Changes to pensions overseas

When you leave Australia your rate of payment may change after 26 weeks.

Changes to pensions overseas

When you leave Australia you can be paid your Age Pension indefinitely, although your rate of payment may change after 26 weeks. Your rate of payment is based on the amount of time you have lived in Australia as an Australian resident between the age of 16 and Age Pension age.

From 1 July 2014, the way in which this calculation is made will change. Currently, if you have lived in Australia as an Australian resident for a full 25 years then you will receive your full rate of Age Pension. If you have lived in Australia for less than 25 years, then your pension will be pro rata after 26 weeks outside Australia. This will continue if you leave Australia before 1 July 2014 and if you are out of the country on this date. For those who leave Australia on or after 1 July 2015, you will need to have lived in Australia as an Australian resident for 35 years to receive a full Age Pension, If not, your pension will be paid pro rata after 26 weeks.

For example,

If you have lived in Australia as an Australian resident for 18 years after turning 16, meet all the Age Pension eligibility criteria and decide to move overseas, then you will receive 18/25ths of the full rate of Age Pension, or 72 per cent, after 26 weeks absence.

Or,

If you leave after 1 July 2014, you will receive 18/35ths of the full rate of Age Pension – 51.4 per cent, after 26 weeks.

Pensions paid under a social security agreement will be subject to rules covered by that agreement and under most, this means your payment will reduce.

If you are travelling to New Zealand there are specific rules which cover the rate of pension which will be paid.

For more information, you should contact Human Services on 13 2300, or visit Humanservices.gov.au





    COMMENTS

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    Chiangmai-Brian
    30th May 2014
    9:56am
    Just to clarify this Item Q I lived in Australia from 1949 to 2000 51 years Australian Passport, currently in Australia so if I went overseas say November 2014 would I get the Full Pension?
    less the supplements
    mogo51
    30th May 2014
    10:04am
    As I read it Brian, it is the years from age 16 that you resided in Australia, so if you have 25 years from age 16 you are ok. But I would check with CL as they change like the wind.
    Sallad
    30th May 2014
    10:23am
    Your rate of payment will be based on the amount of time you lived in Australia as an Australian resident "between the age of 16" and "age pension age".
    Waterbabe
    30th May 2014
    11:03am
    Yes - sounds like it is right - you should be covered for full - but watch for Colonel C'Link's 'interpretation'. They are often deliberately dumb.... (and obstructive, petty, foggy-headed, self-interested, lackey lickers to the 'government of the day' in true 'independent' public service style, outright nasty them trolls and bad wi' yer money!, etc)....

