Age Pension portability under threat

Changes to portability of the Age Pension will be discussed in Parliament this week.

age pensioner looking at the globe planning travel

Proposed legislation to change the portability of the Age Pension for those travelling overseas will be discussed in Parliament this week, when the Senate committee examining the change delivers its report.

The change will reduce from 26 weeks to six weeks, the period that an Age Pension recipient can be outside Australia before their payment is affected.

Currently, an Age Pension recipient can be out of Australia for 26 weeks before their payment is subjected to a working life residency test. This test requires the recipient to have lived in Australia for 35 years after the age of 16 before they can receive the full amount of their Age Pension. Any less than this and the payment is pro rata.

Age Pension recipients who travel overseas to a country with which Australia has an International Social Security Agreement should be able to retain their full payment under such agreements. 

For those who have lived in Australia for the required time, or who do not travel overseas, the proposed change will not be relevant. But for those who plan to retire overseas or visit family living in another country, the financial penalty could be prohibitive.

The legislation, which is part of the 2015/16 Federal Budget measures, is expected to save the Government $168 million over four years and is due to commence from 1 January 2017, the same date that sees sweeping changes to the asset thresholds and taper rates for Age Pensions. However, migrant and refugee groups, along with the Australian Council of Social Services are urging the Government to consider the effect it will have on those who still have family living overseas. It is estimated that 40 per cent of those on the Age Pension were born overseas. 

A spokesperson for Social Services Minister Christian Porter said that all countries in which a person has lived should meet the costs of retirement. “It is the expectation that where a person has spent a proportion of their working life overseas, they will be eligible to receive a pension from that country.”

The Refugee Council of Australia has made a submission to the Senate inquiry into the change and notes that any such measure will greatly affect the refugee community as they often flee from countries because of “persecution at the hands of the government”, do not have the necessary paperwork to prove their eligibility or come from a country that does not have a stable social security system.

Shadow Minister for Families and Payments, Jenny Macklin, said Labor would oppose this measure, as it will affect “thousands of migrant pensioners.” "These pensioners have worked hard their whole lives. They deserve our support in retirement," Mrs Macklin commented.

Read more at TheAge.com.au


Opinion: A change for the better?

Perhaps with good reason, there has been little comment about the Government’s proposed changes to Age Pension portability for those planning to head overseas.

Whenever a change to the Age Pension that will financially affect recipients is proposed, the argument that the payment is one that Australians are entitled to given the years they have worked and paid taxes is often used to attack such measures. This is exactly what the working life residency rule does; it ensures that those who have fully contributed to the social security system get the full benefit, and those who partly contribute, get paid accordingly.

And no one is essentially griping about such a rule, just the timeframe at which it will be applied. While reducing the time a person can be absent from Australia from 26 weeks to six weeks seems extreme, it’s worth remembering that the payment being made is an Australian Age Pension. It’s not a payment meant to fund lifestyles overseas or extended travel, but rather support those who do not have the savings to fund their own retirement.

While I can see an argument for extending the period in certain circumstances, such as a sick relative overseas or an extended illness of the person travelling, a reduction in the time one can spend outside Australia before their Age Pension is recalculated is warranted. If you have moved to Australia for a better life, but decide that life no longer suits and you wish to be somewhere else, then you simply can’t expect the Australian Government to continue paying you regardless.

Do you agree with the change? Or will you be adversely affected by the changed timeframe for applying the working life residency? If six weeks is not long enough, how many weeks would you recommend?





    COMMENTS

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    bletch
    1st Feb 2016
    10:16am
    My wife is Chinese and has lived here since marriage for 8 years this year. In 5 years I plan to retire as does my wife who is 13 years younger. I am Australian and have never obtained any benefits since starting working 45 years ago. My age pension will have to support the two of us. Any super I have will pay my house off. I will rely on the pension however we do not want to live here and struggle financially like a lot of pensioners. Our plan is to live with her family in China when retired and receive my Australian pension there. She wants to spend time with her family in these later years and she is entitled to do so. She will not receive an Australian pension until 13 years after me anyway.
    To be away for 6 weeks overseas before it affects your pension is totally unfair and ridiculous.
    mogo51
    1st Feb 2016
    11:47am
    Your Aged Pension will NOT be affected because you have worked more than 35 years since age 16 (I presume), so when you retire yo can live where you wish.
    bletch
    1st Feb 2016
    12:03pm
    I hope that will still be the case Mogo51 as it changes almost daily !
    PIXAPD
    1st Feb 2016
    2:26pm
    NOT in the UK you can't ...they cancelled any agreement with Australia decades ago
    MICK
    6th Feb 2016
    2:22am
    I'd like to see this sort of legislation applied to parliamentary pensions as well. That would of course be a DIFFERENT STORY.
    Chris
    1st Feb 2016
    10:25am
    My wife and I have lived in Australia all our lives but our son, his wife and three children are living in London because of his work which requires global travel. If we visit them with no intention of staying, the length could be determined by illness of one or more of them or some other reason for supporting them. A normal visit for us is about four weeks but allowance should be made for grandparent support. I believe that 12 weeks is a fairer period to retain pension entitlements.
    bletch
    1st Feb 2016
    10:29am
    But what will you receive if you decide to live there permanently to be with your grandchildren, and you have qualified for the full length pension ??
    Mygasheater
    1st Feb 2016
    4:05pm
    Here is a list of the countries Australia has reciprocal pension arrangements with, from DHS website.

    Current International Social Security Agreements
    Australia currently has 30 bilateral international social security agreements.

    Austria | Belgium | Canada | Chile | Croatia | Cyprus | Czech |Denmark | Finland | Germany | Greece | Hungary | India | Ireland | Italy | Japan | Korea | Latvia | Malta | Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia | The Netherlands | New Zealand | Norway | Poland | Portugal | Slovak | Slovenia | Spain | Switzerland | United States of America

    All these agreements are based on the concept of shared responsibility. Shared responsibility agreements are reciprocal. Partner countries under each agreement make concessions against their social security qualification rules so that people covered by the agreement may access payments for which they might otherwise fail to qualify. In this way, responsibility for social security is shared between the countries where a person has lived during their working years and the person is able to unlock potential entitlements. Generally, a pension from one country can be accessed in the second country, although the paying country maintains some discretion in the currency and delivery mechanisms used.

    Under these agreements, Australia equates social insurance periods/residence in those countries with periods of Australian residence in order to meet the minimum qualifying periods for Australian pensions. The other countries generally count periods of Australian working life residence as periods of social insurance in order to meet their minimum qualifying periods for payment. Usually, each country will pay a part pension to a person who has lived in both countries.
    johninmelb
    1st Feb 2016
    10:26am
    Irrelevant for me, as I born here, and have lived and worked in Australia all my life - other than a 10 month working holiday in the UK when I was 18. In any case, I cannot afford to travel overseas for more than 6 weeks anyway. Even less so now that the bottom has dropped out of the dollar.

    Also, none of us can travel more than 6 weeks before we lose the additional Pension Supplement and Energy Supplement payments, and only get the basic pension payment until we return to Oz. I made sure I checked with Centrelink before I went on my last trip and they gave me the date I had to be home by, before they stopped the supplement payments. So I had no problems.
    Nan Norma
    1st Feb 2016
    10:50am
    I don't think we should lose the allowance for prescriptions as you are saving the government money if you need to buy them while out of the country.
    KSS
    1st Feb 2016
    2:18pm
    But Nan Norma why should you need the extra allowance for medications (or gas/electricity, rent etc) if you are not in Australia long term?

    Many prescription medications are available cheaper (and over the counter with no prescriptions) in other countries. And many countries have reciprocal agreements that you can get your prescription filled there with little or no cost.

    Surely all of these 'extras' are needed in Australia because costs are often higher, but if you are not here (and people have said it is cheaper not to be), then why should the extras still be paid?
    soph
    1st Feb 2016
    10:58am
    Like many people my age, superannuation came too late to help us in our old age. My only income is the age pension, and I do not own my own home. I can no longer afford to rent in Australia, unless it is in outback towns with few facilities for the aged, so I saved up and have moved overseas, in my case to Crete, Greece. Here I can afford to live on my pension for the time being, as long as I stay healthy.
    bletch
    1st Feb 2016
    11:02am
    Well said Soph and medical expenses will be costly overseas if our health starts to suffer as no free medical there.

    All the best....Bletch
    Gra
    1st Feb 2016
    12:41pm
    I take it by "outback towns" you mean anywhere other than the capital cities. Your moving to Crete wouldn't have anything to do with moving back to where family are by any chance? There are plenty of places around this country outside the major cities which offer equal care and health facilities for older Australians where you can rent for much less than city rates.
    Penqueen1949
    1st Feb 2016
    1:18pm
    I happily live in a small country town of six thousand people an hour from Brisbane. Every three months ago to the Princess Alexandra Hospital for a MRI checkup to see if my brain cancer is coming back. I manage quite comfortably in my rented two bedroom unit. My rent is my biggest expense and because I choose to relocate from a large regional city to a small country town with good services and supermarkets I save money on my pension. There is no need to go overseas to live on an Australian pension. I also feel if one is not contributing to the Australian economy then why should the Australian government pay an Australian pension......
    Kopernicus
    4th Feb 2016
    10:18am
    Well, Gra and Penqueen you two don't seem to belong to the 40% born overseas or those with a yen to try something different. Having done 35 years plus working in this country, you should have the choice spend it where you wish in my opinion.
    missmarple
    14th Mar 2016
    11:07am
    Soph,like penqueen1949 I live in a town ( rural ) 3hrs from a major city, 1 1/2hrs to a reasonably large town that has all the stores and big hospital, where I live we have a small hospital 2 medical clinics and plenty of council support for the elderly, I rent privately which is my biggest outlay from my pension which is my only income (no super ) but I manage, I can't afford to go on holidays but I would rather be happy where I am, and know I have support and medical when / and if I need it, and it certainly isn't THE OUTBACK,, good luck with your shift to Crete I hope your health stays good and if not then I hope your family have the means to support you,,, Australia is not called "The Lucky Country" for no reason
    missmarple
    14th Mar 2016
    11:07am
    Soph,like penqueen1949 I live in a town ( rural ) 3hrs from a major city, 1 1/2hrs to a reasonably large town that has all the stores and big hospital, where I live we have a small hospital 2 medical clinics and plenty of council support for the elderly, I rent privately which is my biggest outlay from my pension which is my only income (no super ) but I manage, I can't afford to go on holidays but I would rather be happy where I am, and know I have support and medical when / and if I need it, and it certainly isn't THE OUTBACK,, good luck with your shift to Crete I hope your health stays good and if not then I hope your family have the means to support you,,, Australia is not called "The Lucky Country" for no reason
    missmarple
    14th Mar 2016
    11:07am
    Soph,like penqueen1949 I live in a town ( rural ) 3hrs from a major city, 1 1/2hrs to a reasonably large town that has all the stores and big hospital, where I live we have a small hospital 2 medical clinics and plenty of council support for the elderly, I rent privately which is my biggest outlay from my pension which is my only income (no super ) but I manage, I can't afford to go on holidays but I would rather be happy where I am, and know I have support and medical when / and if I need it, and it certainly isn't THE OUTBACK,, good luck with your shift to Crete I hope your health stays good and if not then I hope your family have the means to support you,,, Australia is not called "The Lucky Country" for no reason
    Arisaid
    1st Feb 2016
    11:01am
    I think 6 weeks is a bit harsh. 12 weeks would be fairer.
    wally
    1st Feb 2016
    2:23pm
    Or 90 days.
    Anonymous
    14th Mar 2016
    9:40am
    Or even three months.
    LiveItUp
    1st Feb 2016
    11:02am
    I totally agree with the changes. Why should you be a burden on the Australian taxpayer if you haven't lived here for most of your life and are now living overseas.
    Mez
    1st Feb 2016
    11:18am
    TRUE!
    Anonymous
    1st Feb 2016
    12:41pm
    If you are eligible for a pension then its up to you to spend it in a way that will best benefit you and if that means being able to live better overseas for sometime then you should not be penalised especially if you meet the residency time in Australia.
    Gra
    1st Feb 2016
    12:45pm
    My sentiments exactly Bonny. A lot of those who might be I suppose to put it one way, disadvantaged by the changes are those who have supposedly come here to as the Refugee Council puts it "persecution at the hands of the government" but want to return to their home country when they retire. If it was so terrible then why would they want to go back?
    Anonymous
    1st Feb 2016
    2:19pm
    What concerns me is that there are checks on people here in Australia to see if they are earning other income or have assets while receiving a pension.

    How on earth can checks be one if a person is living overseas; I would say nigh impossible.

    There have to be changes I believe as I do know there are people who have lived here practically all there lives . Prior to retirement they discreetly moved funds overseas purchased property etc and then went on the aged pension and moved back there permanently.

