Age Pension for citizens overseas

Mick is unsure if he needs to return to Australia to claim an Age Pension.

Age Pension for citizens overseas

Mick is approaching pension eligibility age but as he resides overseas, he’s unsure if he needs to return to Australia to make a claim.

Q. Mick

I have lived and worked overseas since March 2007 and have continued to pay tax in Australia on my Australian investment, as a resident who lives overseas. I worked in Australia and paid my tax there from 1967 till 2007, a total of 40 years. Am I entitled to an Age Pension when I turn 65, or do I have to live in Australia to receive the Age Pension? Is it policy or legislation?

A. Unless you are living in a country that has an international social security agreement with Australia, you will need to return to Australia to claim an Age Pension. If granted, you will then need to remain in Australia for two years to ensure your Age Pension is portable.

You can find out more about the legislation at guides.dss.gov.au





    COMMENTS

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    loraines
    26th Oct 2015
    10:28am
    On the other hand, if I migrated to Australia in 1988 after 20+ years of paying tax on fulltime work in the UK, am I eligible to get a UK Pension now that I am an Australian citizen and live here? I did think I would be eligible for the 'frozen' amount as it would have been in 1988, but it appears not so any more.
    MarLin
    26th Oct 2015
    3:17pm
    Hi Loraines - it's more "moving goalposts", I think. But you should still get something. When I applied for age pension here in Oz I was told to claim in UK first, because - like you - I'd paid taxes ("insurance") in the UK. That was 7 years ago so things may have changed, but the UK people were a delight to correspond with and, without my asking, explained that I was "entitled" (a non-word according to arrogant, out of touch, but now departed so who cares, smoking Joe) to pay a lesser rate to purchase several years entitlements retrospectively. I did that and ended up with a lovely 100 quid a week. The catch, of course (not that I'm complaining) is that Centrelink then deduct that 100 quid, at their exchange rate, from whatever age pension they deem you eligible for here. The other catch, which I think you're alluding to with use of the word "frozen", is that whatever you get from the UK is not indexed so it's frozen in time from the day you get it (apart from exchange rate fluctuations, of course). Good luck!
    John M
    26th Oct 2015
    11:22am
    Want the pension? Live in Australia otherwise you are just another economic refugee same as those that come here by boat. If you wanted Watney Red Barrel you should have stayed in England.
    Sweatshop Greed
    26th Oct 2015
    11:51am
    Why do all pensioners living overseas get dumped in the same basket? I was made redundant in 1996, and tried for more than six months to get a job. At 56 years of age, I did courses, went to agencies, and even moved from Melbourne to Perth, but I was simply too old. So, I did en ESL (English as a Second Language) course in Perth, found work in Thailand, and then, was able to get off unemployment benefits, and work overseas until I was 67. Then, because of a bill passed while I was overseas, I had to return to Australia for 2 years in order to receive my pension in Thailand. I was separated from my wife for almost a year, as the pension I was getting wasn't considered enough to support her in Australia.

    Now I am retired, and living a comfortable life here. I am not a burden on the Australian Health system. I could go on, but please don't compare me with the boat people. Incidentally, I am a fifth generation Australian and proud of it. I just can't afford to live there.
    loraines
    26th Oct 2015
    11:56am
    Don't compare me with the boat people either. I've worked fulltime and paid taxes to Australia for 27 years now (more than I worked in the UK). I deserve my pension as and when I receive it, and so long as they don't keep moving the goalposts out to 90.

    And I have never in my life drunk Watney Red Barrel.
    MICK
    26th Oct 2015
    3:28pm
    Wouldn't you hate to be a politician. What I have noticed over a long period of time is that people who do the right thing, who are not a burden on the social security system and who try to fend for themselves are always hit the hardest and made to feel that they are leeches on the rest of society. Same thing for people who try to avoid the pension system altogether.
    You'd think that politicians would value those who try to make their own way rather than use them as scapegoats.
    aly_rob60
    28th Oct 2015
    11:45am
    HMMM, it seems that Joe Hockey (and others like him) can go and take up a post overseas, earn a ridiculous amount of money and STILL get an Australian Pension, to the value of $90k per annum!

    We as lowly taxpayers, looking for a cheaper way to live overseas, couldn't even DREAM of receiving something like that!

