Age Pension for citizens overseas

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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

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Written by Debbie McTaggart

43 Comments

Total Comments: 43
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    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.

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      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!

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    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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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!

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      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.

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      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 ….

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      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 ….

  3. 0
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    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

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    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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      ‘Hanging off the ceiling ‘…
      Sometimes I luv ya Mick!

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      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

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    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.

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      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.

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      Not sure but is the pension not adjusted for overseas pensions?

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      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.

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    Well, well, well Mick. Joining the dick head club are you? Explain what this gutter is you’re referring to mate.

  7. 0
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    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!

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    interesting comments from barry and peterrj, don’t know what to think of it

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      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!

  9. 0
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    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.

  10. 0
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    My apologies every one the last line should have read “BPiA can give you the true facts and free advice to our members”.

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