    I don't know the answer but something has to be done to clamp down on those who are "seeing" the system off.
    marls
    2nd Feb 2016
    12:58pm
    most people living overseas on australian pensions have more than done their share of working and paying taxes in australia. my mother and father worked their butts off, my mother receives australian pension but my father died before he was old enough to get the pension.
    buby
    4th Feb 2016
    11:08am
    OH excuse me Bonny, but its okay for the MP to go overseas for how ever long he likes, and be a burden on the taxpayer.
    Why can't i go for 3mths, which i need to, as my family is spread far and wide thanks to the Wars of yesterday.
    I was born in Australia, i am on a disability cause i've worked very hard in australia, and i'm not allow to go for more than 6wks.....I think that sucks big time thankyou!!!
    downunder
    1st Feb 2016
    11:19am
    Your arguments under 'opinion' for a better life is sheer bullocks. 6 weeks is a typical move from this government to hit the man on the streets and touch their own chums.
    Nan Norma
    1st Feb 2016
    11:24am
    It seems to me its a matter of if we see the age pension as an entitlement or as welfare. The disabled pension is the one I would be placing a limit on as I know someone that returned to is own country fully recovered and went on to make a nice living as an artist. He would now be collecting the age pension.
    LiveItUp
    1st Feb 2016
    11:38am
    Age pension is welfare.
    Tom Tank
    1st Feb 2016
    11:51am
    Age pension is an entitlement as laid down by Robert Menzies many years ago.
    Perhaps Menzies was a liar?
    LiveItUp
    1st Feb 2016
    11:57am
    Agree.
    Mygasheater
    1st Feb 2016
    12:35pm
    Tom, here is the history of the Age Pension,

    "The Commonwealth of Australia was formed on I January 1901 by federation of the six States under a written constitution which, among other things, authorised the new Commonwealth Parliament to legislate in respect of age and invalid pensions. In the event, the Commonwealth did not exercise this power until June 1908 when legislation providing for the introduction of means-tested 'flat-rate' age and invalid pensions was passed. The new pensions, which were financed from general revenue, came into operation in July 1909 and December 1910 respectively, superseding State age pension schemes which had been introduced in New South Wales (1900), Victoria (1900) and Queensland (1908) and an invalid pension scheme introduced in New South Wales (1908)."
    Anonymous
    1st Feb 2016
    1:40pm
    Morally, an aged pension is an entitlement. I don't care what the law specifies, though Tom is right that Menzies legislated to make it an entitlement. The bottom line is that if someone works and pays taxes for a lifetime in Australia and doesn't earn enough to fund their own retirement adequately, they should be entitled to be supported by the taxpayer in old age - and that INCLUDES taking a long holiday overseas if they have saved for a lifetime for a vacation they weren't able - for whatever reason - to take during their working life.

    Others, many of whom worked less and earned more, had their vacations while working and lived the high life, and now get full pensions. There is something seriously wrong with the logic of anyone who sees it as fair that those who sacrificed to save and couldn't take their pleasure earlier in life should now be deprived and told the aged pension is ''welfare'' exclusively for the needy. It's a dangerous philosophy, because it removes incentive for the less privileged to strive - condemning them to be part of an underclass permanently. Even Morrison says we need to ''work, save and invest'' for the economy to recover. Taking away all the incentives won't achieve that goal.

    That said, I agree that migrants who haven't worked and paid taxes here for decades SHOULD be at the bottom of the list for handouts, ESPECIALLY if they move overseas and don't spend their money here. In fact, I think pensions should be cancelled if recipients move overseas permanently, since we lose he benefit of their spending. I think the legislative change is fair, since it affords those who have lived and worked here for a lifetime the right to travel for an extended holiday if they can and want to.
    LiveItUp
    1st Feb 2016
    2:21pm
    If it was an entitlement everyone over retirement age would get it. But they don't so it must be welfare.
    Lyn
    1st Feb 2016
    2:38pm
    Perhaps Australia should become part of the EEU then we can live anywhere in Europe on the Age Pension.

    I find it all rather tedious. I don't need to live OS but can understand those who do for family reasons etc.

    My Grand father fought very hard and long lobbying the govt in the 60's and 70's to ensure that aged retired people received a liveable pension. Which they deserve.

    It is ridiculous that our govt is attacking the aged pensioners when they are making provisions to allow the very wealthy to pay minimal tax. (which many get away with right now).

    It is all a diversion to ensure that the wealthy don't come under the microscope in paying their fair share of taxes. It seems we are all gullible and falling for this ruse.

    As aged members of our society we have earned our retirement.... working for 40 and 50 years and PAYING OUR TAXES.

    We have had enough restrictions placed on us in our working lives . We need a break at least at this time of our life.
    bletch
    1st Feb 2016
    2:40pm
    Correct Lyn
    Anonymous
    1st Feb 2016
    4:51pm
    Sorry Bonny, it is an entitlement. It is subject to conditions which may alter the amount received but it remains an entitlement.
    LiveItUp
    1st Feb 2016
    4:58pm
    OK I agree to disagree as I see it as welfare nothing else.
    Anonymous
    1st Feb 2016
    6:53pm
    Bonny, it's more than that. Look harder and perhaps you will find it.
    LiveItUp
    1st Feb 2016
    9:54pm
    Can't find anything but a welfare payment and cheap drugs.
    Saalbach
    2nd Feb 2016
    9:25am
    Sorry Bonny - the fact that you see it as welfare doesn't change the fact that it IS an entitlement. As you should know, when the age pension was introduced, it was understood that you paid taxes to ensure you could get a pension when you reached a certain age. A portion of your taxes should have been put aside by the Govt to fund that pension. All of the current tests are designed to reduce the amount the Govt has to pay - they really have little to do with the pensioner's ability to survive on the amount received.
    marls
    2nd Feb 2016
    1:04pm
    lyn
    totally agree we have worked very hard and long and we are the only country in the world that means tests the aged pension overseas if you work you get the age pension full stop. and when your partner dies the surviving partner also is entitle to their share of the pension. my cousin lives in victoria she returned to aust when her husband died aged 50 and she receives the widows pension because her husband worked no means test. my mother receives her pension and my deceased fathers pension plus a small pension from belgium because he was in the army no means test
    Rosy
    1st Feb 2016
    11:25am
    I have worked since I was 14 and I have paid taxes since then too! We were always told to plan for our retirement and that's what I have done and now, the Government has moved the goalposts!

    I live a frugal life, never going out for coffee, to the movies etc, all so I can visit my grandchildren every year in Europe. I also have a medical condition that means I tire easily so a relaxed eight weeks meant I could come home with a stop-over to accommodate my condition, now that has been stolen from me!
    Apparently my punishment for being old enough to have paid taxes for over 50 years.
    Please, how dare they when the politicians keep getting pay increases and upon retiring, can take their Government pensions and still get another highly paid job without any loss of pension but we, the peasants, have to fund their lifestyles. It lends a completely different complexion to the expression "Public Servant".
    bletch
    1st Feb 2016
    11:33am
    Its not bad enough when you have to declare every single thing to centrepoint and treated like a criminal, but to be always kept on tenterhooks because the government is looking for money and threatens to affect the age pensions YET AGAIN!

    They should look at their own pensions that they get for life!

    Well said Rosy!
    LiveItUp
    1st Feb 2016
    11:37am
    That's the price you pay for collecting welfare.
    Saalbach
    2nd Feb 2016
    9:29am
    Bonny, it isn't welfare, and there shouldn't have to be a price to collect it, if you have paid your fair share of tax during your working life. I gather from your comments over time that you are in the fortunate position of being comparatively well off, and don't receive a pension. Why be so unsympathetic to those who aren't as well off?
    bletch
    1st Feb 2016
    11:50am
    I was born in 1953 and ever since we looked on the Age Pension as our right and our entitlement if we worked all our lives here. It was part of our plan. Yes we are getting old, yes we are a burden on todays society, yes we are a big burden on todays health schemes.
    Super was not always available to us and many of us have worked hard and are not rich either. We have never received any "benefits" before.
    Well Guess What? You will grow old too one day and you will be in the same boat as us !
    martel49
    1st Feb 2016
    12:09pm
    Well said ,I totally agree with you.
    Mygasheater
    1st Feb 2016
    12:48pm
    Bletchley,

    You are not a burden on today's society.

    The burdens on our society are those companies that do business in Australia who minimise and or who avoid paying tax, the companies who expect the ordinary taxpayer pay corporate welfare in the form of subsides, tax breaks on super for those on multimillion dollars salaries and the politicians who chose not to close tax loophole and pass laws that enable companies and individuals to do this.

    These people view the above as "entitlements" . They are the parasites are the real burdens on our society.
    Anonymous
    1st Feb 2016
    2:28pm
    I was reading an article written by a finance guy recently and he said pensioners would have to have paid around $600,000 in tax to get the pension they currently get.

    We have to remember that the taxes we paid in our lifetime went into health, education, roads, infrastructure; it did not go into a fund to pay for pensions.

    That is why we now have compulsory superannuation as the country will not be able to afford pensions for everyone in future.

    The Taxation Department sent me a Tax Receipt recently and it gave the figures on where the money is spent.

    The biggest cost is Welfare followed by Health,Defence, Education and the list goes on.

    Welfare is $6,559

    Under that heading it shows:

    Aged Pension $2656

    Families $1789

    Disability $1,277

    Unemployed $ 498

    Other $ 339

    Whether we like it or all these figures I have quote above are classed as Welfare.
    melbgirl
    1st Feb 2016
    2:39pm
    Radish, thank you for putting up those figures, it shows the the cost of the age pension is more than 5 times the cost of the dole. As the population continues to age the pension cost will increase, it is reasonable for those who have resources to be excluded from welfare payments.
    Lyn
    1st Feb 2016
    3:09pm
    They are parasites indeed bletch . But the govt is not confronting them but attacking those less powerful and seem to be getting away with it. Bring back the big protest marches I say. Have a sit down protest in Swanston st.
    Tom Tank
    1st Feb 2016
    11:53am
    To me 12 weeks would be fairer and 18 even better, not that I will be travelling.
    I would only support this measure if it also applies to politician pensions as well.
    Gra
    1st Feb 2016
    12:50pm
    That sounds fair Tom Tank. It is hardly right that politicians get a pension for life regardless of their age after only a couple of terms of office. A good pension too, not the meagre crumbs the ordinary pensioner gets and they can flit around the world at our expense with no limits to their time abroad.
    KSS
    1st Feb 2016
    2:25pm
    Gra I don't begrudge the politicians their pensions. After all they are not the only 'employees' with generous pension schemes.

    However, I do agree that all the rest of the payments e.g. for travel, offices, staff, plane tickets for wives, cars and the rest should be stopped. Most retired MPs get other work after leaving office; either on the speaking tour circuits, as authors or consultants etc and keep earning a salary. They have no need for all the extras added to their pensions regardless of where they choose to live or visit.
    Karavan
    1st Feb 2016
    12:09pm
    I had a friend who was almost eligible for the Aged pension but could no longer scrape together the money required for rent and food to live in Australia so he went to live to in Thailand. He wanted to return home a few short years later to be told that he needed to live in Australia for 2 years before he could claim the Aged pension. He didn't have the money to live here, just couldn't afford it so went back to Thailand and died there, away from family and friends because the cost of living here was so high he couldn't afford it. I would be happy for people on the Aged pension to find somewhere they can live for 26 weeks of the year. It might even help them save so they can afford to live here for the rest of the year. My friend worked and paid taxes but couldn't afford rent, food and clothing and to pay bills once his career petered out.
    bletch
    1st Feb 2016
    12:25pm
    So sad but true...............
    Gra
    1st Feb 2016
    12:55pm
    Was your friend an Australian citizen? These stories of people going overseas to live because they can't afford to live in Australia are rubbish. Maybe the cost of living in the capital cities is beyond their means but there are plenty of places not that far removed which are very affordable to live in, one doesn't have to go overseas, unless they are going there for another reason other than the supposed affordability.
    Rae
    1st Feb 2016
    3:46pm
    Gra Australia is ridiculously expensive compared to other countries for basic charges and food even water. We have three levels of government all wanting their bit and a private system of education and health that is very expensive.

    If you are not on the aged pension medical costs are ridiculous.

    I have to pay a gap of $42 to see the doctor and $32 for a prescription cream in a very small tube that I can buy for $3.85 in most other countries. Rent in Thailand and Greece can be as low as $50 Euros a week.

    Still I suppose tent cities of elderly who do not get pensions will become the norm soon as in other countries particularly the US.

    There are not that many places in Australia that have cheap housing. It is rare to be able to find rentals in most towns if you are not local.
    bletch
    1st Feb 2016
    3:55pm
    A decision to live overseas is not an easy one.
    Especially when we have family here.
    But most people do not want to live in poverty without dignity, not knowing where the next dollar is coming from or whether they can make ends meet.
    At this stage of life we need surety and we do not need stress in the last years of our lives.
    If living overseas relieves this monetary stress then we should be allowed to do this, not forced to live wherever and however.
    My opinion!
    Sen
    1st Feb 2016
    12:11pm
    I agree with the principle and reason behind the proposed changes However 6 weeks is too low and may be 12 weeks is a reasonable period to be away before any reductions arae applied.
    Gra
    1st Feb 2016
    12:58pm
    Yes, 12 weeks would be more reasonable. If someone could scrape together enough to pay for a European River cruise for example, wouldn't it make sense to tour some other parts of Europe while you're there rather than be limited to what you can see and do and perhaps have to make another trip later?
    tj
    1st Feb 2016
    5:44pm
    I am 68 wife is 60 and also in same boat as people that get the reduced rate of OAP .Iwas told i am classified as'one of a couple'' When i suggested to someone in center link that i should get single rate as my wife gets nothing at all the indignant reply i got was but ''you have a partner'' .Still trying to get my head around her logic
    Johnno11
    1st Feb 2016
    12:13pm
    I have worked in Australia all my like many other retirees. I dont use the word "pensioner". Too many people have turned into an ugly slant.
    6 years ago I married an Asian lady in her country. I was't specifically looking for an Asian lady to be my long term partner it just happened. I could have partnered with any lady anywhere in the world if the opportinity arose.
    Over the past 6 years I continued to work in Australia until I retired (Which is just recently) whilst my wife remained in her own country looking after the children as they were already entrenched in that country's education system.
    During the first few weeks of receiving my retirement fund I was treated as a single man and therefore received funding as a single person. When I travelled to my wife's country I was classified as a married man and then received a half of a married couples funding. Bear in mind my wife will never receieve the other half of a married couples funding nor will our children be entitled to access of the many funds available which Australian families enjoy. I get that and accept that. My family are not Australian citizens nor do they live here so I fully concur that they should not receive any vform of funding from our country but, in saying that, I can't support my family on a half of a married couples funding either. Infact I can't support myself on that meagre fund. Considering that I would not be a burden on our medical system nor a burden on other meagre fringe benefits that retirees have access to I feel that the social services system is unjust. Our government (Irrespective of who is administering our country at the time) continuously applaud the fact that the world is a global villiage and that we should embrace the concept but, it appears their rhetoric is only when it suits them. The Social Services Act was written in 1991 at a time when Australian public servants had their heads buried in the sand. Here we are in the 21st century and the very same public servants who assisted with writing the act still have their head buried in the sand.
    I am not asking for exemptions or Australian benefits for my family. I would be content to receieve the basic single man's pension. At least we would have a chance to survive or, are we not entitled to that right as retirees. Maybe we should bring in compulsory euthanasia for all that are over 65. Naturally we would have to exempt politicians, public servants and their families within the compulsory euthanasia act.
    bletch
    1st Feb 2016
    12:31pm
    If you get the chance get a copy of 1960s film soylent green with charlton heston.......mind blowing look at the future........
    bletch
    1st Feb 2016
    12:44pm
    Johnno which Asian country is this may I ask.