    I currently don't even crack it for $20k per annum!
    Cat
    2nd Nov 2015
    12:33pm
    The idea that anyone could even be an economic refugee here is a joke, because there is no prosperity here unless you are a corrupt morally bankrupt government official who are the only ones enjoying any prosperity for stabbing lifelong hardworking tax paying citizens in the back from every direction.

    You work hard and pay tax here for all or decades of your life and get little or nothing out of it, after which there is no decent retirement to look forward to, just the prospect of potential homelessness after working hard all your life because of the blown out cost of survival. At the very least, after all that, we earned the right to be able to leave with something.
    Aussie
    13th Dec 2018
    12:08pm
    Just another racist like many of you around very very jealous of other people that have brains and be able to live better than you ....... Incredible comments ....
    Aussie
    13th Dec 2018
    12:08pm
    Just another racist like many of you around very very jealous of other people that have brains and be able to live better than you ....... Incredible comments ....
    tj
    26th Oct 2015
    12:33pm
    What a rude comment by an ill-mannered arrogant person.(JOHN M ) Maybe something to bear in mind ,bit out of left field ,but after 50 years or so my wife decided to get naturalised.Reason for the wait was she was going to wait until she turned 60 as it was free,but goal posts have been moved she now has to pay ,but never mind thems the breaks .She filled all the paperwork etc etc. waited and waited then finally got a response from Duttons office that because she spent the winter in bali that exceeded 90 days she had to get a police clearance from Indonesia.How on earth anybody can do that from Australia was mind boggling.Had to get a Senator here in SA to liase on her behalf as dealing with the dept. was a nightmare ,finally the dept agreed to accept a stat dec saying she didn't get into trouble from one of the most corrupt countries in the world. So if you are in similar position pop into a police station before you return slip someone $40 and get some paperwork to say you never committed any offence
    MICK
    26th Oct 2015
    3:30pm
    Unfortunately there is no law against stupidity and no accountability law which can see public servants sacked for ignorance, stupidity or intentional bastardry. There should be.
    aly_rob60
    28th Oct 2015
    11:45am
    We agree Mick....it is time for a change!
    Barry
    26th Oct 2015
    1:35pm
    Who does that "so called" John M think he is? Nothing but a rude, arrogate and illiterate dick head if you ask me. Is it possible to ban stupidity on these pages? He'd be the first to go.
    MICK
    26th Oct 2015
    3:32pm
    The question is if it is possible to ban foul mother people hanging off the ceiling who want to silence anybody who does not make the sounds they want to hear.
    Keep it clean Barry and mount an ARGUMENT rather than get into the gutter.
    John M
    26th Oct 2015
    4:18pm
    John M is a fifth generation Australian whose family has handled their own affairs so they haven't or aren't a burden to society by financing their own retirement and is sick of whinging Poms who have been here for years, haven't bothered becoming citizens and put out their hands for their "entitlement" when they should have been setting themselves up for retirement.
    jackyd
    26th Oct 2015
    6:40pm
    'Hanging off the ceiling '...
    Sometimes I luv ya Mick!
    Aussie
    13th Dec 2018
    12:12pm
    John M ... you may be a fifth generation but still a racist ignorant and very very jealous of others wowowowowo come on get real ans think before you talk to us or get out of here
    Pollyanna
    26th Oct 2015
    2:01pm
    If you have paid tax for most of your life are you not entitled to something back. What about other people from countries such as England and Germany who reside in Australia but still get their pension from whence they come. But on the other hand why should the ex politicians still get paid and all their perks when they leave office and get another high powered job overseas What is good for the goose is not always good for the gander.
    Rae
    26th Oct 2015
    2:23pm
    No Pollyanna you are not entitled to anything back at all.

    There are groups of Australians that have received very little government welfare ever.

    They have worked and saved and are entirely self funding.

    It is a pity we do not have a universal aged pension such as NZ does but we don't. It would be very good for small businesses if we did and save a huge amount of money spent by Centrelink to manage the pension. In fact I suspect the savings would likely pay for the universal pension when coupled with the boost to business and taxes that the extra money creating demand would produce.

    It is the ideology though that gets in the way. Too many Australians are jealous of those with the discipline to save.

    There is also a nasty attitude to those unfortunate enough to have had health or relationship disadvantages. Or been downsized from employment. They should be better cared for.