    Sounds like a full 25 years from 16 UP - but watch them - they might say "Oh, no - it means you had to be sixteen or under before you started" - yardle, yardle....
    MICK
    30th May 2014
    5:06pm
    Waterbabe: At last I have found somebody on this site who has a bit of understanding. Certainly expect this government to continue coming after pensioners and their payments. As uncle Joe said at the end of hid budget speech "we're not finished yet" and I interpret this as 'we want to given even more money to wealthy Australians and big business so we'll come after you again'.
    Tony PROMISED a lot and has no "mandate", promised "no surprises" as well as guilt edged guarantees about what he would not touch....and he has done just the opposite.
    "We want an election" .
    particolor
    30th May 2014
    9:13pm
    I'm afraid to tell You that if You are Traveling to New Zilland we will be unable to Reserve Your Spot on Bondi Beach until Your Return !!
    Chiangmai-Brian
    30th May 2014
    10:24am
    thanks mogo 51 never thought about the age of 16 requirement though i still have more than 25 years
    1954 t0 2000 = 46 years
    rowette
    30th May 2014
    10:44am
    Hi
    Just a quick point on what you have written.. If you check the human resources link that you supplied it state "IF you can be paid you pension indefinitely while you are outside Australia". You have actually written " when you leave Australia you can be paid you Age Pension indefiniately". This may confuse people quite a lot and they will think that they are entitled to receive their age pension if they move overseas and my understanding of this is that it all depends on the country and you may need to fly back to Australia every 6 months. Not sure on all of that but better to be safe than sorry :)
    Waterbabe
    30th May 2014
    11:05am
    Good point, and it still means that your extra to cover power etc will be cut after I think six weeks... or something. You obviously dont use power over there... argh, aye - in auld country use spermaceti candle fer good loight, and foine foire fer cookin'!
    MICK
    30th May 2014
    5:08pm
    Come on Waterbabe, fair is fair. Some of this is beginning to sound like rorting.
    particolor
    30th May 2014
    7:56pm
    FAR TOO GENEROUS !! You Jump Ship ! You Get NOTHING !!
    tactful
    30th May 2014
    10:53am
    I must be out of step with the rest of the world. When you decide that Australia is no longer good enough to live in and head overseas to live then you should not be paid anything at all. I firmly believe that if it was good enough for you to live and work in this country then to receive a pension you need to be living in this country. Short absences of less than 3 months in any 12 month period would be acceptable.
    Remember ALL Social Security payments are there as a safety net they are NOT a guaranteed entitlement.
    Waterbabe
    30th May 2014
    11:07am
    May not be a 'guaranteed entitlement' - but it is NOT a safety net alone. It is an EARNED and PAID FOR safety net ONLY bounded by the level of income you enjoy on retirement. As before, it's like insurance - you pay and only cop a payout if and when you need it. It IS, however, an entitlement.
    Andy
    30th May 2014
    1:03pm
    tactful, the age pension is indeed a guaranteed payment, no matter where you live, all people on age pension has paid more than their fair share of tax. One of the reasions tax was introduced was so the politicians could pay their parents,and others a small wage to live on with. pitty help any politician that forgets that fact. Just to add to that, the government that brought in long service, did so because they could see this as a new way of getting free money, yes they used up so much of it, they broke a couple of companys. Age 16, this age for start date was picked because most of us pensioners had to leave school age 15, because most parents could not afford to keep us at school any longer.
    MICK
    30th May 2014
    5:10pm
    Tactful: Many countries pay pensioners to foreigners who come to live in Australia at the end of their lives. Whilst there may be an argument each way do you expect people to go overseas where the country they are living in will not pay them one red cent (dracma?).
    MICK
    30th May 2014
    5:10pm
    Tactful: Many countries pay pensioners to foreigners who come to live in Australia at the end of their lives. Whilst there may be an argument each way do you expect people to go overseas where the country they are living in will not pay them one red cent (dracma?).
    particolor
    30th May 2014
    8:07pm
    Aussie Pension Velly Good !! 1 Kilo Rice 2 Bart !! .About 1/2 a Cent Aussie !! Please keep send Pension !!
    Emps
    23rd Nov 2015
    11:35am
    I have paid taxes all my working life. My pension is an entitlement earned, it is not a safety net, or some other socialist description. It is mine and i will claim it anywhere on Earth i choose to go.
    Chiangmai-Brian
    30th May 2014
    10:57am
    Hi Chiangmai Brian Again it has been pointed out that my Post is ambiguous and perhaps confusing So to Clarify I am on the Age Pension and have been for ten years and have been paid the pension when living overseas in a Non reciprocal country. I am back in Australia for a short visit then returning overseas after the first of July when these new rules start.
    It would seem the new rules will not affect me. thanks everyone for you input Note * today was my first post*
    particolor
    30th May 2014
    8:10pm
    And My next Post will be written in ..%$(&@%)! ^%)@(%$## *@)(*!^#@&
    artlynk
    30th May 2014
    11:23am
    If I am 61 and on a Disability Pension - and thinking of going travelling for longer than the 4-6 weeks that seems to be some sort of time-limit - will I be paid too? I am in the first thoughts of going for a trip, as I haven't been since 1986??? thought I'd go for months, rather than weeks ???
    niemakawa
    30th May 2014
    5:10pm
    I believe the limit is now 4 weeks for DSP recipients. After this time your payment will most likely be stopped. Also you may have to re-apply for the DSP upon your return to Australia if you have been absent for more than 4 weeks. There are special circumstances that may allow some flexibility in this arrangement. Check with Centrelink well in advance of commencing your travels.
    Misterpeter
    30th May 2014
    12:03pm
    Hi Both my wife and myself have been saving $5.00 each per week now for a number of years, so we can go over and spend about 6 months with her brothers and sisters, and also see my only sister, we look like being able to go next year as we have $4000 now, and we are now worried about loosing our pension, as we still need to pay our rent here, is there a time limit ? we have been retired now for 8 years so need to go before we get to old thanks
    particolor
    30th May 2014
    8:18pm
    Dump the Hovel till You get back and You will have more money than Kevin Could Spend !!
    Disco Diver
    30th May 2014
    12:52pm
    Is this rule still the same if you are a Citizen holding an Australian passport or just a resident not holding an Australian passport.
    particolor
    30th May 2014
    8:29pm
    Well it depend on if the Cake has Icing on it or it is a Plain Cake !.. One will attract the Good Sponge Ticket. And the other will end Your Chances of ever becoming Prime Minister !! I hope that Helped ??..
    UNCLE FESTER
    30th May 2014
    1:28pm
    You have missed an important point:
    "For those who leave Australia on or after 1 July 2015, you will need to have lived in Australia as an Australian resident FOR 35 YEARS to receive a full Age Pension, If not, your pension will be paid pro rata after 26 weeks."
    particolor
    30th May 2014
    8:45pm
    OR 35 YEARS on Manus Island !!
    Sweatshop Greed
    30th May 2014
    1:35pm
    I would like to write in response to tactful. You state people left Australia because they thought is was not good enough. Well, I left Australia at the age of 57, because, after being made redundant, I was considered too old to get work. I got a teaching job in Thailand, married a Thai lady and we have lived a happy life for 15 years. I didn't want to accept the governments handout when I was still fit to work. However, now I get the full pension (I worked in Australia for 35 years) and believe I am entitled to it.
    Chiangmai-Brian
    30th May 2014
    1:59pm
    fantastic pos
    t i endorse your comments I wonder what would happen if all the expats in many countries all came back and tried to get in a nursing home utter Chaos I would think
    particolor
    30th May 2014
    8:23pm
    And the Squabbling over the last Black and Gold Biscuit would be Hair Raising !!
    niemakawa
    30th May 2014
    1:49pm
    Try this link. It contains important information, which may be useful for those living or intending to live overseas.