    I do not understand that if your wife does not work and does not get a pension then you get 1/2 a married mans pension?

    I agree how can they deem that to be fair and how can you live especially when she does not get the other half ??
    Sundays
    1st Feb 2016
    1:07pm
    Bletch, you will find when you qualify for the age pension, that you will also only receive half a married couples rate until your wife is of pension age. It is what my husband gets as I am four years younger and not working. Fortunately for us we have some super.
    cookie47
    1st Feb 2016
    1:43pm
    Agree with Sundays,My wife's from the Philippines, Been married for 17 years.She's 63, I'm 68.Retired 18 months ago.
    I get a single persons pension,she gets nothing apart from health card (for prescriptions)
    You need to look into it .
    bletch
    1st Feb 2016
    2:11pm
    Cookie 47 you get a single persons pension and not 1/2 a married person's ?
    cookie47
    1st Feb 2016
    3:21pm
    I will ammend that bletch.
    I get half of the married couple pension.(I got the terminology back to front)
    See ya
    Hairy
    1st Feb 2016
    12:46pm
    Not everyone is equal not everyone had joe hockey's rorts some had to work and put up with some dangerous disgusting workplaces most of their life.At the moment I am well I worked towards a retirement oension I even payed extra in uk that's what they called it in those days Bonny dear.family and two wives have depleted my savings and super to zero.being honest has not worked in my favour.i now live on my retirement payment from past taxes and believe me if I had those taxes to invest I would have made a better job of it than our government does they are all of them incompetent rorters living off the back of the people they steal from.now they are imprisoning the pensioners free country my ass.sherrif of Nottingham riding round collecting taxes from the poor villagers nothing has changed much has it.NOW I will vote for whoever stops discriminating against the X hardworking people of this country who gave them what they have now.anyway had a rant now got to work to try and get above the poverty line.

    1st Feb 2016
    12:55pm
    Very mean spirited from a very mean spirited government. Minimum time should be at least 12 weeks or 18 or unlimited. Its up to pensioners to spend their money to the best advantage and if that means living overseas for sometime to make ends meet don't impede them. Its hard enough to live on the pension in Australia. They can take off the supplements but even when away there are still the basic supply charges to pay for gas, elec and phone.
    Sundays
    1st Feb 2016
    12:59pm
    Six weeks is not necessarily eneough time for people who want to travel and/or visit family. It should be at least 12 to 18 weeks. However, I do have a problem with people who want to permanently retire overseas, but expect to receive the age pension. Even If you accept that the age pension is an entitlement, surely the money should stay in Australia by being spent here.
    Mygasheater
    1st Feb 2016
    1:05pm
    And leading by example, those fine, upstanding folk, extra special people, the chosen ones, the ones who gave their all making a difference, giving back to Australia, ................drum roll ...............................,ratatatat ratatatat, ratatatat.........................

    FORMER PARLIAMENTARIANS.
    Rusty
    1st Feb 2016
    1:07pm
    My wife is Filipina and lives there as when i retire next year i like to move there.If the government decides to cut or refuse to pay me the pension when i am living over there i just bring them here and the government will have to pay the pension for both of us and the 4 kids we have adopted. There is NO realistic thinking in most politicians. We have worked here ,paid our taxes and made Australia what it is now. Politicians change rules and regulations when ever there like and as long it does NOT affect there income or entitlements usually get away with it. The mistakes they made will take a long time to be found out but i guess if they will stop wasting sooooo much money there would be a lot more in the Kitty to pay the pension for people who make the decision to living overseas as it can be much more comfortable than here? Also do our politicians forget when i live overseas they don't have to pay for my health care which can be a lot more than the pension ?
    Paicey58
    1st Feb 2016
    2:00pm
    I think you may find that you can't bring your Phillipines wife and you four adopted children to Australia unless you can show immigration how YOU intend to support them.
    It's not up to the Australian tax payer to help support or pay for your new wife and children.
    You may have to continue working for a few more years and save up some retirement money so you can then move to the Phillipines and live there without taking the Australian pension with you.
    Jacka
    1st Feb 2016
    1:26pm
    in my opinion the Australian pension should only be paid to permanent residence of Australia.if you choose to live overseas for whatever reason that is your choice its not the Australians taxpayer job to support your choice of lifestyle. regarding time oover seas 6 weeks is ridiculous 12 weeks five more credible. Cheers Jacka
    KSS
    1st Feb 2016
    2:06pm
    Do you mean Australian citizens who live in Australia permanently? Or do you mean to include people from overseas who are not citizens but have the right to live in Australia i.e. live here on a long term visa?

    People can have permanent residency without actually being a citizen. They pay tax etc but can't vote, for example. They can access schools and medicare but can't serve in the defence forces. And the list goes on.

    After 35 years should they be able to apply for an age pension as permanent residents?
    Lescol
    1st Feb 2016
    1:34pm
    It is expected that pensions from other countries are transportable to Australia so why not in reverse? Is it the fear of overpaying? Safeguards could be put in place though.

    As a result I believe in the 35 year prorata rule and view the age pension as being a universal entitlement ie. not means tested. I shall vote accordingly
    Paicey58
    1st Feb 2016
    1:41pm
    I think this is a good idea. We need to keep Australian pensions in this country and not being spent in other countries looking after their new partners and children.
    Six weeks is plenty of time to visit family and friends in other countries. If you intend to stay longer you really have to question the validity of their need for a pension in the first place?
    bletch
    1st Feb 2016
    2:01pm
    Australians everyday spend money in other countries..it is their right and freedom.
    AND people from other countries spend money HERE as well.

    It all comes out in the wash it is everyone's choice.
    What is the next thing?.....you are only allowed to buy Australian products regardless of whether they are any good ?

    In your opinion 6 weeks to visit family and friends is long enough!

    Obviously you have not been in this situation or married to an overseas partner to know otherwise!
    LiveItUp
    1st Feb 2016
    2:17pm
    I agree 6 weeks is plenty of time. If you can afford to stay longer then you don't need the pension anyway.
    Paicey58
    1st Feb 2016
    2:39pm
    I think you are missing the point a bit here bletch. They are talking about the spending of Australian pension money not the spending of your own money from your wage or salary. You can spend that wherever you want. They are concerned about the amount of Australian dollars flowing out of this country and into other counties economies, never to be see again. ( especially the S/E Asian ones where they eventually end up married to a local and supporting the whole family on the Aust pension money )

    Yes I still believe that six weeks is long enough to "visit" family and friends.

    No I'm not married to an overseas partner but yes I do have relatives overseas.
    bletch
    1st Feb 2016
    3:02pm
    To be perfectly blunt Paicey58 if I am eligible for an aged pension after working here all my life then that pension then becomes MY money.
    I then can spend it on bills, gambling, call girls, overseas or whatever takes my fancy.
    I do not need you or anyone else telling me where how or why I am spending the pension MILLIONS.
    Thanks for telling us in your expert opinion that 6 weeks is long enough to visit family and friends no matter what the reason.
    Next time you visit Melbourne I think 2 days is long enough for you.

    Get my point now !
    KSS
    1st Feb 2016
    3:23pm
    2 days to visit Melbourne is more than enough for anyone! 2 days for the Melbourne cup; 2 days for the Australian Open finals; 2 days for the Boxing Day cricket.....hehehe
    Paicey58
    1st Feb 2016
    10:35pm
    I don't really get your point at all Bletch.

    But like everyone on this site you are entitled to your opinion.

    Unfortunately for you if the rules change you won't be able to spend your age pension "millions" in another country for more than a six week period.

    Sorry.
    Mcpsych
    1st Feb 2016
    1:43pm
    What a load of tripe. Pensioners ,disabled and the unemployed should be able to dispose of their income as they see fit. If a retiree can live better/ cheaper overseas and they earned the pension, then so be it. The government does not have the right to tell anyone where or how to live. I bet the changes wouldn't apply to parliamentary pensions ( not that it would matter to the overpaid twats)
    bletch
    1st Feb 2016
    1:53pm
    You are right Mcpsych
    cookie47
    1st Feb 2016
    2:10pm
    Add me to the list
    LiveItUp
    1st Feb 2016
    2:19pm
    Time to give pensioners the basics card so they can only spend it in Australia.
    ozrog
    1st Feb 2016
    2:21pm
    Guess Bonny is not on pension?
    LiveItUp
    1st Feb 2016
    2:24pm
    You guessed right no aged pension for me. I have to support myself, my toy boy and my house keeper on what I earn myself.
    KSS
    1st Feb 2016
    2:30pm
    Mcpsych, you include the unemployed as having disposable income?

    Frankly I would not be happy paying unemployment benefit to someone to sit on Kuta Beach in Bali because it's 'cheaper' there than say Bondi Beach. Where would the incentive be to actually get work?
    bletch
    1st Feb 2016
    2:30pm
    Exactly right or has not got an overseas partner !
    cookie47
    1st Feb 2016
    2:33pm
    Yeh. its easy to earn money when the sun goes down
    ozrog
    1st Feb 2016
    1:48pm
    What about disability pension?
    Gra
    1st Feb 2016
    7:14pm
    What about the DSP? That is a bit different to an Age Pension.
    niemakawa
    1st Feb 2016
    7:22pm
    Except in special circumstances the DSP is not portable at any time, even if you are of pension age but remain on the DSP. A person who reaches 65 and is receiving a DSP can continue with that or transfer to the Age Pension. Remember the Age Pension is classes as taxable income but more flexible in that you can ( for the time being anyway) be paid the AP indefinitely while you are overseas, subject to the residency test. If you chose to stay with the DSP, it is not classified as taxable , but it is not generally portable and payments will be paid for a limited time only if you go overseas.
    Hardworker
    1st Feb 2016
    1:52pm
    These changes are just another ploy to claw back money because Governments have been carefree and careless with OUR taxes. The Government has become very good at inciting one group to pick on another. As one can see from the comments made so far hard working tax payers fall into different categories because life does not come in black and white. Shit happens! While politicians and big business support each other and have access to all sorts of lurks and perks, the rest of us struggle or have to put up with goalpost changes when we are no longer in a position to do anything about the changes THEY make to OUR lifestyles. People need to have the freedom to choose which is the most appropriate path for them given their financial situation. There's a big difference between 26 weeks and 6 weeks. I think they calculated it on the money they needed rather than whether it was appropriate or not.
    Blue
    1st Feb 2016
    1:54pm
    What is wrong with Australian politicians don't they realise that many countries pay their citizens pensions while they are living overseas. The little they pay out in a pension saves them thousands on healthcare if that person was growing old in Australia.
    Our country is made up of immigrants who have made this country what it is today by the sweat of their brow at least give them the decency to choose to live out their lives with perhaps the remaining family they have in life wherever they are in the world without hindrance to a pension that has been hard earned over many years of work. Not everyone has had the level of education in life to get high paying jobs with good super remuneration, these ones should not be penalised because of lack of opportunity that others take for granted.
    U.K. And other European countries pay pensioners living overseas it's cheaper than paying healthcare for them in later years. Get smart Australia let your elderly live a better old age elsewhere instead of below the poverty line here.
    KSS
    1st Feb 2016
    2:35pm
    Bleu there are also many countries that pay NO pensions at all!
    Blue
    1st Feb 2016
    3:06pm
    Yes I know KSS but the countries that do, allow their pensioners to live anywhere they want to without stipulations, if you are living below the poverty line here you should have the right to live anywhere, where your standard of living is improved during your last years of life.
    bletch
    1st Feb 2016
    3:08pm
    correct Blue
    cookie47
    1st Feb 2016
    4:06pm
    Very true
    bandy
    1st Feb 2016
    2:00pm
    bletch may or may not help Im a 71 year old single retiree worked from 14 yrs of age to 68 yrs of age in Australia paid taxes all my life was fortunate never to be out of work.Through bad luck & sadly bad investments lost all my savings late in life & was not able to recover.At 68 I made the decision to move to a S.E.Asia country as I couldn't afford to live in Aus.I live here permanently I receive the basic single payment & no supplements I am able to survive with a reasonable life style,I dont wish to be here but thats the way it is.I have no medical cover which is a bit of a worry but with the Government making wholesale changes all the time can cause some stress.By the way I had to agree to leaving the country permanently so I didnt have to travel back to Australia after 26 weeks away.I love my country but this was the only way for me to live reasonably.
    bletch
    1st Feb 2016
    2:06pm
    I hear you Bandy, yes to live away from this beautiful country (which a lot of people take for granted) is not an easy decision at all.
    The language, the pollution, etc etc away from family, but we all have to live as best as we can AND with no free medical overseas which we will probably need at some time.
    All the best mate !
    cookie47
    1st Feb 2016
    2:25pm
    Good on you Bandy.
    The first half of your post is exactly the same as what happened to my wife and I,
    We lost our house and now live in a caravan.We scrimp and save so we can travel to the Philippines which is in fact cheaper to live apart from air fares.With a proposed 6 week rule a rethink will be needed
    Sconny
    1st Feb 2016
    2:05pm
    Here we go again same old same old...this current yuppie in the Lodge has just spent 9 million of taxpayer money to 'refurbish' his taxpayer funded house. So then they look around and say how can we pay for these new curtains and crap ahhh yes the age pensioners will bend over and take it without any complaint...politicians all the same ...LIARS
    johninmelb
    1st Feb 2016
    3:10pm
    Rubbish. This has nothing whatsoever to do with Turnbull.