    Strangely enough it seems to be the wealthiest in the society that are the least willing to see ordinary workers get ahead.
    MICK
    26th Oct 2015
    3:33pm
    Not sure but is the pension not adjusted for overseas pensions?
    John M
    26th Oct 2015
    4:10pm
    Exactly Pollyanna. You are not entitled to a pension. My father grew up during the Depression, worked bought a house and financed his retirement because he didn't want to be a burden to society.
    People come and work here and don't even bother becoming citizens then expect to get a pension should move on back to the old country.
    Barry
    26th Oct 2015
    4:24pm
    Well, well, well Mick. Joining the dick head club are you? Explain what this gutter is you're referring to mate.
    Adrianus
    27th Oct 2015
    6:18pm
    Barry, what do you mean joining? mick has been a foundation member. Come down before you hurt yourself!
    Peterrj
    26th Oct 2015
    4:50pm
    Hey Mick, 'You'd think that politicians would value those who try to make their own way ....' They do love you, as your comments suggest, in that you are 'cashed up' and you are ready for the soon to be 'free for all milking' of your saved cash that is to be given to those less fortunate than yourself, i.e. Those on the full Aged Pension! Don't worry, it 'ain't' even started yet!!!! My advice is 'willingly spend now' while you still have some cash or have it forcefully taken from you in future taxes and/or bond money for your future community living!!! NB: My definition of those 'cashed up' are those who have reached pensionable age who receive no or part Aged Pension!

    26th Oct 2015
    5:01pm
    interesting comments from barry and peterrj, don't know what to think of it
    Peterrj
    26th Oct 2015
    5:41pm
    Heemskerk99, please don't take my advice as the Govt will need your unspent cash to pay the poor pensioners who have either spent their cash or who have never saved for their retirement. Plus your cash could also be used to pay for those who don't have sufficient money to pay the required bond money to enter an Aged Care Hostel. Everybody, please save your cash so I can later used it when I spend some more. What will you soon call a 'millionaire pensioner' .... A fully self funded mug! What a magic pudding social security is ... Spend your cash on holidays, booze and high times and then receive free money for having had a really great time!

    NB, tell me if I am wrong, 'entry into an Aged Care Facility is on a needs basis' and if you have cash you pay the bond to enter the Hostel BUT if you don't have the bond money then entry is free.

