Can I claim an Age Pension from overseas?

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Bill’s return to Australia didn’t go as planned and now that he has returned to Asia, he’s wondering if he can claim an Age Pension to help fix his poor finances.

Q. Bill
I hope this isn’t too difficult a question.

I’m an Australian citizen living outside Australia since 1997, with the exception of a short period of around six months in 2005/06.

I recently returned to Australia to take up a promised job, which included housing. This, in fact, turned out to be nothing more than a barefaced lie.

Due to my financial position, I went to Centrelink to apply for unemployment benefits but was instead told to apply for the Age Pension.

To make matters worse, I was also advised that I would have to leave my accommodation and face the prospect of sleeping in a park during winter. However, concerned friends paid for my ticket back to Malaysia.

I informed Centrelink of this decision, and they advised me that my application had been rejected over an undisclosed asset of $400. I have tried contacting Centrelink/MyGov since, but have had zero results.

Can you tell me if I am able to claim an Age Pension or will the Australian Government ignore me completely because I do not reside in Australia?

The princely sum of $800 odd dollars a fortnight would not allow me to rent a dog box in Australia but would allow me to live reasonably well in Malaysia or another Asian country.

A. To make a claim for the Age Pension, you would have to return to Australia. You should be aware that the process can take several months and you may not be granted an Age Pension depending on your income and assets.

Should you be granted an Age Pension, you would have to remain in Australia for two years, otherwise your Age Pension will be cancelled.

When you move overseas after the two years, your Age Pension will be paid at the ‘outside of Australia’ rate and will be subject to the work-life residency rule. This means that if you have lived in Australia for less than 35 years between the ages of 16 and 65, you will be paid a pro rata rate.

You should be able to claim Newstart Allowance when you return to Australia, but you will be subject to a work test for this allowance.

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Written by Debbie McTaggart

23 Comments

Total Comments: 23
  1. 0
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    Australia is a bloody disgrace im in the same situation after working for 46 years in Australia

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      I disagree. The age pension is not a God given right. If you have lived overseas for a considerable period of time it is disingenuous to return simply to claim welfare then whine about the rules you have to obey.

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      KSS
      Very unfair mate…. Bill has WORKED for 46 years… it is his RIGHT
      and very much so.

      There are plenty of family members of immigrants who were brought to Aus under the family reunion scheme, after getting their pensions ( having never worked or paid taxes ) they complied with the 2 year stint, then promptly went back home to Lebanon, Vietnam etc and sit back receiving a pension they most certainly have no right to!

      You really need to apologize to Bill and try to help support this genuine Aussie. Then perhaps spend your time asking how many so called Aussies living overseas, never worked a day in Australia

      Then perhaps ask how many immigrants or so called refugees do we have who have never worked since they arrived in Aus. There has been lots of evidence of these characters getting paid thousands of dollars to sit on their ass doing nothing apart from breeding as many kids as they can…. wouldn’t we all like to know the truth about this rort.

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      KSS is right… it’s not a God given right. It’s an Australian Government given right introduced by a previous govt to look after people who have worked and paid taxes all their lives. God has absolutely nothing to do with it

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      Ozbrum I do not have to apologise at all. The pension is meant for those who have no other means of supporting themselves in Australia. If you want to make an application for welfare you have to abide by the rules in place at the time you apply. If this was not the case there would be no means test in order to obtain the Government provided safety net. You can of course choose to live where you want but do not expect the Australian taxpayer to continue to support your lifestyle choice then whine that you don’t get what you think you deserve or that the application for that same welfare is too onerous.

      There is NO entitlement to an aged pension at all. The only entitlement is the entitlement to make an application for welfare IF you meet the conditions under which it may be granted.

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      For KSS and all other people that do not understand the pension/Welfare situation and only thinks and express themselves without any knowledge about the pension.

      If someone can detail for me how a person can live a decent life in Australia with a full pension plus rental assistance I will shut up immediately but I am totally sure that nobody can give me a detailed financial explanation.

      With only pension of a bit over 837 dollars x fortnight you can live overseas a very nice and decent life on your own place rather than living on a room somewhere in Australia.

      I have publish before in 2 occasions a detailed financial position if you retire and get your pension overseas either on a country with bilateral agreement or not.

      In my explanations I demonstrate that if you retire overseas you will save the government over $4,000 x year or more when you include all other free services (Maybe about $15,000 x year) you get if you live in Australia.

      Considering that a total of about 80,000 Australian (Official published figures) now retired overseas they are saving 1.7BILLION dollars x years including a percentage of all other free services we are getting now like medicare, medicines and more and more ….

      So in summary I honestly believe that we are better living overseas and contribute with 1.7 billion to the country budget.

