent of the pension we can pay all of our bills and travel overseas for 2 months a year. Its all about being fugal, budgetting and not spending money on things you can do without.
    Of course some people have circumstances which the above do not encompass but they are not the norm.
    It will be interesting what the next 12 months brings with a government desperate to be re-elected and willing to bribe voters 'whatever it takes' to get back in. I'd bet on that one.
    Pamjean
    9th Feb 2015
    1:19pm
    I have been officially told recently that you do not need to advise Centrelink if less than 6 weeks overseas.
    ballaratboy
    9th Feb 2015
    1:28pm
    I would ask for that in writing if I were you :)
    particolor
    9th Feb 2015
    7:53pm
    Don't tell them Your going to Syria !!
    ray from Bondi
    9th Feb 2015
    1:35pm
    I wonder if this applies to the generous pension of masters receive, their payments are only that we can only dream off, but is payed from the same place.
    MICK
    9th Feb 2015
    2:23pm
    In the words of George Bernard Shaw (Animal Farm) "all pigs are equal. Its just that some pigs are more equal than others".
    I never thought I'd appreciate the words of a dead man so far into the future.
    Horizon
    11th Feb 2015
    4:01pm
    I was actual George Orwell who wrote Animal Farm
    as a response to Communism
    But the sentiment is correct
    mogo51
    9th Feb 2015
    2:54pm
    Lets wait to see what happens following the 3 ring circus show over the past week as these overpaid swill in Canberra, carry on like muppets.
    It is clear that Australians rightly do not want to see assets sold. So the only alternative is to increase taxes, I see a need for an increase in GST and it made simple by being across the board, with adjustments for pensioners and low income earners.
    Also full scale attack on the rich not paying the same proportion of tax as wage earners, companies also to be included, particularly International companies.
    MICK
    9th Feb 2015
    3:11pm
    Don't believe all that you hear. I already have word that Hockey has no intention of going after the rich or multinationals. It looks to be sabre rattling, nothing more. We'll see I guess.
    KSS
    9th Feb 2015
    6:58pm
    Oh well if Mick 'has word' it must be right.
    trood
    9th Feb 2015
    3:24pm
    I am under the impression your basic pension continues to be paid while you are overseas, but the energy & pension supplements drop off after a while
    FrankC
    9th Feb 2015
    3:56pm
    When you leave and re-enter the country, Centrelink are informed by a link to customs. I remember one day at Centrelink when a guy was showing me certain tables and pressed the wrong (!) key, and up came all the dates we had gone on holiday overseas. I asked what are they doing there and he explained about the link saying "oops, you weren't supposed to see that" What else do they have that we aren't supposed to know about. 1984 is alive and well and living in Australia
    KSS
    9th Feb 2015
    6:57pm
    The tax office, immigration and Centrelink are all linked together and have been for a number of years now.
    Tomaso
    9th Feb 2015
    5:03pm
    Imagine, I did the same as you, for 18 years, but so far have not claimed the penalised pension system that is going on here....
    di_par
    10th Feb 2015
    2:34am
    Here is the link to Centerlink's website, section for Age Pensioners traveling overseas:

    http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/centrelink/age-pension/age-pension-while-travelling-outside-australia
    SGW
    10th Feb 2015
    12:06pm
    Tongue in cheek Mick. I recon iv'e earn't it
    Tomaso
    10th Feb 2015
    12:08pm
    Is that e mail address to discourage you from applying, !!!!!!
    tj
    10th Feb 2015
    12:17pm
    If it helps i spent 6 months in bali last year i get part old age pension .I rang the international dept. of center link informed them i was going and i also rang them when i got back but didnt really have to as they know the instant you go through immigration here.Icant remember excactly how long it was before pension was reduced but it was about $40 fortnight.you will recieve a new concession card after about 2 weeks when you return so good idea if you need medication make sure you have enough to tide you over on your return .
    george meni
    10th Feb 2015
    9:01pm
    Nearly 2 years ago I was told that I can go an leave overseas on my age pension,without having to worry about telling the local SS,can someone please tell me what did change since then???


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