    So please don't take my bad advice, save as much as you can for your retirement as I may need it when I can no longer afford to buy champagne!
    oldileaks
    26th Oct 2015
    5:01pm
    I am responding to loraines and linhmartin and hope that they read and act on this information. I would advise loraines to contact British Pensions in Australia (BPiA) on 1300308353 or if in Western Australia 0863640859. They are a volunteer organisation who can guide you through the changes in the UK State pension rule changes and regulations and will help you uncover your full UK pension Entitlement. linhmartin is correct that the UK State pension is taken into account when working out your Centrelink pension. However the maximum that will be deducted is 50 cents in the dollar so you will be a minimum of 50 cents better off for every extra dollar you receive from the UK. Additionally there is a tax allowance that you can claim as well if you are an Australian taxpayer. BPiA can give your the truse fact and fee advice to our members.
    oldileaks
    26th Oct 2015
    5:15pm
    My apologies every one the last line should have read "BPiA can give you the true facts and free advice to our members".
    Barry
    26th Oct 2015
    7:45pm
    C'mon Mick. Answer the question. What do you mean by "the gutter" and "hanging off the ceiling?
    As for that other moron, John M, I entered this country from NZ in 2003 so don't qualify to be a citlzen (only a permanent resident) don't qualify to vote nor have an Australian passport. However, I DO qualify for an Australian pension, a UK pension and a NZ pension. Admittedly though, my Australian pension is adjusted depending on the amount of the other 2. I simply get the pension because I've paid (and still do) all my due taxes for the last 53 years in all 3 countries.
    Peterrj
    26th Oct 2015
    10:21pm
    Barry, I hate to disillusion you but you are way off the mark when you say, "I simply get the pension BECAUSE I've paid my due taxes." Nope, that's not correct because in OZ the only qualifications needed to get the Aged Pension is to have a lack of funds and be of pensionable age. If you work and have assets then that may disqualify you from getting any Aussie Pension due to having too many assets. But if you have never paid any taxes then most likely you will automatically qualify for the Aged Pension having graduated from some other form of Social Service payment. One of the reasons you have paid taxes all your working Iife is to help pay an income to those who, for what ever reason, don't work and have no assets. Paying your due tax does NOT guarantee you any Government assistance in retirement. So please keep on paying your due taxes as I want some more of it! It's a simple formula: No tax = No money for Social Security payments! In fact, I think that all taxes should be increased, exempt for the GST as I can't avoid that tax can I?
    Barry
    26th Oct 2015
    11:51pm
    I hope you didn't misunderstand me PeterrJ. I DO realise that paying taxes doesn't entitle anyone to a pension but I don't have assets anywhere near the figure that would qualify me as a self funded retiree.....hence I qualify afore a pension.
    Peterrj
    27th Oct 2015
    12:29am
    Hi Barry, sorry, I thought you said, 'I simply get the pension because I've paid (and still do) all my due taxes for the last 53 years ...' Can I ask you this, if you paid less tax ie. had less income, would you get paid more pension money? I am not critical as this is the system we all have to deal with. If you receive a part Aged Pension then you would be partly Self Funded. As ironic is it sounds, at pensionable age, a person with $850,000 in assets ie, Super will soon have less income than if the same person had less than half of that amount! Boys and Girls, the Magic Pudding is real for those currently on a small part Aged Pension .... Spend more and get paid more FOC ... I like those rules!!
    Onemore
    27th Oct 2015
    5:08am
    What I don't understand is why the government introduced these new rules.
    Was it because too much money was leaving their coffers to overseas countries?
    Or maybe they want total control of our lives, or they don't like the idea of us having a good time before "D" day?
    Either or, I will still see how I can manage to live in Asia with the new rules, somewhere that I can afford to live, all be it comfortably, instead of living a life of misery downunder.
    john
    27th Oct 2015
    9:27am
    Australian pensions are means tested unlike some other countries
    Peterrj
    28th Oct 2015
    8:02am
    Barry states that he is an Aged Pensioner while still working and that he still pays his tax each year. And I encourage that 100%. But let's look at the crazy statistics. At pensionable age you can earn $162 if single or $288 for a couple plus a 'concession' of an extra $250 each fortnight before your full Aged Pension is reduced by 50c for every $1 over these amounts. So $162 or $288 + $250 X 26 = $10,712 single or $13,988. Of course both figures are well short of the tax entry point of $18,200 plus if you earn over $18,200 then there is the $445 low earners rebate which effectively means that you have to earn about another $2,400 before you pay $1 tax. This means that people like Barry, a tax paying Aged Pensioner, has to earn at least $20,500 income per year before they start paying any tax. And this is without claiming any deductions but let's stick with the taxable income of $20,500. At this stage the full Aged Pensioner is reduced by 50c for every dollar over $10,712 single or $$13,988 married ie they now have their Aged Pension reduced by ($20,5000 - $10,712 single or $13,988 divided by 2 =) $4,894/yr single or $3,256/yr married. Then for every $1 above when you have a tax liability ($20,500) your full Aged Pension is reduced by 50c AND you pay, at least, 19c tax plus the Medicare levy of 2c = 19c, say 20c as that number is easier to conceptionalise from that taxed dollar earnt. I am a stats tax mug so don't take my word as Gospel and if I am wrong please correct my stats. So what do I conclude? I encourage you to work hard, have a taxable income and pay your due taxes ...... Otherwise there may not be enough to pay me my pension!!! Don't forget, it takes 8 out of every 10 tax payers just to pay the Social Service bill!! So get back to work to support those that don't or can't work, OK? And NO, just because you have paid your due taxes every year of your working life that alone does not entitle you to the Aged Pension so stop whinging about 'I have paid my tax etx'. So please work hard for those who don't ... You owe that to your country!
    Cat
    2nd Nov 2015
    12:51pm
    You are right that it is not likely that anyone would be paying tax on some little extra income that they were getting. The problem is that you only earn as little as $162.00 for the fortnight before they take 50c for every dollar earned deducted from your pension. They do this to the disabled to so that the pensioner can never have a decent income and get out of poverty because, even if you were only doing a bit of work at minimum wage, only one 3 hour shift per week would take you above that $162.00 per fortnight and it would equate to you getting paid half the minimum wage for your lousy 3 hours work which you are getting nothing out of once you account for petrol, car rego & insurance or the blown out cost of public transport to be able to get to the job.