      I understand the feeling of some of you like you KSS very patriotic and I will agreed with you that pensions should be for Australians that live in Australia only but the reality is different.

      The Pension/Welfare agreements have been set up for many many years and provide alternatives to pensioners that work very very hard for over 45 years when they decide to retired after contributing to the country with Kids, big taxes and investments to maintain other retired people at the time and assist in the country economy.

      So KSS and all others I suggest you read Centrelink and learn that if you are living overseas you only get the BASIC PENSION OF $814 + 23.10 dollars supplement (Total $837.10 x fortnight) and nothing else no medical or any other free assistance you get if you live inside Australia so please learn before you make any more unsubstantiated comments but I understand your patriotic feeling.

      Please read this …. I am not just talking … this is the prove of what I am saying as per the 20 September this year ….. and many more sites with lots of information about overseas bilateral agreements with USA, Spain and many other countries …. so PLEASE READ to upgrade your knowledge about pension/Welfare in Australia and reciprocal agreements with many other countries in the world …. PLEASE

      https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/enablers/pension-rates-payable-people-outside-australia.

      https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/international-social-security-agreements

      And this site where detail the international agreements with other countries in the world.

      https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/enablers/countries-have-international-social-security-agreements-australia

      Just in case you do not know WE ARE NOT ALONE IN THIS WORLD THERE ARE OTHER COUNTRIES TOO and we share and help each other …… Australia is not alone

      Sorry if I upset some of you but this is the true and factual situation about the Pension/Welfare whatever you want to call it

  2. 0
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    Australia is a bloody disgrace im in the same situation after working for 46 years in Australia

  3. 0
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    Really feel for Bill. I worked for 50 years and retired in Bali 18 months ago. Applied for the age pension before I moved here. They told me sorry we can not pay you a pension if you intend living overseas. Got a letter 2 weeks later saying my application has been approved and seeing I fulfil the 35 year working life requirement I can live wherever I choose. The pension goes 5 times as far here and the living is easy.

  4. 0
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    I agree with Razor, I too live overseas, I worked for 55 years and most of those years I worked a lot of overtime as anyone that works a lot of overtime will tell you the government loves you, the amount of tax you pay is unbearable and while I am on that I like everybody else on an age pension are still supporting unemployed people etc, how? We are still taxed 40% of our pension something the government wants to ignore, me I think it is wrong.

  5. 0
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    I known many work acquaintances. from both the military and public service pension schemes. moved overseas so their pensions go further. The beauty of this is that these pension schemes are totally unaffected by Centrelink’s onerous rules. One whom I met up with a few years age told me he is the richest man in his village, has a woman who cooks and cleans for him and a man whom looks after the outside of his house while he plays golf almost every day. For him it is an ideal situation.

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      And clearly he is not claiming the welfare aged pension. Good luck to him. His pension is entirely different to Centrelink payments which come with conditions and responsibilities.

  6. 0
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    This particular subject has been discussed many many times here on YLC.

    We are just going over the same old ground again and again.

    It’s unfair, we know that. It is what it is, and it is not going to change no matter what colour government we get.

    Move on.

  7. 0
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    make sure you can get perm residence in kl. make sure you can put up with the different laws they have there. $800 seems very small as it only paid for a cheap 2br apt. prices have gone up since 2017 and the GST and fuel price increases. there are also political and other governance issues. be careful.

  8. 0
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    something not right.
    if you are eligible , you would have got it.

    centerlink probably wants to know working for 20 years as an expat you have no assets
    sounds fishy to me

  9. 0
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    This is bull shit. Every time we change political government most policies also change. They are owning the country and they do not remember that we are just employing them. They are making things worst for the true citizens of Australia. For now refugees have more benefits than those who works and pay taxes here in Australia and that’s not fair. When taxpayers loose their jobs due to many refugee intake and responsibility we we are the one suffering when we claim for assistance. Things have to change for the benefits of the tax payers and not for the benefits of those lazy blaggers who are just taking advantage of the situations. Time will come we the citizens will be the one deprived of our main rights. We cannot trust these politicians who are liars with holdings informations about their true citizenship but also sucking all benefits they can extract while they are in office. We need people’s power to change this bad habit which is becoming a trend to many traditional politicians. It is time to wake up and demand a better Australia for Australians. Sack all unworthy politicians in all levels of the government. Make it clear to all qualified seniors all the benefits they can claim and how to be eligible with respect to the laws governing the process. Our money should be spent for us citizens. Not for refugees, not for lazy blaggers, not for lazy and corrupt politicians. Change for the better and not for the worst. Australia is going backwards

  10. 0
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    I read the comments of one and all. In these comments Aussie stands tall. His is a quiet intelligence. Instead of some others’ raving nonsense. I thank him for his reasoned words. Above the trolls let him be heard.

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