    http://www.dss.gov.au/about-the-department/international/policy/portability-of-australian-income-support-payments#table1
    Issy
    30th May 2014
    2:11pm
    Additionally, the government saves when people leave permanently. There are no health or prescription costs paid on their behalf, or discounts on power, telephone, rates etc.
    MICK
    30th May 2014
    5:16pm
    I see your point. They want you to drop dead before 70 so that you cannot get sick and use the hospital system and will not require a pension. And then they'll reintroduce Death Duties (coming) and take at least half of your estate.
    Good deal for this bad government. Lucky we do not live in Iceland as we'd just get put out of the igloo to freeze to death.
    particolor
    30th May 2014
    8:33pm
    Or chucked into the next Available Volcano !!
    jimbo
    30th May 2014
    3:50pm
    Re the pensioners protest,its about time we did something for aged pensioners many of them who live week to week and who have worked all their life,i didnt realise that so many people who are living ok dont care one way or the other for people who are struggling to get by through no fault of their own,where is the compassion?
    MICK
    30th May 2014
    5:18pm
    Form a Pensioners political party and vote in one line. That will not only put fear into the major parties with their big business affiliations but they will then behave lest retirees throw them out.
    Get smart, not angry. Safety has always been in numbers.
    particolor
    30th May 2014
    8:41pm
    They get their Jollies Belittling the Downtrodden, Jimbo !! And they will Never Change .. I know plenty of them Personally !.And even though I am not struggling Personally they are only to be Frowned Upon !!.. Best of Luck Mate !!..
    whatsupdok
    30th May 2014
    4:01pm
    I would like an answer to this? I am 65, overseas til after July 1, 2014. I return to Australia on Aug 6, 2014. When I leave again will I be subject to this new rule if I only stay 3 months. I read that if you leave before 6 months it does not apply because you didn't stay 26 weeks. It is a Grandfather thing if I am out of the country before and thru July 1 this year for the rest of my life under those terms?
    Polly Esther
    30th May 2014
    4:08pm
    Remember I'm available to pilot any of you well heeled pensioners, when you are ready to gallivant off into the wide blue yonder.
    MICK
    30th May 2014
    5:19pm
    I'm going skiing. Where can I contact you!!!
    particolor
    30th May 2014
    9:05pm
    I don't think They will need a Pilot now ? They are not game to move ! Living on 3/5ths of 5/8ths is bad enough but 18/25ths of SFA sound like a Trip Stopper !!
    Mar
    30th May 2014
    4:42pm
    I agree with you Jimbo, but I'm afraid we live in a very self centered society.
    rob101
    30th May 2014
    5:17pm
    if you are going overseas,try and vist a Centrelink Office yourself,and telll them your going overseas from whichever date.AND get a receipt number.I reported by phone last year ,and came back after 5 weeks to find my Pension stopped"because I hadn't reported"Luckily I had a receipt number,and averted being evicted as my rental payments were being paid via Centrepay.