    Renovations to The Lodge are organised by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

    The current renovations commenced during the Rudd/Gillard years, and were essential maintenance which included replacing a leaking roof, and asbestos removal. Additional works were approved by Abbot which blew out the budget.

    All governments everywhere in the world, provide their Prime Minister/President with a house during their term in office. Get off your backside and look at some of the palaces other heads of state live in compared to the dump our Prime Minister has. Doesn't say much for our great country, when other heads of state come to visit.

    Australians seem to have no pride in anything.
    Anonymous
    1st Feb 2016
    8:34pm
    John, you sound as if you are from England.
    johninmelb
    1st Feb 2016
    9:25pm
    Nope, 4th generation Aussie.
    Tassie
    1st Feb 2016
    2:07pm
    How come it's always the older aged pensioners that cop it..?
    Anonymous
    1st Feb 2016
    5:52pm
    Because they are the easiest target.
    melbgirl
    1st Feb 2016
    2:25pm
    There are a few people rorting the system, living in public housing and spending 26 weeks of the year in their home country whilst receiving pension and sub-letting their home at market rent, subsidising their overseas travel. This should put an end to that lurk. I agree that 6 weeks should be adequate for leisure travel, but maybe some provision for visiting immediate family with health issues could be included.
    LiveItUp
    1st Feb 2016
    2:28pm
    Did you know if you spend just under half the year in one country, same in another and then had holiday in a third one you are a world citizen and pay no tax anywhere.

    Maybe this is behind the change in rules here too.
    Anonymous
    1st Feb 2016
    2:30pm
    Something has to be done...people know how to rort the system and the money saved could go into increasing pensions for the genuine people.
    LiveItUp
    1st Feb 2016
    2:31pm
    Agree pensions should only be available to those who need them not those who are entitled to them even though they don't need them.
    Anonymous
    1st Feb 2016
    8:27pm
    Bonny, what a lot of nonsense.
    niemakawa
    1st Feb 2016
    8:29pm
    Bonny, not a very wise statement. By the way which are you?
    LiveItUp
    1st Feb 2016
    9:53pm
    I'm certainly not a pensioner but I have thought about becoming a world citizen. I have friends who do this. One lives part of the year in Australia and part in Spain. He then spends his holidays in the Greek Islands.
    niemakawa
    1st Feb 2016
    10:32pm
    Good Bonny, it is fun. Australia "embraces" multiculuralism" but not for pensioners, it seems. How strange.
    Ronin
    1st Feb 2016
    2:50pm
    I never understand the logic of government! Currently if you retire having to rely on a government pension and without owning a home, you are facing a life of penury and poverty in Australia. However on that pension you could still maintain a reasonable lifestyle in Bali or Thailand for example.

    So the Australian Government would rather you stayed in Australia and struggled? Admittedly if you were born here it won't affect you, but it does affect those, like myself, who have lived here for most of our working lives, say 20-25 years. 20/35ths of the base pension, without the various supplements, does not make a lifestyle anywhere!
    Rae
    1st Feb 2016
    4:15pm
    Rents will need to be forced down. To do that property prices will need to fall substantially. We could do with a rise in interest rates too. Ten years is quite long enough for older people to put up with reduced incomes so young people can spend up big.

    A big rise in interest rates would mean less aged pensions having to be paid at all.

    1st Feb 2016
    3:24pm
    The poor old bugger in the photo looks like he doesn't even know where he is, much less what he's entitled to.

    1st Feb 2016
    3:42pm
    Either stay here and suffer or move overseas and not get a Zac. Wonderful government.
    bletch
    1st Feb 2016
    3:43pm
    Seems to be heading that way

    Maybe Euthanasia is the 3rd choice for some !
    cookie47
    1st Feb 2016
    4:10pm
    They make you live in poverty here and when you want to move you can't
    Andy
    1st Feb 2016
    4:35pm
    once you have worked over 35 years, it is nobodys bloody business what you do with YOUR money, wipe your bum with it if you want. Politicans pensions need to be looked into and changed, and brought into alinement with normal age pensions.
    Anonymous
    1st Feb 2016
    5:51pm
    Buckley's hope of that, mate.
    Sconny
    2nd Feb 2016
    7:49am
    Andy you are so right mate. I get sick of reading the comments of some of these d...heads who have never done anything never been anywhere and make excuses for these grubby politicians of all persuasions. FAIR GO for pensioners who have brought up kids worked paid taxes all they're f...gin lives.
    carmencita
    1st Feb 2016
    5:10pm
    The social services minister does not realise or simply refused to consider that to receive pension overseas just like Australia, one has to reach pension age at that country. His reasoning is borne our of ignorance or just making an excuse. Saving millions to penalise those who are already here and have been taxpayers as opposed to saving billions if the government cancels all detention centres, overseas aid, and limiting refugee intake.
    niemakawa
    1st Feb 2016
    5:33pm
    Concerned about refugees. They can wait. What about Australians that have paid taxes all their lives. They deserve better. This is the thin end of the wedge. Remember it was only a couple of years ago that the qualifying period was 25 years. Next they will increase to 40+ years. NO I DO NOT AGREE WITH THE PROPOSED CHANGE. INCREASE IT TO 1 YEAR NOT REDUCE IT.
    Mike
    1st Feb 2016
    5:46pm
    Hockey called disabled people rorters, yet he and his mates pocketed $288 a night travelling allowance to pay of their holiday houses in Canberra. He is now in the US on a huge tax funded wage, and collecting over $300000 tax funded and tax free pension. Abbott spent $500000 taxpayers money on a personal vindictive witchhunt on Peter Slipper, and got him on a $953 cabcharge misuse, yet Bronwyn Bishop has misused hundreds of thousands of taxpayers money iand is STILL allowed to spend on herself. It is obvious, politicions are the biggest rorters of all, yet it is the pensioners, the working class, the disabled that have to pay for it. This is just another example of hitting those that have worked and saved and want to enjoy their retirement. Why should a pensioner be able to enjoy their retirement when it might interfere with how much Hockey or Bishop can stuff into their own pockets.
    Rae
    2nd Feb 2016
    7:40am
    Yes Mike. I can't understand the patience of older people who paid very large interest rates during the 70s, 80s and into the 90s and now when trying to live off saving are stuck year after year with very low rates. We should be getting around 8% after all this time of low rates and so pensioners are being ripped off while ever central bankers manipulate the markets to protect the wealthy and the debtors.
    Pity they didn't protect us while we were paying off mortgages.
    tj
    1st Feb 2016
    6:00pm
    Something maybe not related absolutely to the current subject but raises the issue of govts dictating where pensioners can take their own money .I remember NOT getting a $ 900 handout but i also remember uni students who left this country to work overseas ,leaving me and all of you to pay of their hex debt receiving the golden handshake.I wouldn't have thought a thing about it untill i was actually told this by someone in Canada who got it
    Mike
    1st Feb 2016
    6:13pm
    Similarly some New Zealand young people who spent a short time on a working holiday over here were very surprised to get the $900, paid to them in New Zealand. And its us part pensioners, who worked and saved that have to pay for it.
    Anonymous
    1st Feb 2016
    8:26pm
    Yis, Mike, thus es true and et es divistating our iconomy.
    niemakawa
    2nd Feb 2016
    8:15am
    The wonderful Kevin Rudd did that.

    1st Feb 2016
    6:23pm
    stats out to-day, so-called refugees who have entered this country in the last 10 years, cost 100 BILLION dollars a year, 93% of those are still unemployed after 10 years in this country, minium 5 families live in same house, provided with the dole by the taxpayer, yet more then 100000 persons, Australians, are homeless and sleeping on the streets, 80% of the money of those refugees are going back to where they come from and as soon no-body looks they are back in their own country living it up on the Australian taxpayers expense. yet when the government talks about tightening the rules everybody get their guts in a notch.
    read the comments of bletch, able to own his own house, telling us that his wife, born in china, is entitled to go back to live with her family on a Australian pension without having to work in Australia, stating he can't live on the single Australian pension, well bletch I get the single pension, I travel every second year overseas to see my family for 4 to 5 weeks and live a great life here in Australia, very seldom cook for myself, don't like washing the dishes, I receive a part pension from that country, served in the services, minus the supplement, I live in Australia and spend my money here, have I got any problems with that of course not. the problems I got with those who live overseas and expect the same pension without spending a penny over here, after all it is an Australian taxpayers funded pension, by living in those places, china, philipines, bali, lebanon etc. you are living cheap but got no interest to support the Australian economy while receiving the money from Australian taxpayers.
    whatsupdok
    1st Feb 2016
    11:52pm
    heemskerk99, why are you so bent on the fact they spend their and yet your attitude is its not their money but you act like it's yours. We are talking about retired people who have paid their life's share of taxes, we are not talking about funding refugees. Man, get your head up and see it for what it is. The money you think they will save by forcing retires to live next door to you will not be spent getting anyone off the streets in Australia. People are entitled to or at least have some consideration to finish out their lives under the same rules in which they lived and contributed. To change the rules is no different than the bank telling you they need more money so they've decided to change your contract, oh, wait they do that already, my bad. You sound like one of those people who just likes to be angry.
    niemakawa
    1st Feb 2016
    7:00pm
    Wait until the abolish the PBS some here maybe croaking it sooner rather than later.Would you be happy about that?
    Anonymous
    1st Feb 2016
    7:33pm
    forgive my ignorance, what is the pbs?, live in the country which looks after You not those who let you live on the cheap without medical services, pensions etc., which means you will come running back to the Australian taxpayers tits for free medical and hospital service, which is recognized as the world's best, unless you spend your taxpayer's funded pension in this country, forget how much tax you contributed, if you want to visit a foreign country for more then a month, don't expect the taxpayers to food your bill.
    niemakawa
    1st Feb 2016
    7:45pm
    But pensioners who choose the option to stay for prolonged periods outside of Australia will still be taxed on their "assets" by The Australian Government whether they be classified as resident or non-resident for tax purposes. So if they lose the right to a pension then Australia must lose the right to tax them.
    niemakawa
    1st Feb 2016
    7:47pm
    Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
    Anonymous
    1st Feb 2016
    8:29pm
    "What is the PBS?" You must be joking!
    Ellen
    1st Feb 2016
    7:50pm
    This is very bad news. The countries excluded with mutual benefits exclude Africa totally. How can I dictate my brothers, children and grandchildren' s life where to live? I should be able to visit any time for any length of time, especially when getting Northern Europe takes a good 2-3 days one way to get to the destination.Assuming mutual agreement for people on work contarcts are discriminating. No one will accept a work contract under 12 months. Duh!
    Anonymous
    1st Feb 2016
    8:32pm
    May be too many dictators in Africa and that's why it's excluded - ?
    niemakawa
    1st Feb 2016
    8:34pm
    What about all the Foreign Aid that they have been given over the years. That should be taken into consideration.
    niemakawa
    1st Feb 2016
    8:34pm
    What about all the Foreign Aid that they have been given over the years. That should be taken into consideration.
    Doogie
    1st Feb 2016
    8:44pm
    Why is Australia the only country I know, where you have to tell the government how you spend you pension?? I have family in the UK and they pay my fare every year so that I can go and see them-I normally go for 10 weeks but I still have to pay rent here. But big brother Centrelink still wants its pound of flesh. It is much cheaper for me to live in UK food and travel wise and I have no desire to move
    back permanently-I just want to see my family. I have been here for over 30 years.
    Anonymous
    1st Feb 2016
    9:22pm
    why don't you stay in the u.k, your family in great Britain pays for your travel and you have the cheek to complain they pay for only ten weeks, hey, give me their address, hearing your moaning I'll take the four weeks, pleased to stay with your family and I guarantee no complaints from me, only complaint from me, your pork pies and brown beer need big improvement

    1st Feb 2016
    8:57pm
    "Australia - love it or leave it" - it is as simple as that, and is with any other place, as well. There is no Utopia on Earth, and if you think there is, by all means, go look for it, but after a certain period of time don't expect ANY government to fund your search.
    Anonymous
    1st Feb 2016
    9:24pm
    find me a better place,
    whatsupdok
    1st Feb 2016
    11:25pm
    Hello, I'd like to try and make a few intelligent points as they relate directly to me and possibly those of you who only want to see this from your own perspective can relate a bit better. What is happening to we few who have our own PERSONAL reasons for wanting to live overseas may happen to you at some point. Basically, OUR government changing the rules. Some of which have been in place without a change for decades. That's right decades! I left America, a great country after living there and working, paying taxes and we have to buy our Aged and disability pensions, not like Australians who get them for free. Yes, they give them to you for free. You never have to work, pay any tax and you get the same as everyone else. Well, when I moved to OZ, I was out of the USA system and into the Australian system. I no longer bought my future pension amount. You see if I had stayed in would have had more money invested and the freedom to live where I liked now at 67 without the government getting involved with my freedom of choice. Now, after 25 years of being a citizen of this fine country they without concern for me at all, which also means they have no concern for anyone they have changed the rules at least 5 or more times in as many years. They break up the pension into supplements so they can sneakily chop it down in bits. I would have stayed in America had I realized what insensitive people they could be. My American pension would be at least $1,000 a month higher than my Australian. I wouldn't have them in my pocket scaring me out of making a permanent decision that affects my overseas family. The costs to bring my partner to Australia to live has been screwed by the same attitude because they have raised the Visa costs to $6,850.00 per family member. For me, that would be about $28,000.00 just in visa application cost with no refund if refused. The money I put away as a young man is of no value to me now, because the centrelink rules mean they take their money back. Like I said before, the ones like me are in a bad place having our civil liberties controlled. What's it matter if we decide to live overseas for a week or forever. There is no rule YET that pension money must be spent in Australia. Of course we may see it change again, food stamps, gas rations and such. You whiners and supporters of the stay at home crowd are fools acting like patriots until it affects you. We live in a mobile world, the baby boomers have grown up under government systems that promoted us to save, see the world, retire in the tropics, enjoy your reclining years as you wish. We contributed for decades just to live long enough to see our and your future dreams snuffed out. Thanks, "Indian Givers"
    Rae
    2nd Feb 2016
    7:56am
    Some interesting points. This is also happening to self funded retirees receiving only their own savings to live on but still entirely at the whim of government rules which change every budget night.