    One 3 hr shift per week is the lowest legal allowable limit for working so that means that by setting the threshold there Centrelink has made deliberately sure that no one would ever keep a single dollar of what they earned on the pension whether you are someone on DSP or the age pension. It is just another way of the government leaches destroying any chance for any kind of prosperity for people who work their guts out all their lives or who have a disability so that politicians or overpaid government leaches can leach more money for themselves.
    Cat
    2nd Nov 2015
    1:10pm
    Also alot of people wrongly believe that you get to keep the measly $162.00 per fortnight and that they start deducting after that. No, even if that was all you got for the fortnight from 3 hrs work each week or what ever you worked to get that amount for the fortnight, they deduct 50c per dollar including the $162.00 not after that. So if you only earned $162.00 per fortnight, you only benefit from half of that, you are only $81.00 better off for the fortnight. Once you take cost of doing or going to the work into account, it is not worth it because as well as transport you might have to buy specific clothes and shoes and there is no allowance for this and it is not tax deductable without company logo but you are so poor you are not paying tax anyway so it is just an expense that stops anyone from being able to benefit from working like that. This is more dispicable for the disabled person who would likely have some kind of extra struggle or higher expense to get assistance do or get to this work, and that is not taken into account and they are not entitled to mobility allowance at that work level because you have to be working quite a bit more than that to get that.

    Centrelink also misleads people by wrongly telling them that they are better off if they do this work, and especially for the disabled person, and even for the aged pensioner that is totally false and misleading as it has proven that for most disabled people they are actually worse off for it financially and otherwise by exacerbating their condition only to be ripped off half of the pittance they were getting. It's a disgrace.
    Peterrj
    4th Nov 2015
    11:24am
    Cat, I'd hate to get into a cat fight with you but I don't fully accept what you say. My comments are only directed to those on the Aged Pension. I don't know the rules for the 1 million Aussie Disability Pensioners but those on the Aged pension get an extra free kick of earning an extra $250/fn before the $168 single and the $288 rules start applying before you lose 50c in the dollar from your pension. The comments must also be read in respect to people in similar circumstances like Barry. I conclude that if you are an Aged Pensioner and are actually paying tax then perhaps you should reconsider bludging a bit more on the Govt free lolly ... But I don't really want you to do that as I need the tax money you will pay to allow me to live my lifestyle that I currently have. Problem is, that free lolly may run out one day .... What will I then do?
    Peterrj
    28th Oct 2015
    8:24am
    Help,me out here .... Is the Aged Pension taxable income??? In other words, do you include the income from your Aged Pension to other income to work out your tax liability? Is there a special tax rebate or off set for income for the Aged Pension income? Work, tax, it's all too hard ... If you stay at home and get FOC money from the Governemnt then you don't have these worries! I note that DOM is on special this week ....
    Cat
    2nd Nov 2015
    1:18pm
    I'm pretty certain that aged pension is not taxed, it is tax exempt and only interest or money earned after that is taxed but only if it is over a certain amount, which used to be $15,000 but I don't know what the threshold is now. It would be better for you to check with someone who knows more about it as I am not an expert on this. The problem is if you ask Centrelink, they sometimes give wrong financial information and they refuse to take any responsiblity for that. Even if you prove they caused you financial harm the courts and tribunals still ignore that evidence and rule in their favor because they have a deep seated prejudice against people on any kind of benefits, so you need to speak to someone who is an expert. Maybe the welfare rights hotline.
    Peterrj
    4th Nov 2015
    11:49am
    Help me out, Cat claims: " ... alot of people wrongly believe that those on the DSP's get to keep the full extra income of $162.00 per fortnight and that they start deducting after that. No, (even if that is all you have earned) you only benefit from half of that, you are only $81.00 better off for the fortnight."

    I thought that you could earn and keep $168/fn and still keep the full DSP if that is all you have earned that fortnight???

    Amy thoughts out there on that???.
    Nose Hair Bob
    19th Nov 2018
    2:36pm
    Would the same 2 year rule apply if I was on holiday for say 1, 2 or 3 years prior to my pension date even though I am resident and own my own home here?


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