    robert101
    rowette
    31st May 2014
    1:17pm
    Gee whiz particolor..... If you can't write something constructive or what people may be interested in then why bother wasting your time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! For heaven sakes why do you think people would want to read your cutting and snippy remarks.. Telling the old couple , that jave saved to go overseas, "to dump the hovel till you get back" How presumptuous of you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    niemakawa
    31st May 2014
    1:30pm
    He's got no family or friends so wants to infuriate some people with his sarcasm. Treat his comments as light relief and go about your normal routine. Let him cry in his pretzels.
    particolor
    31st May 2014
    4:47pm
    Its All Yours Now ! BYE !!
    niemakawa
    31st May 2014
    4:49pm
    We'll meet again
    particolor
    31st May 2014
    5:03pm
    I'm ORF Now BYE .......
    niemakawa
    31st May 2014
    5:15pm
    Ok, now we know what you look like. Say cheese!
    particolor
    1st Jun 2014
    9:26am
    PARMESAN !!
    niemakawa
    1st Jun 2014
    9:30am
    They let you out of your cage early this morning. So what comic relief are you providing today. Be nice.
    particolor
    1st Jun 2014
    10:02am
    Pack Up and Go Overseas!! Great Idea !! And spend all Your money over there, because if You leave it in Australia...
    ABBOTT'LL GRAB IT !!!! ..
    How's that Fer Starters ??...
    niemakawa
    1st Jun 2014
    10:23am
    I am a supporter of Mr Abbott, so have nothing to add on that score. Yes I am going overseas, with my pension in tow. Have a couple of small investment properties OS so don't need to worry about accommodation. Oh life is sweet, when one knows how to be astute in ones financial dealings.
    particolor
    1st Jun 2014
    10:36am
    I'll bet You Knew there was Coal under them too, before You bought them !!..
    Go and Steal the Spuds out of Someone else's ears !!..
    I'm not Hard Up, but care for those that are !! Go and put Your Head in a place that aint so Dark and Smelly !!..GOODBYE !!...
    I despise BRAGGERS !!..
    niemakawa
    1st Jun 2014
    10:47am
    Hit a nerve? I was giving free advice of what one can achieve if one puts their mind to it (the goal).Particolor, Jealousy is not a nice virtue to have. Don't worry, I always throw back the spud peelings. See, I am very charitable.
    particolor
    1st Jun 2014
    10:56am
    Why do People pull the Jealousy Bit when there is nothing to be POSSIBLY Jealous of ??.. I'm Quiet comfortable thank You and don't have to own Half the Countryside !! Your probably that Mean You make Vodka out of the Tater Peels !!...
    niemakawa
    1st Jun 2014
    11:04am
    That's what if forgot to mention, but being such an intelligent person as you are, you guessed.. The donated spud skins are returned to me in a bottle. Yes and I am comfortable also and every penny I have EARNED and SAVED has been the result of my endeavours. Once my taxes are paid my involvement in helping others is over. I am sure you would agree.
    particolor
    1st Jun 2014
    11:30am
    YEP !!
    niemakawa
    1st Jun 2014
    11:34am
    There you are then, another lesson learned by you. Great stuff. Now I have some peelings to dish out need to replenish my stock. Enjoy today.
    particolor
    1st Jun 2014
    7:02pm
    Thank God for giving us
    Vivid Imaginations!!
    Or we would all Die of Boredom !!..
    Parti..14
    niemakawa
    1st Jun 2014
    7:27pm
    Thanks for those kind words. Entertainment is my middle name. Stick with me you'll never be bored.
    sam
    17th Jun 2014
    11:59am
    Actually that rule has changed, you need to have 35 years up not 25 years as of 2014 July, so 35 years your pension is the full amount, any years less and the pension decreases, I checked it on centre link web page
    whatsupdok
    17th Jun 2014
    2:41pm
    Quote correctly all the variables. If you are out of Australia on July 1, this year that rule doesnot apply, grandfather clause for the rest of your life. So, if it's going to affect you, fly out before July one and return after.
    rob101
    17th Jun 2014
    1:19pm
    Hi All,check the Latest HILDA results(released yesterday 16th)from Univ.of Melb,you'll see how large the "Porkies"are that Tony & Joe ,are telling.

    robert101
    particolor
    28th Jun 2014
    4:50pm
    Makin Bacon !!
    amandala
    28th Jun 2014
    4:28pm
    Hi All,
    Has anything else changed for aged pensioners other than this 25 years to 35 years?

    My mum went oversea and stayed in Hong Kong for almost 6 months from last year September 2013 to end of Feb 2014. So she's planning to go oversea again in July for another 6 months. However, the officer from Centrelink said to her that since she has been oversea for 6 months she will need to stay in Australia for at least 6 months before she can go oversea again otherwise her aged pension will be cut from the day she leave the country and she will need to go through all the process of applying for aged pension again (e.g. lodge intent to claim, income asset test, wait for approval etc). The lady also said to her that she shouldn't be using her aged pension money for her own leisure. The money is only for her to spend in Australia and not oversea.