    This is what happens when your supposedly conservative government becomes a fascist ideologically driven party bent on extracting every last dollar for themselves and their friends.

    The alternative is a power hungry rabble. We really need a democratic central party who can manage a mixed economy of private and public good.
    whatsupdok
    1st Feb 2016
    11:25pm
    Hello, I'd like to try and make a few intelligent points as they relate directly to me and possibly those of you who only want to see this from your own perspective can relate a bit better. What is happening to we few who have our own PERSONAL reasons for wanting to live overseas may happen to you at some point. Basically, OUR government changing the rules. Some of which have been in place without a change for decades. That's right decades! I left America, a great country after living there and working, paying taxes and we have to buy our Aged and disability pensions, not like Australians who get them for free. Yes, they give them to you for free. You never have to work, pay any tax and you get the same as everyone else. Well, when I moved to OZ, I was out of the USA system and into the Australian system. I no longer bought my future pension amount. You see if I had stayed in would have had more money invested and the freedom to live where I liked now at 67 without the government getting involved with my freedom of choice. Now, after 25 years of being a citizen of this fine country they without concern for me at all, which also means they have no concern for anyone they have changed the rules at least 5 or more times in as many years. They break up the pension into supplements so they can sneakily chop it down in bits. I would have stayed in America had I realized what insensitive people they could be. My American pension would be at least $1,000 a month higher than my Australian. I wouldn't have them in my pocket scaring me out of making a permanent decision that affects my overseas family. The costs to bring my partner to Australia to live has been screwed by the same attitude because they have raised the Visa costs to $6,850.00 per family member. For me, that would be about $28,000.00 just in visa application cost with no refund if refused. The money I put away as a young man is of no value to me now, because the centrelink rules mean they take their money back. Like I said before, the ones like me are in a bad place having our civil liberties controlled. What's it matter if we decide to live overseas for a week or forever. There is no rule YET that pension money must be spent in Australia. Of course we may see it change again, food stamps, gas rations and such. You whiners and supporters of the stay at home crowd are fools acting like patriots until it affects you. We live in a mobile world, the baby boomers have grown up under government systems that promoted us to save, see the world, retire in the tropics, enjoy your reclining years as you wish. We contributed for decades just to live long enough to see our and your future dreams snuffed out. Thanks, "Indian Givers"
    whatsupdok
    1st Feb 2016
    11:26pm
    Hello, I'd like to try and make a few intelligent points as they relate directly to me and possibly those of you who only want to see this from your own perspective can relate a bit better. What is happening to we few who have our own PERSONAL reasons for wanting to live overseas may happen to you at some point. Basically, OUR government changing the rules. Some of which have been in place without a change for decades. That's right decades! I left America, a great country after living there and working, paying taxes and we have to buy our Aged and disability pensions, not like Australians who get them for free. Yes, they give them to you for free. You never have to work, pay any tax and you get the same as everyone else. Well, when I moved to OZ, I was out of the USA system and into the Australian system. I no longer bought my future pension amount. You see if I had stayed in would have had more money invested and the freedom to live where I liked now at 67 without the government getting involved with my freedom of choice. Now, after 25 years of being a citizen of this fine country they without concern for me at all, which also means they have no concern for anyone they have changed the rules at least 5 or more times in as many years. They break up the pension into supplements so they can sneakily chop it down in bits. I would have stayed in America had I realized what insensitive people they could be. My American pension would be at least $1,000 a month higher than my Australian. I wouldn't have them in my pocket scaring me out of making a permanent decision that affects my overseas family. The costs to bring my partner to Australia to live has been screwed by the same attitude because they have raised the Visa costs to $6,850.00 per family member. For me, that would be about $28,000.00 just in visa application cost with no refund if refused. The money I put away as a young man is of no value to me now, because the centrelink rules mean they take their money back. Like I said before, the ones like me are in a bad place having our civil liberties controlled. What's it matter if we decide to live overseas for a week or forever. There is no rule YET that pension money must be spent in Australia. Of course we may see it change again, food stamps, gas rations and such. You whiners and supporters of the stay at home crowd are fools acting like patriots until it affects you. We live in a mobile world, the baby boomers have grown up under government systems that promoted us to save, see the world, retire in the tropics, enjoy your reclining years as you wish. We contributed for decades just to live long enough to see our and your future dreams snuffed out. Thanks, "Indian Givers"
    whatsupdok
    1st Feb 2016
    11:38pm
    Hello, I'd like to try and make a few intelligent points as they relate directly to me and possibly those of you who only want to see this from your own perspective can relate a bit better. What is happening to we few who have our own PERSONAL reasons for wanting to live overseas may happen to you at some point. Basically, OUR government changing the rules. Some of which have been in place without a change for decades. That's right decades! I left America, a great country after living there and working, paying taxes and we have to buy our Aged and disability pensions, not like Australians who get them for free. Yes, they give them to you for free. You never have to work, pay any tax and you get the same as everyone else. Well, when I moved to OZ, I was out of the USA system and into the Australian system. I no longer bought my future pension amount. You see if I had stayed in would have had more money invested and the freedom to live where I liked now at 67 without the government getting involved with my freedom of choice. Now, after 25 years of being a citizen of this fine country they without concern for me at all, which also means they have no concern for anyone they have changed the rules at least 5 or more times in as many years. They break up the pension into supplements so they can sneakily chop it down in bits. I would have stayed in America had I realized what insensitive people they could be. My American pension would be at least $1,000 a month higher than my Australian. I wouldn't have them in my pocket scaring me out of making a permanent decision that affects my overseas family. The costs to bring my partner to Australia to live has been screwed by the same attitude because they have raised the Visa costs to $6,850.00 per family member. For me, that would be about $28,000.00 just in visa application cost with no refund if refused. The money I put away as a young man is of no value to me now, because the centrelink rules mean they take their money back. Like I said before, the ones like me are in a bad place having our civil liberties controlled. What's it matter if we decide to live overseas for a week or forever. There is no rule YET that pension money must be spent in Australia. Of course we may see it change again, food stamps, gas rations and such. You whiners and supporters of the stay at home crowd are fools acting like patriots until it affects you. We live in a mobile world, the baby boomers have grown up under government systems that promoted us to save, see the world, retire in the tropics, enjoy your reclining years as you wish. We contributed for decades just to live long enough to see our and your future dreams snuffed out. Thanks, "Indian Givers"
    whatsupdok
    1st Feb 2016
    11:38pm
    Hello, I'd like to try and make a few intelligent points as they relate directly to me and possibly those of you who only want to see this from your own perspective can relate a bit better. What is happening to we few who have our own PERSONAL reasons for wanting to live overseas may happen to you at some point. Basically, OUR government changing the rules. Some of which have been in place without a change for decades. That's right decades! I left America, a great country after living there and working, paying taxes and we have to buy our Aged and disability pensions, not like Australians who get them for free. Yes, they give them to you for free. You never have to work, pay any tax and you get the same as everyone else. Well, when I moved to OZ, I was out of the USA system and into the Australian system. I no longer bought my future pension amount. You see if I had stayed in would have had more money invested and the freedom to live where I liked now at 67 without the government getting involved with my freedom of choice. Now, after 25 years of being a citizen of this fine country they without concern for me at all, which also means they have no concern for anyone they have changed the rules at least 5 or more times in as many years. They break up the pension into supplements so they can sneakily chop it down in bits. I would have stayed in America had I realized what insensitive people they could be. My American pension would be at least $1,000 a month higher than my Australian. I wouldn't have them in my pocket scaring me out of making a permanent decision that affects my overseas family. The costs to bring my partner to Australia to live has been screwed by the same attitude because they have raised the Visa costs to $6,850.00 per family member. For me, that would be about $28,000.00 just in visa application cost with no refund if refused. The money I put away as a young man is of no value to me now, because the centrelink rules mean they take their money back. Like I said before, the ones like me are in a bad place having our civil liberties controlled. What's it matter if we decide to live overseas for a week or forever. There is no rule YET that pension money must be spent in Australia. Of course we may see it change again, food stamps, gas rations and such. You whiners and supporters of the stay at home crowd are fools acting like patriots until it affects you. We live in a mobile world, the baby boomers have grown up under government systems that promoted us to save, see the world, retire in the tropics, enjoy your reclining years as you wish. We contributed for decades just to live long enough to see our and your future dreams snuffed out. Thanks, "Indian Givers"
    niemakawa
    2nd Feb 2016
    12:21am
    Yes I have to agree with your comments. The Government has changed and continues to change the "rules" which impact on the freedom of choice when choosing an alternative place of retirement, other than Australia. The day will come when we will have no choice but to stay here and "die" or lose the pension. Thanks again for your post, I enjoyed reading it.
    Anonymous
    2nd Feb 2016
    1:14am
    whatsupdok, you seem to having a bit of the shakes on the keyboard, or a short-term memory. Best have that checked out.
    whatsupdok
    2nd Feb 2016
    2:56am
    Fast Eddie, you may have a point there, but I can't take all the blame. Philippines Internet is very slow or at times inactive. Press the send button, nothing happens so of course we repress it til something does. The other blame goes to this site as it t g end allows a multitude of the same posts to be posted! Got it?
    KSS
    2nd Feb 2016
    7:53am
    I'm not sure exactly what your complaint is whatsupdoc. At about the time you came to Australia at age 42 (being 67 now less 25 years), compulsory superannuation was introduced. This would have been similar to what you were used to in the USA. So for around 25 years (give or take a year or two) you would have been buying your own super and you could have added to that amount yourself. I grant you it may not have amounted to a comfortable retirement but you would still have retirement savings. Or perhaps you could have chosen to keep paying into your American pension fund. (But then in recent years you would have made a 'loss' on that too when the Australian dollar was worth more than the greenback!) As it is you made some life decisions you now seem to regret and blame the current Government. I am obviously missing something here.
    whatsupdok
    2nd Feb 2016
    3:57pm
    Yes, KSS. I agree you are missing heaps. I have for years tried to find an intelligent accountant in both countries that could understand the rules relating to the Treaty between the two countries. Almost impossible. Every move or plan is frot with no explanations or possible faults that dont show up. Especially with an Australian Govt. that changes the rules. When I came to Oz, the rule was 25 years at age 40. Now it jumped to 35. I was out of the country when they changed it so I got Grandfathered in and Im ok uness I come back for over 6 months then I ose that and back to 35? I didnt mention having cancer at 54 with a 6 week expectation to live. Got lucky and yes I was on the Disability Pension. My statements are not about money at all. They are about continuity in leaving the rules alone once a person has met the eligibility requirements and has set into motion their plans to retire whereever they are allowed to at the time. I wont belittle me or you by doing the word game but, its not fair. Never said I expected fairness just accountability by all.
    whatsupdok
    1st Feb 2016
    11:55pm
    I'd like to know if there is going to be any kind of Grandfathering applied to those who are living overseas or have made contracts or married someone overseas under the existing rules. Are they expected to just say oh, honey sorry, we can't be a family anymore, my government lied to me about our future.
    KSS
    2nd Feb 2016
    7:55am
    "Made contracts or married someone"?????

    Made contracts..... for what exactly?
    Rae
    2nd Feb 2016
    8:01am
    This government does not believe in grandfathering. Unless it applies to themselves or returned service personnel.

    It is suck it up, we lied and we can change the rules whenever.

    You can't trust them so obviously taking action to avoid needing to rely on government at all is a good idea especially for the young.

    That includes having funds outside of any vehicle they control. A SIV in the Caymans is better than Superannuation in Australia after all.
    Anonymous
    2nd Feb 2016
    3:42pm
    Grandfathering is out because it is too fair to working people. If any legislation means money for the government, as usually it does, that legislation with be retroactive to make up for lost time.
    whatsupdok
    28th May 2016
    4:18pm
    KSS, contracts to buy cars or homes overseas for example. Where is the security for those that have made irreversible commitments and the government does not take that into consideration. Again, there must be some form of compliance for all.
    Cruiser
    1st Feb 2016
    11:57pm
    They dont stop do they? When wil they leave retirees alone? They will be saving chicken feed, the big money, big savings from the top end of end is ignored. Roll on September. ...
    niemakawa
    2nd Feb 2016
    8:22am
    We are continually being told that we "belong" to the GLOBAL economy. So age pensioners must be allowed to participate and if they so choose to live outside of Australia should not be penalised by having their pension reduced.
    Fobwatch
    2nd Feb 2016
    11:46am
    This crisis, and the next, is government-generated. Abysmal "oversight" of tertiary education has actively encouraged massive bloating of the bureaucracy, to the point where it now consumes well over 60% of institutional income, squeezing out the "cost centres" (!), namely teaching and research. Tuition fees no longer pay tuition, instead they subsidise ever-growing administrative salaries. This disaster directly affects the quality of professional qualifications, including teaching. This in turn harms the quality of management and the workforce, and primary, secondary and kindergarten teaching. The result is a vicious cycle affecting our entire economy.

    High home ownership costs divert much-needed financial resources from productive sectors of the economy, and, obviously, from the ability to save for one's retirement. Who benefits from this? Developers and builders benefit from some property sales, but mostly it's banks and governments. State governments, which control land supply and zoning regulations, gain from high stamp duty receipts and GST payments. Local governments benefit from higher rates, especially when they can multi-dip from subdivisions. The Federal government surely takes its cut, as it's so darn keen on people moving into high-rise and high-density housing. Never mind the deterioration in traffic congestion and the failure of governments to provide new public transport services for our growing population over the past 130 years.

    What can we do with unrepresentative, perpetually dishonest and downright lazy, gravy-swilling politicians? I propose three amendments to the constitution: (1) Citizen-initiated referenda for amendments to the constitution and other laws. (2) All election promises must be recorded in a register, together with the personal penalty the politicians making them contract to pay if they break them. (3) Rates and other levies on land must be charged on land area only, so that councils receive no benefit from subdivision and high rise developments.

    The purposes of these three proposals are transparency, to eliminate certain inducements to politicians to do us over, and to take power out of the hands of the politicians and deliver it to where it belongs, with the people.

    Forget the Republc: who wants a President with even more power, when what we need is fundamental political reform. That's Reform with an R for real, not Deform with a D for deceit.
    Fobwatch
    2nd Feb 2016
    11:46am
    This crisis, and the next, is government-generated. Abysmal "oversight" of tertiary education has actively encouraged massive bloating of the bureaucracy, to the point where it now consumes well over 60% of institutional income, squeezing out the "cost centres" (!), namely teaching and research. Tuition fees no longer pay tuition, instead they subsidise ever-growing administrative salaries. This disaster directly affects the quality of professional qualifications, including teaching. This in turn harms the quality of management and the workforce, and primary, secondary and kindergarten teaching. The result is a vicious cycle affecting our entire economy.

    High home ownership costs divert much-needed financial resources from productive sectors of the economy, and, obviously, from the ability to save for one's retirement. Who benefits from this? Developers and builders benefit from some property sales, but mostly it's banks and governments. State governments, which control land supply and zoning regulations, gain from high stamp duty receipts and GST payments. Local governments benefit from higher rates, especially when they can multi-dip from subdivisions. The Federal government surely takes its cut, as it's so darn keen on people moving into high-rise and high-density housing. Never mind the deterioration in traffic congestion and the failure of governments to provide new public transport services for our growing population over the past 130 years.

    What can we do with unrepresentative, perpetually dishonest and downright lazy, gravy-swilling politicians? I propose three amendments to the constitution: (1) Citizen-initiated referenda for amendments to the constitution and other laws. (2) All election promises must be recorded in a register, together with the personal penalty the politicians making them contract to pay if they break them. (3) Rates and other levies on land must be charged on land area only, so that councils receive no benefit from subdivision and high rise developments.

    The purposes of these three proposals are transparency, to eliminate certain inducements to politicians to do us over, and to take power out of the hands of the politicians and deliver it to where it belongs, with the people.

    Forget the Republc: who wants a President with even more power, when what we need is fundamental political reform. That's Reform with an R for real, not Deform with a D for deceit.
    Fobwatch
    2nd Feb 2016
    11:49am
    I apologise for the repost: I didn't realise that holding my finger on the "Post comment" button would do that.
    whatsupdok
    28th May 2016
    4:20pm
    Yes, beware the troll above that likes to intimidate you for the Internets mistakes.
    marls
    2nd Feb 2016
    12:54pm
    i was 2 years old when i came to australia and have worked all my life here, when i get the aged pension which i have earned i should be able to live where ever i chose ppl move overseas BUT ppl from overseas also move here, my cousin married in italy and moved back to australia when her husband died this was where her family lived she gets a widows pension from italy, it works two ways. if i wish to travel to italy or germany i should be able to say as long as i chose, and for my having family there the cost is minimal i dont have to pay for hotels, motels etc
    Fobwatch
    2nd Feb 2016
    2:06pm
    Speaking of Italy. Tourists there receive the Italian version of Medicare, no questions asked. In this, Australia takes, but does not give. Bad global citizen!
    Fobwatch
    2nd Feb 2016
    2:11pm
    What does "35 years working in Australia" mean? Full time? Half-time? One hour a week? Every week? What about years of unpaid volunteer work?

    Bureaucracies are despicable. I didn't use Medicare from the date they brought it in until nearly 30 years later. I saved the taxpayer a lot by keeping healthy. By the time I did fall ill, they presumed to delete me from the system!
    niemakawa
    2nd Feb 2016
    6:35pm
    It is 35 years RESIDENCY, not "working"
    niemakawa
    2nd Feb 2016
    6:58pm
    And that means any "bludger" can go through life without doing a day's work, and still be entitled to the pension. That's how fair the system is. Work hard get less. Wonderful -NOT.
    Fobwatch
    2nd Feb 2016
    2:14pm
    "Marriage equality" is a bad joke! Wait until gays discover that being married means that only one of them gets the first home owners' grant, and when they retire their pension is less.

    The government complains about the aging population but penalises people for marrying. As far as I'm concerned it's obvious the government is anti-marriage, full stop.
    Mzunga
    2nd Feb 2016
    11:07pm
    I think Debbie McTaggart's 'opinion' section is a bit offensive. To imply that the Australian Age Pension is not meant to fund a life style of travelling - see copy below, is a bit harsh.
    So, in her eyes, pensioners should sit at home and wait for the day they die???
    My husband and I came to this blessed country in 1973. He worked from day one till the age of 67. I did the same with the exception of the time when I was pregnant and the children were young. I am 67 now and still working.
    Why can't I decide to go on a trip for 3 or 4 months if I want it? I think we paid our share of taxes to be entitled to the Age Pension.
    Let's see how Debbie thinks when she gets to the age of 67.

    "While reducing the time a person can be absent from Australia from 26 weeks to six weeks seems extreme, it’s worth remembering that the payment being made is an Australian Age Pension. It’s not a payment meant to fund lifestyles overseas or extended travel, but rather support those who do not have the savings to fund their own retirement"
    Not Senile Yet!
    3rd Feb 2016
    1:00am
    No Australian Pensioner should be dictated to by any Government about how long they can spend overseas just because they receive a Pension in retirement.
    This is an outright form of discrimination and especially aged discrimination!!!!
    The fact that this and every government before this one cannot balance the Budget says heaps about why they continue to change the rules in an effort to Cost Save!!!
    The Parties and their Puppets need to remember that they continually state that they are Family orientated.....yet these changes are exactly the opposite in an ever changing world.
    Yes there is good reason to change to only if you stay and Australian Resident from here onwards....however.....backdating is totally uncalled for!!!
    As for the Stated versions of the Pension being Welfare....What absolute rubbish!!!
    Pensions were always a separate Dept until combined for Administrative cost saving with welfare during the 90's!!!!
    To now label them as welfare is an outrageous lie and nothing more than propaganda thru labelling and name calling!!!!
    Do you not understand that every Public or Private for that matter, enterprise has been built on not only the taxes of Pensioners whilst working but also the money they paid to private corps that enabled them to make a profit???
    Every infrastructure you use today was paid for by a Pensioners at some point before you finished school or started work!
    Every road, Train, bus, plane, bridge, Council works, hospital and every school built was built from taxes paid in full by your humble Pensioner!!!!
    And those on here who say that it's okay to deny anyone the right to go overseas for longer than six weeks is a Moron!!!
    If one has family who will provide free accommodation....then why can't you stay 3 months???? What you think all the Pensioners are staying in Motels, Hotels or 5 star accommodation???? Please!!! get an education...most simply cannot afford that!!!
    3 to 6 Months is reasonable if staying with family or friends.....and one should not need permission!!!! OMG...this is a basic Freedom!!!!
    However....I do agree that living overseas should be closed for the future....but that also requires the Govt to STOP cutting the Pension....so one can afford to remain here without living in poverty!!!
    After all ...it is their very cost cutting that has caused people to look for cheaper economies to survive in anyway!!!
    niemakawa
    3rd Feb 2016
    2:05am
    Most other Western Countries allow pensioners to live overseas and still receive the age pension. This is the case for Australians living abroad and should remain and not closed as you suggested. How many Australian pensioners receive a pension from another Country but do not live there,thousands I would suggest. I agree with other aspects of your comment. Thanks.
    niemakawa
    3rd Feb 2016
    2:05am
    Most other Western Countries allow pensioners to live overseas and still receive the age pension. This is the case for Australians living abroad and should remain and not closed as you suggested. How many Australian pensioners receive a pension from another Country but do not live there,thousands I would suggest. I agree with other aspects of your comment. Thanks.
    pfbnug
    3rd Feb 2016
    3:22am
    I am an Australian citizen, now 80 years old. I was out of work in 1994 and was offered a job in Vietnam and took it because I was not ready to retire. Obviously, there are not many jobs going in the construction industry for men of 60 (as i was then). I had worked - and paid a very large amount of tax - for over 30 years. I was , however, told , and in writing, that I could not get my pension because I was overseas, so I had to continue working until two years ago. It is hard, even in Asia to get work at 80. I simply cannot afford to live in Australia now and I actually bought my pension because contributions were taken out of our income tax in the early days.
    niemakawa
    3rd Feb 2016
    4:17am
    Yes because you returned to Australia to claim your pension under current rules if you go overseas again within 2 years of claiming the pension, it will be stopped.
    Johnno11
    3rd Feb 2016
    4:24pm
    I have read many of the fine articals and also much of the rhetoric including comments which are not worth considering in this forum.
    What I can't fathom is, that we now have more retirees than workers in this country so why are we, the older generation, so powerless to have our grievances listened to and objectively addressed. Maybe the stats are incorrect which I would suspect so that welfare beauracrats and ministers can keep bleeding retirees.
    In the very early 1900s legislation was passed in which 1.5% would be set aside for the elderly. That legislation has disappeared and so have the savings. The savings went intp Frderal government coffers. How convenient for them. The legislation to my knowledge has not been revoked but I am more than happy to be corrected on that last point. If the legislation is still in effect I will ask the goverment to back pay me and my fellow retires for the 50 years we have worked. That's fair isn't it? Whats the chance of that happenning if that were the case?

    Anyway I wish to refer more to my original toic earlier on in which my family and I are trying to live on half a married couples benefit. The question I am posing is simply this. If a single retiree is finding it difficult to live on the Singles person pension and a married couple (Whom get a meagre amount more) is also finding it difficult then how in blazes am I supposed to find living when I only get a half a married couples benefit. With that I have two kids to support and my wife. As I said before, they are not Australian citizens nor do they live in our country and therfore are not entitled to Aussie benefits. Again I say, I concur with that decision. There are no free rides. However, to be relegated to a half a married couples benefit is debilitsting to say the least. The government has placed me way past the poverty line. I wonder, is that legal? It isn't moraL.
    My final point. For those of you who have been talking it up about cheaper environments to live in Australia. I will make this simple for you. Your inteligence gatheting is either poorly researched or you are talking from where I know you are really talking from. I have been living in the sticks before I retired for some years. The cost of living in fact is just as expensive and in some areas more. I read a headline in the Australian newspaper. just recently. It stated " Australia is officially the most expensive country in the world to live in. Maybe you got your results from the same research company but just misinterpreted the information. It happens at times.
    I am back in Aus for work. Why? My family and I can not live on half a married couples benefit. Oh! By the way! Im paying taxes again. And yes you dole bludgers there is work out there. You need the yearning to get off your backsides and look for it. Waiting for a brain surgeons job whilst you have an IQ of zero doesn't go down to well with us retirees.
    Johnno11
    3rd Feb 2016
    4:24pm
    I have read many of the fine articals and also much of the rhetoric including comments which are not worth considering in this forum.
    What I can't fathom is, that we now have more retirees than workers in this country so why are we, the older generation, so powerless to have our grievances listened to and objectively addressed. Maybe the stats are incorrect which I would suspect so that welfare beauracrats and ministers can keep bleeding retirees.
    In the very early 1900s legislation was passed in which 1.5% would be set aside for the elderly. That legislation has disappeared and so have the savings. The savings went intp Frderal government coffers. How convenient for them. The legislation to my knowledge has not been revoked but I am more than happy to be corrected on that last point. If the legislation is still in effect I will ask the goverment to back pay me and my fellow retires for the 50 years we have worked. That's fair isn't it? Whats the chance of that happenning if that were the case?