    We're Chinese and have been here since 1985 and my mum has been working and living in Australia for 27 years before reaching her pension age.

    So my question is, is there a limit to how long you can stay outside of Australia? and when you return back, do you have to stay for the amount you were oversea before you can leave the country again?

    Thanks
    whatsupdok
    28th Jun 2014
    4:38pm
    I'm very shocked at that news, mostly because I donot see that rule imposed on anyone else. There are many people working at Centrelink that just donot have any right telling people what they can and cannnot do. That is just not true. If it is, it has slipped by everyone else and I would want to see it in writing before I believed it If you are going over seas, you donot deal with your local Centrelink office at all. Al communication and regulations are quoted only by International Services. Call them free from a Centrelink office. And get that idiots name who told you that. Of course you may have left out some details in your case that could be effective for you only.
    whatsupdok
    28th Jun 2014
    5:05pm
    I suggest you and everyone else have a read of this page onine.

    http://nationalseniors.com.au/sites/default/files/1403-NationalSeniors_FactSheet_PensionPortability.pdf
    amandala
    28th Jun 2014
    5:08pm
    Hi whatsupdok, Thanks for your reply. I was also shocked from that too. My mum was already dealing with the aged pension department and not our local Centrelink office cause they were the one that gave the number to call. Unfortunately she didn't take down her name otherwise I would surely question her again on that.

    My mum has no income at all and no assets such as property etc so her case won't be anything special at all.

    However, I'm glad to know that no one else is having the same issue which means is very likely that officer was just plain wrong.

    I'll be giving them a call next week
    whatsupdok
    28th Jun 2014
    5:11pm
    I highly suggest anyone in this 25-35 year gap, get out of the country before July 1 this year so you are Grandfathered in under the old rules. It is big one.
    particolor
    28th Jun 2014
    5:21pm
    Tell the Officer at Certrelink.." I don't like You anymore ! "
    whatsupdok
    28th Jun 2014
    5:30pm
    Hi, I wouldn't be at all surprised if that person has a thing about anyone, especially Foreigners getting their money while overseas. I was on DSP for years and made it a priority to learn the rules as they applied to me and everyone else because I was out of the country a lot. It was an effort and even Centrelink told me they were impressed with my knowledge about the rules. Now, on the OAP, I have a totally different set of rules to deal with and since I only have 24 years living in Australia, I have to go back for residency rules most of all. There is no way anyone wants to lose that. Highly suggest all leave the country before July 1 and return after only being out less than 26 weeks. That secures most of it. Maintain bank accounts, drivers license and a resident mailing address such as Mail Boxes Ect. Keep regular doctor visits when back in Australia and have your doctor write 6 months of prescriptions on a Reg 24 to take away with you. None of this is breaking any rues or laws, it is being compliant.
    Grey Ghost
    23rd Aug 2014
    1:07pm
    After turning 16 in 1962, I lived in Australia continuously until 1996 (33 years) having an Australian passport since 1972. I have now turned 65. Am I eligible to apply for the age pension although I now live overseas?
    particolor
    23rd Aug 2014
    1:21pm
    Not a Problem Grey Ghost !! Come By Leaky Boat and Apply !..I don't see a Problem there..
    The Phantom ...
    whatsupdok
    24th Nov 2015
    4:34pm
    No, you must be in Australia to apply. Plus since you have been living overseas you will be required to stay in Australia for two years before it becomes fully portable back overseas.
    whatsupdok
    24th Nov 2015
    4:35pm
    No, you must be in Australia to apply. Plus since you have been living overseas you will be required to stay in Australia for two years before it becomes fully portable back overseas.
    Al
    11th Sep 2019
    3:24am
    I was born in Australia 1945, Australia passport holder, I lived in Australia full time until just before my 50th birthday. I am a Vietnam veteran and I already receive a DVA Disability Pension at the highest level. I now live in my wheel chair or in bed and I need a high level of support and care 24 hrs a day. I cannot get the DVA Service Pension because I would need to return to Australia for 2 years to re-establish residency. My disability and need for high support make no difference whatever in terms of returning for 2 years to re-establish residency. But the DVA people tell me that Centrelink are much more flexible (in regard to the OAP) about the 2 year return where there are proven disabilities. Can anybody confirm they are more flexible in this scenario? Thanks.


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