    Anyway I wish to refer more to my original toic earlier on in which my family and I are trying to live on half a married couples benefit. The question I am posing is simply this. If a single retiree is finding it difficult to live on the Singles person pension and a married couple (Whom get a meagre amount more) is also finding it difficult then how in blazes am I supposed to find living when I only get a half a married couples benefit. With that I have two kids to support and my wife. As I said before, they are not Australian citizens nor do they live in our country and therfore are not entitled to Aussie benefits. Again I say, I concur with that decision. There are no free rides. However, to be relegated to a half a married couples benefit is debilitsting to say the least. The government has placed me way past the poverty line. I wonder, is that legal? It isn't moraL.
    My final point. For those of you who have been talking it up about cheaper environments to live in Australia. I will make this simple for you. Your inteligence gatheting is either poorly researched or you are talking from where I know you are really talking from. I have been living in the sticks before I retired for some years. The cost of living in fact is just as expensive and in some areas more. I read a headline in the Australian newspaper. just recently. It stated " Australia is officially the most expensive country in the world to live in. Maybe you got your results from the same research company but just misinterpreted the information. It happens at times.
    I am back in Aus for work. Why? My family and I can not live on half a married couples benefit. Oh! By the way! Im paying taxes again. And yes you dole bludgers there is work out there. You need the yearning to get off your backsides and look for it. Waiting for a brain surgeons job whilst you have an IQ of zero doesn't go down to well with us retirees.
    whatsupdok
    3rd Feb 2016
    6:48pm
    I don't understand how while you are living outside Australia and married they can deduce that your wife should be able to half support you? Adding to that analysis what happens when she reaches retirement age? She won't get any benefits , does the rule revert back to you then being able to receive the single benefits. I find it atrocious that centrelink uses the rules always to benefit them but, never us?
    Johnno11
    3rd Feb 2016
    7:51pm
    Hi whatsupdoc.
    As I said in a previous pos the Welfare Act was written in 1991 when legislators still had their heads buried in the golden sands of Australia. Since the only thing that legislators have contributed are amendments which has only made the lwgislation worse. We are supposed to be a global villiage which to me means we embrace all countries, religions, race etc snd treat this villiage as one. But that very rhetoric only comes from the polies and senior public servants when it suits them. My wife can't work as she is classified as being too old in her country. The government encourages companies to hire younger personnel so that they can support their parents. Considering that they only get $12 for a 12 hour day it doesn't go far. The act states that I am living with a partner and therfore only entitled to half a married couples benefit. The out dated legislation was written by Australians for Australians living in Australia. There is no flexibility to meet the twenty first century. The next new law they are considering is to dictate that we can only find companionship in Australia and must marry an Australian. To me companionship is where you find it and, if a relationship develops overseas so be it. All this rubbish talk about aussie money going into other economies is absolute nonsense. In comparison to the population of Australia the number of people choosing to live overseas is so miniscule that it's just not worth discussing. The monies going out of Australia would have the same impact as one drop of rain in the blue lake. One really tires of some pseudo intellectuals on this fotum who appear to simply have an axe to.grind with retirees or, their lives are so secure that they have lost any form of compassion and just have a degrading concept about retirees.
    My life has taken me where I am at now and yes, we have life choices but, some choices/directions are out of our hands. I just want to be with my family. All I aske was for me to maintain the single person's benefit. Nothing more. When I die my wife will have to fend for herself for the remainder of her years. Her country doesn't have all the lucrative benefits that a majority of spoilt brat tax payer funded Australians enjoy. All I see on this forum is why retirees should or should not be entitled to the pension etc. They never question the benefits that they and or their grown up children receive. And may I add, a multitude more than during my years or for that matter, my parents. Maybe us retirees should be stating the same facts. Just because the young generation pay taxes doesn't qualify them to dip into tax payers money. Same analogy.
    Anonymous
    3rd Feb 2016
    9:07pm
    johno, hey wake up, why are australians having to look after you while you have another fling and you hope to prove you can produce another burden to this country, wake up and show some responsibility to this country or is it me, me, me, I could not care if the wages are 1 cent an hour overseas, you live here and you pay the going rate, if you can't live on your pension, go and live where you can, don't try to blame australia for your expensive taste.
    whatsupdok
    3rd Feb 2016
    9:14pm
    heemskerk99, this is one of them. All he sees is what wants to see. No real life experiences obviously. I don't believe that they can enforce that rule on your having a partner who doesn't have a right in he'll in Australia to live there or come as your wife. They just last year increased the Visa application for her to $6,850 just to apply for a visa with no refund for refusal.
    Johnno11
    3rd Feb 2016
    11:37pm
    Hi again whatsupdoc.
    The previous comment prior to yours made no sense to me what's so ever. Expensive taste. Hmm where did I have in my scribes that I owned the latest merc coupe and a massive investment portfolio? Another burden to Australia? Did I say in my scribes that I wanted to bring my family over to Australia? Hmmm I dont think so. Expensive life style? Hmmmm I don't think so. But it appears that the previous commentator knows more about my personal life than I do.
    Thanks for you comments whatsupdoc but the rules are the rules. Centrelink can't make exceptions which veer from their legislative reponsibilities. Only the ministerial office of the department can make such decisions I believe. Like I said before, morally it's wrong but legally it's right. Yes I am aware of the price hike for permanent visas. Morally it's wrong not getting your money back nor an explanation. I have no intentions of bringing my family here anyway. To the previous commentator, read the transcript and analyze it before engaging your finger on the key board.
    whatsupdok
    4th Feb 2016
    3:14am
    Exactly, I am somewhat amazed that there are so many insecure folks out there that have a need to attack and grind their teeth at what others are trying to have a civilized discussion about. As a 67 yr old pensioner I'm living the best I can with what is left after a lifetime of trials and errors. Ending up trying to help a small family live better than they ever could, there was a time I would have been considered a good Christian. Now, to even use that term as an expression is enough to start a war. The world is not becoming what it was trying to become 50 years ago. This is why death comes as a friend I guess when we see that the dreams we had will never be?
    Johnno11
    4th Feb 2016
    10:40am
    Hello again whats up doc.
    Never ever concern your great life with other people's negativities, arrogance and ill informed facts of life. Many on this and other forums wish to expouse their concepts of life by sheer bullying or arrogant directives because their level of intelligence is extremely limited. As a good christisn we must forgive those that are intellectually handicapped and learn to ignore them. They usually go away unless they are complete retards in which you just completely ignore again.
    Anyway mate, it seems you and I have had a similar life. Possibly that is why we appreciate each other's comments.
    67 isn't old nor should the age be a death sentence. Death will come to all of us in it's own good time. No need to wish it along or give it any form of encouragement. You're 67 and I'm 66. We got a lot of living to do and for me, I am lucky to say, my Thai family makes that experience even more enjoyable. Don't get me wrong, it's not all a bed of roses but by god I love the challenges it brings in my life. Or maybe I am just a glutton for punishment haha. My only concern is this outdated and unrealistic social ervices legislation. We should never allow an over paid rich politician or bureaucrat to write legislation for those in genuine need. Their bent will always be in the wrong direction. This is why I say, if the retired people are in fact the majority we need to let those stuck up in Canberra know that they can't keep wassting tax payers money on ill conceived concepts just to appease the minority. Many good intellectuals have said time and time again, if you can't look after your own back yard what the hell are you doing meddling in some one elses. Look after your own people first before you over generously look after others. Sure we have issues around the world but those issues exist here also. Some have driven themselves to their very existence but many have just fallen to the wayside purely by bad luck. Does that give us the right to condemn those unfortunates? Me thinks not
    Johnno11
    4th Feb 2016
    10:51am
    PS whatsupdoc
    Never ever give up on your hopes or dreams. Irrespective of financial woes live the life you and I have to the fullest. You can give up on your hopes and dreams when you are dead. Their are more people out their that are worse off than you or me.
    Fobwatch
    4th Feb 2016
    1:15pm
    We the public must own the discourse. We have the right to call a spade a spade. When policy directions are destructive, they are not reforms, they are Deforms. A government bureaucracy that cares naught for the people whose taxes (inc GST) pay their salaries is a Public Disservice.
    Johnno11
    4th Feb 2016
    1:29pm
    I agree with your sentiments. Unfortunately you are dealing with handicapped people. We call them politicians and bureaucrats. There are other appropriate names also. Unfortunately these people are allowed to blunder our money away without some form of recourse. There is no accountability in Canberra just more blinders.

    There is Canberra and there is Australia. Canberra feels like it is an independent and autonomous country and that the rest of Australia is there to feed THEIR life style and blunders only.
    Fobwatch
    4th Feb 2016
    1:22pm
    Readers will recall the Liberal Party campaigns before its smashing victories in 1975 and 1977. Remember the mantra that the people know best how to spend their money? That government should get out of the way? That laws had to be simplified and its burdens greatly decreased? That the bureaucracy needed to be cut drastically to make room for the private sector?

    What happened to that? We have the right to demand he fulfilment of all those promises. Politicians have no right to commit fraud against the voters. Fraud is a felony.
    Fobwatch
    4th Feb 2016
    1:22pm
    Readers will recall the Liberal Party campaigns before its smashing victories in 1975 and 1977. Remember the mantra that the people know best how to spend their money? That government should get out of the way? That laws had to be simplified and its burdens greatly decreased? That the bureaucracy needed to be cut drastically to make room for the private sector?

    What happened to that? We have the right to demand he fulfilment of all those promises. Politicians have no right to commit fraud against the voters. Fraud is a felony - the more so in positions to which so much has been entrusted.
    Fobwatch
    4th Feb 2016
    1:22pm
    Readers will recall the Liberal Party campaigns before its smashing victories in 1975 and 1977. Remember the mantra that the people know best how to spend their money? That government should get out of the way? That laws had to be simplified and its burdens greatly decreased? That the bureaucracy needed to be cut drastically to make room for the private sector?

    What happened to that? We have the right to demand he fulfilment of all those promises. Politicians have no right to commit fraud against the voters. Fraud is a felony - the more so in positions to which so much has been entrusted.
    Fobwatch
    4th Feb 2016
    1:23pm
    Readers will recall the Liberal Party campaigns before its smashing victories in 1975 and 1977. Remember the mantra that the people know best how to spend their money? That government should get out of the way? That laws had to be simplified and its burdens greatly decreased? That the bureaucracy needed to be cut drastically to make room for the private sector?

    What happened to that? We have the right to demand he fulfilment of all those promises. Politicians have no right to commit fraud against the voters. Fraud is a felony - the more so in positions to which so much has been entrusted.
    Fobwatch
    4th Feb 2016
    1:23pm
    Readers will recall the Liberal Party campaigns before its smashing victories in 1975 and 1977. Remember the mantra that the people know best how to spend their money? That government should get out of the way? That laws had to be simplified and its burdens greatly decreased? That the bureaucracy needed to be cut drastically to make room for the private sector?

    What happened to that? We have the right to demand he fulfilment of all those promises. Politicians have no right to commit fraud against the voters. Fraud is a felony - the more so in positions to which so much has been entrusted.
    Fobwatch
    4th Feb 2016
    1:23pm
    Readers will recall the Liberal Party campaigns before its smashing victories in 1975 and 1977. Remember the mantra that the people know best how to spend their money? That government should get out of the way? That laws had to be simplified and its burdens greatly decreased? That the bureaucracy needed to be cut drastically to make room for the private sector?

    What happened to that? We have the right to demand he fulfilment of all those promises. Politicians have no right to commit fraud against the voters. Fraud is a felony - the more so in positions to which so much has been entrusted.
    Fobwatch
    4th Feb 2016
    1:25pm
    Oh dear! My profound apologies for the multiple post: entirely unintended. This website's software needs repair.
    Johnno11
    4th Feb 2016
    1:32pm
    Don't worry about it. It happens when you get passionate about an issue and your fingers and hands begin to tremble. When that happens just keep away from the keyboard for a moment or two hahahaha
    jonboy
    4th Feb 2016
    1:43pm
    The Government now wants to stop you going overseas for longer than 6 weeks.
    What if you have family and Relos and once you pay for the airfare and you would like to stay 26 weeks to make the cost worthwhile?
    As I would want to.
    And I cant believe yourlifechoices thinks this is fair :(
    Johnno11
    4th Feb 2016
    1:54pm
    Johnboy I am not sure if you get life choices but there is an excellent explanation by them. Maybe look at today's new edition
    kevinc
    4th Feb 2016
    7:28pm
    Hi, perhaps Im missing something, ? as a 3rd. generation Australian, who has worked and
    paid taxes and now qualify for the aged pension, what business is it of the government if I choose live in another country, where my pension will give me a comfortable life style as against living in poverty in Australia.? It does not cost the Australian government any more,
    there is no rule that you must live in poverty to receive the pension, its an Australian pension why should the government care where you spend it. or , is it only available if the government has an agreement with another country, can someone put it in plain English.?
    Johnno11
    4th Feb 2016
    10:58pm
    Hi kevinc.

    First and foremost it is Not the Government telling you where you can or cannot live. I will make this very clear. I base this information on facts as I live overseas most of the time.
    Do not try to decipher some of the information on this forum or you will leave here very confused.
    No you DON"T have to live in another reciprocal country.
    If you have worked for 35 years plus in Australia and meet all the other requirements such as the asset test you can live in Eskimo land if you feel so bent.
    However, after a certain period away from Australia you will in fact lose the supplement benefits and possibly, I say again possibly may have your pension reduced. I don't know your circumstances so I cannot advise. Centrelink must be advised of your intentions should you wish to leave our shores and they will advise you as to what your entitlements will be once you have expired the return date should you have one.
    The reason why some people insist you to stay is that they believe our economy will fall over because you are spending Aussie money in another country and propping up that country.
    This comment is touted by many on this forum. Apart from the fact that there are countless and I mean, countless of thousands of Australians traveling all over the world every year with "Now wait for it" (we have to keep it a secret) our Aussie money is irrelevant to these twits. Vacationers don't take two dollars to spend on their deserved holidays they take a hefty few thousand. Where are they spending it? Uhhmmmm not in Australia. Oh I can hear the cries of anguish coming from the forum already. To be quite frank, the number of Aussies living abroad on the meager pension flies in the realms of insignificance, into the abyss of useless tripe in comparison to the billions of dollars that Aussies spend when going on holidays abroad.
    For the government to try and incarcerate to the confines of the Australian border for the rest of our lives after we have retired would be like putting you in prison for a crime you haven't committed. The very thought of such an idea should send shudders of fear down the spine of every decent human being in this country of ours. To even threaten our people to either live in Australia by suggestion that your pension would cease should you do so would be a direct attack on our rights. Such an act is called victimization, discrimination and blackmail. In this country Black mail by coercion or by other means such as scribing legislation to achieve the same outcome would be a criminal act . Politicians and some top heavy bureaucrats may believe that they can hide behind parliamentary privileges for some of their actions but when there is a deliberate intent to facilitate a criminal act those privileges are of little consequence.
    Go live your life in peace kevinc and don't take one ounce of notice to the negative comments in this forum. You will learn a lot from the department of human resources and Centrelink links.
    kevinc
    5th Feb 2016
    8:53am
    Hi Johnno11, thanks for your clarification, agree with everything said, however there is confusion in this area. I have a Philippine friend who was born and worked in OZ , but wanted to take his pension back to P.I. and live with relo,s , centrelink gave him a hard time about it,
    but got it through because he had a sick grandmother in that country , so Im thinking its not a god given right. ? As you say it should be classed as discrimination to force Australians to live here. As for the folks who say its not much different cost wise living here, or other counties, they have their eyes closed ,or have not travelled. My friend,s ozzie pension equates to more than 10 times the average weekly wage in that country, in beautifull areas of P.I. (not Manilla ) he can live like a king. In Australia he was in poverty, like it or lump it ,that's the reality. KC
    JackandJill
    5th Feb 2016
    12:56pm
    I'm confused here.... My husband and I worked hard, and have superannnuation pensions but receive a small pension from Centrelink. For a long time, we have planned to take a cruise that is longer than six weeks - a reward for our working years. If we do, does it mean we will lose our pension and benefits while we are away and have to re apply? Or is this legislation purely aimed at residents who choose to return to another country for a long period.
    micko
    21st Feb 2016
    8:18pm
    If you are covered by the 35 year rule then you will only lose the supplement portion of your pension after 6 weeks.
    Fletch
    5th Feb 2016
    1:28pm
    I have a question, I was born in Australia and am 61 and started work at 16, I developed throat cancer in 1998 and have been classified permanently disabled since 2001 hence 28 years effectively in the work force. I am now on my private disability insurance till I turn 65 when it stops and have to live on my super and what ever pension I can still get. I currently also get a small Centrelink pension as well. I may have to relocate overseas to look after my wife's aging mother in Malaysia in a couple of years. Will I qualify under the new ruling for 26 weeks payment under the aged pension due to my working period of less than 35 years however have lived in Australia all my life? These continual changes seem to only affect pensioners and not politicians as their "grandfather clause" protects their pensions from future changes they force against us... how fair is that??
    whatsupdok
    5th Feb 2016
    11:44pm
    Yes, you will get your entire old age pension or you can take an assessment test and keep your disability pension and even be better off as it allows full portability. But as you said, no rule is carved in stone. At 65 both become taxable income.
    pfbnug
    6th Feb 2016
    3:44am
    When I was a young man, there was no such thing as the Social Welfare Club - it was a case of " No workee, No eatee!" We all managed to find jobs, but they might have been hard yakka in remote areas - try cutting cane for a season! Or building a tunnel for the Snowies scheme or working in a shearing shed! We still paid income tax etc., which included provision for our eventual pension (There was no such thing as Superannuation etc.,) So, I paid for my eventual pension as well. If anyone had said back then that the Government would pay lazy bludgers not to work (out of our taxes), they would have been committed to a lunatic asylum. Anyway, I am aware of what the Law says, but Centrelink wrote to say that the law had changed because too many people were on the dole and Oz had too many incomers here for the free handouts. although in much mealy-mouthed terms. SOOOO- no pension for me. That is wrong, legally and morally, but what can I do?
    PS I am now 80 y.o and finding work at my age is very difficult
    Zulu
    6th Feb 2016
    7:18pm
    A reduction from 26 Weeks to 6 weeks is a bit draconian to say the least. While agreeing wholeheartedly with the requirement to have lived in Aus for 35 years, the fact is that some people who meet the residency criteria save hard to take an extended overseas holiday, or to visit and stay with overseas relations, and this would, effectively, impact their ability to do so without being penalised. I believe that 12 weeks is a fair compromise or,at worst, no less than 9 weeks.
    Anonymous
    6th Feb 2016
    8:38pm
    six weeks is enough to see your relatives, why did you come to australia in the first place?
    whatsupdok
    6th Feb 2016
    9:54pm
    I personally came to Australia because having lived all my life in America and overseas in found at the time Australia offered a lifestyle and government that was free thinking like America was before the 800. Now, if I had to make that choice today I would have stayed in America where my pension would be higher and my country would not be interfering with my freedom of choice. Now, I'm stuck with a government and people like some on this group who are small and narrow minded about seeing what is right and wrong and smart and ridiculous.
    Aussie
    3rd Mar 2016
    5:11pm
    Mate not sure about your complaints ..... Yes Australia is impossible to live anymore but you get US and Australian pension 1000US plus at least 1800+ Australian Ummmmmm
    just thinking ...good money mate.
    have a home ???? paying mortgage ????
    Maybe move OS again may suit your lifestyle ..... I did and I am 100% +++ happy
    C
    whatsupdok
    28th May 2016
    4:34pm
    One big thing I've done is learn everything about the pension before I make any statements or changes that could be used in a way that detriments my life. I know what ways to keep me and them satisfied. I do have my USA and Aussie pensions although not 100% of either. Along with that are heaps ore rules and tax consequences to deal with from both. I have to make sacrifices that cause me some financial, physical and emotional distress that I wold much prefer to avoid. It also means that one day the government will change something that will affect not only me but those I live with and for. That is my biggest concern and why I never live higher than possible so my savings will always be available when my umbilical cords may be cut.
    NanaFe
    7th Feb 2016
    9:07pm
    I was born in Australia, grew up in Scotland with Scottish parents. I migrated back to Australia 35 years ago and have worked the best part of 30 years in this country. I can no longer afford to live in Australia and will move back to Scotland where I can buy a home outright. However, the money I make from the sale of my current home - which still has 20yrs on its mortgage - will only last for a short time, even with prudent investment. I was under the impression that I would qualify for at least partial pension when I reach 65yrs, and this would supplement the pension I will receive from the UK. Am I now to believe that this will NOT be the case, that I will NOT receive any pension AT ALL? I'm now very worried that I will have to sell off the home I buy in Scotland and live on the streets! The rental homes there are very expensive. I'm very worried now. Any suggestions?
    whatsupdok
    7th Feb 2016
    10:49pm
    Yes, get a gun and start practicing, I think it will be needed in more ways than we can imagine?
    niemakawa
    14th Mar 2016
    11:59pm
    I believe you will be entitled to a part pension ( Australian) after you reach the age of 65. However you must be in Australia at that time to claim the pension ( except under exceptional circumstances) . SO if you move back to Scotland before you reach 65, you will need to return to Australia to claim the pension. The catch being, if you do this then you must reside in Australia for the next 2 years before being allowed to go overseas again. If you go anytime before this 2 year period has elapsed, then your pension will be stopped. So check with Centrelink on your rights.
    Rusty
    9th Feb 2016
    12:26pm
    Oh boy here we go againe.i been planing to spend the rest of my live after retirement on my 40 ft Sailing boat and sail the 7 seas,but with the changes i have to rush back every 6 weeks and " clock on " so the government sees i am still in the country? This government is a big disappointment and i will never vote liberal again. This government is telling us what we can do with the money which by law is ours,but now a few polies think they can do what ever they like .The times of Kings and dictator ship are gone ,well we thought so,but we still run by people who think they can do what ever the think its fair to them . My problem is that there are enough pensioners in Australia and if most of them go to there MPs and tell them they will not be voted back into there posts if this is getting trough i don't think they would do it ?
    Though i seen more stupidity in Politicians than i seen in a Mental asylum.
    Fern
    9th Feb 2016
    4:23pm
    I have never had the opportunity to go overseas for longer than a short cruse. However, I have always had the dream of going to Europe for a couple (or 3) months if and when I could afford it. I am a bred and born Australian. A lot of people I know take off and tell me what a great time they had. I think they are genuine people who saved stringently for their holidays, and so I feel this law would be unjust. When we are raising families and helping them to get started in life, with all the dramas and expenses this entails, most of us can't wait until we are free to have our own pleasures in life. I certainly hope that the Senate will see that this will be highly unfair to Penioners.
    Aussie
    3rd Mar 2016
    4:26pm
    I agree nobody should expect Australian Govt. to pay for your life overseas unless you live work and pay your taxes for significant number of years and even then we should be grateful to receive a reduced amount (After 46 years in Australia)

    To remember that if you are overseas all your entitlements will be cut off medical, concessions, pension supplement, energy, rental assistance etc. so really will be a good savings for the government.

    My pension has been reduce to the minimum because I have been in Australia for over 45 years
    soph
    14th Mar 2016
    8:31am
    Four months ago, I moved to Crete because the cost of living here is cheaper than in Australia. I am on the Age Pension, and have lived in Oz for more than 35 years, so other than losing telephone/internet and rent assistance, my pension has not changed. Lucky for me, I have dual citizenship so living here has not been a problem. Back home, trying to pay rent and live on the OAP was a real problem, and I can understand how pensioners who do not own their own home could be in danger of being homeless.
    rob101
    14th Mar 2016
    12:41pm
    Can I once again reiterate that Pensioners pay Tax on the Age Pension,whether they are resident in Australia or NOT! It's NOT FREE MONEY!
    No one on this Forum seems to have acknowledged this.Maybe it doesn't fit in with their particular political philosophy.
    rob101
    B j
    14th Mar 2016
    1:05pm
    With regards to the comment on half the married pension, my husband & I receive a couples pension not a combined amount ie we both receive an amount that is seperate paid to whatever bank account you choose no such thing as half a married couples pension.Should be able to be able to travel overseas for three months before pension is affected,living overseas permanent a different matter.
    kev888
    14th Mar 2016
    1:30pm
    Debbie Mc Taggart I am nearing the aged pension and expect the entitlement that I have contributed to over my entire working life to be paid in full no matter where I decide to live in this Global world that the Aust government are a part of. The ANZACs fought for freedom for future generations, to restrict that freedom they gave there lives for in anyway is disrespectful to them and persecution of the aged in this case . To even suggest restriction on aged portability and those seeking a better life is frankly academic ignorance's. The pension is by no means an extravagance support of a life style it is survival. Here's a suggestion.... why don't you write to your MP and suggest that you would like to withdraw your taxation contributions for the aged pension for when you retire. I think you should worry about your own retirement not mine. You have not funded mine...
    bandy
    14th Mar 2016
    3:38pm
    Hi bletch,I think we have commented on this before but my experience may assist you.I left Australia 4 years ago to live in a third world country a single fully retired male having worked 50 plus years in Australia & never out of work & paid taxes.
    When I left I signed a form with centrelink & also Immigration I was leaving permanently & the reason being I could not afford to live in Australia.
    I receive the single retired pension without any other benefits,I have no health insurance which is a bit of a worry but have a reasonable lifestyle.
    I do not travel back to Australia,again its to expensive my only regret(other than missing Auss)is not keeping an address there as mail goes missing here.
    So I have permanently departed this is what you may have to consider cheers
    whatsupdok
    14th Mar 2016
    8:13pm
    Id like to hear more about doing thst?
    bandy
    14th Mar 2016
    3:46pm
    PS,bletch dont take any notice of the bonny s robbo or the paicey58 you've put your time in
    ex PS
    14th Mar 2016
    4:23pm
    Since a good proportion of the money that is provided to pay out pensions came and comes from people receiving them by way of taxes paid, I can't see how it is any of this thieving governments business how or where it is spent.
    Just because you retire it does not mean that you stop paying taxes. If the government wants to stop representing pensioners so that it can concentrate on doing favours for its backers in big business, it should excuse us from the paying GST.
    It also needs to consider that it doesn't matter how much the mining companies donate to their election campaign the reality is, THEY STILL ONLY GET ONE VOTE. Grey Power can vote you out of office, all it needs do is organize itself.
    niemakawa
    14th Mar 2016
    5:36pm
    Is the residency period calculated at the time a person first received the pension? Say a person aged 65 is granted the pension and at that point has 30 years residency. Then at aged 70 that person go overseas for an extended period(more than 6 weeks/6 months) or moves permanently to another Country. Under the residency TEST will that person be considered to have completed 35 years residency and therefore be entitled to the full pension (excluding supplements)
    kevinc
    14th Mar 2016
    5:57pm
    Hi, its based on how long you have resided in Australia before you
    start collecting the pension, if you start collecting after 30 years
    ,then, my understanding they will consider you as at the 30 year
    residency. best talk to an F.I.S officer at Centrelink
    niemakawa
    14th Mar 2016
    6:25pm
    Kevinc- THANKS. The "policy" is not clear as it stands.
    FM
    14th Mar 2016
    7:49pm
    The amount of venom that continues to be shown towards retirees who have contributed so much to this country beggars belief. Where does six weeks come from? People who came here to work later in life have taken far less from the country than people who grew up here. They received their education elsewhere which did not cost Australia anything and did not receive any family payments. They receive part of their pension from their country of origin if they had reached working age when they came here. Surely they are entitled to receive their Australian component when overseas.
    What mathematical formula says that people who have worked and contributed in Australia for up to thirty five years should lose their pension if away for more than six weeks while people who have worked for thirty six years can stay away as long as they like?
    This can only be described as an exercise in extreme pettiness. It will not save any money as pensioners will simply not be able to extend visits to family, either to parents or children who live overseas.
    It seems we need to add ‘For the term of your natural life” to our citizenship ceremonies.
    The extent to which present governments have dishonoured, dismantled and plundered systems set up by previous Governments to provide for people’s retirement undermines any confidence retirees might have in our country. Some new constraint and cost is imposed every day. The small minded who cheer when rules are changed capriciously to victimize others and endorse the robbing of pensioners need to understand that they are setting a precedent to be robbed themselves in turn regardless of their means in retirement.
    ex PS
    14th Mar 2016
    8:00pm
    Hear hear.
    FM
    14th Mar 2016
    8:21pm
    What mathematical formula says that people who have worked and contributed in Australia for up to thirty five years should lose their pension if away for more than six weeks while people who have worked for thirty six years can stay away as long as they like?
    This change can only be described as an exercise in extreme pettiness. It will not save any money as pensioners like Frank will have to stay in Australia and live in poverty. Rules should not be changed and changed again so that people who have made decisions under existing rules are left with nowhere to go. Life often does not work out as we plan or expect it to but at least people should be able to rely on the consistency of Government regulations.
    It seems we now need to add ‘For the term of your natural life” to our citizenship ceremonies.
    it is interesting that the Queen is our head of state but the UK and Australia are unable to reach agreement in providing for pensioners.
    FM
    14th Mar 2016
    8:22pm
    Thank yo for the information Mygasheater
    Franky
    15th Mar 2016
    2:45pm
    It is a ridiculous change that is being proposed here! I was born overseas and like to spend some time in retirement living with relatives overseas. This is not a frivolous notion, as cost of living is cheaper there staying with family, and also vise versa they come and visit me here in Australia. If they reduced it to say half, it would be certainly a lot more reasonable. 6 weeks is hardly worth the airfare to head overseas.
    Stick
    28th May 2016
    2:41pm
    This is a global village. People with age pensions from various countries travel to and may chose to live in a country other than the one in which their pension was granted. It works both ways. For example some people who receive a Canadian Age Pension live or travel and spend their money in Australia, while others whose Age Pension was granted in Australia live or travel in Australia spend their money there.

    What the Australian Government is doing to age pensioners is ignorant, brutal,and sleasey
    Stick
    28th May 2016
    2:57pm
    (Correction) Actually I meant ---while others whose Age Pension was granted in Australia may live or travel in Canada and spend their money there.


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