Age Pension portability changes pass Lower House

Changes to Age Pension portability have passed the Lower House of Parliament.

Age Pension portability changes pass Lower House

The legislation change to Age Pension portability passed the Lower House of Parliament yesterday with an 87–56 vote. If the changes pass through the Upper House, the number of weeks an Age Pension recipient can be outside Australia before their payments are affected will be reduced from 26 weeks to six.

Labor frontbencher Michelle Rowland has called the changes to portability “downright mean”, suggesting that they unfairly target pensioners who have worked hard all their lives to deserve such benefits.

YourLifeChoices’ Editor Debbie McTaggart doesn’t agree with Ms Rowland’s views, “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.”

Social Services Minister Christian Porter suggested that implementing such changes to reduce the cost of social services was a vital part of returning the budget to surplus. 

Read more from www.news.com.au
Read more from www.aph.gov.au





    COMMENTS

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    loraines
    9th Feb 2016
    10:23am
    This is so mean. Worked 20 years in the UK and moved here to Australia at 37. Now I find not only do I get no entitlement to the UK pension I paid in for over so many years, but I can't now spend a few months with my old mother in England if she gets chronically sick. Due to only being here for half my working life, I have very little super built up.
    Rob
    9th Feb 2016
    10:59am
    I don't understand this. Are you getting the same amount as a full age aust pension?
    jackie
    9th Feb 2016
    11:07am
    loraines, this government thinks all Australians are convict descendants.
    Brisand
    9th Feb 2016
    1:20pm
    Loraines, If you have worked for 20 Years in The UK you should get 20/33 of the full UK pension, frozen at the time of application to the current rate for life.
    Suggest you recheck and /or reapply. If yo have you National Insurance number it's even easier.
    *Imagine*
    9th Feb 2016
    6:57pm
    Loraines you should go to this web site
    https://www.gov.uk/state-pension-if-you-retire-abroad/how-to-claim

    If you worked legally and paid your National Insurance Stamp for 11yrs or more you will get a UK pension. You may be given the opportunity to increase your entitlement by paying extra stamps before you retire. However, any UK pension that you receive will not be increased over your life unless you go back and live in the UK. Of course your AUS pension will be reduced accordingly.
    Hobbit
    9th Feb 2016
    10:28am
    Pathetic, attacking easy targets while allowing global corporations to avoid Billions in tax. Lazy, lazy.
    thommo
    9th Feb 2016
    1:46pm
    what do you expect from this far right conservative government, which allows the rich and business to live high on the hog, and attack the age pensioners and those lower on the rungs of the ladder.
    Get rid of this government at the next election, if not sooner.
    Waiting to retire at 70
    9th Feb 2016
    2:00pm
    Maybe it's time for all federal politicians to only have access to overseas living allowances for a maximum of 6 weeks during their time in parliament.

    Show of hands please ... think the ayes have it. No need for a division.
    MICK
    9th Feb 2016
    2:42pm
    That is what our so called (silent) 'Free Press' should be shouting from the rooftops. The silence is deafening!
    buby
    10th Feb 2016
    2:16pm
    aye aye hobbit
    petes2506
    9th Feb 2016
    10:42am
    If a pensioner is overseas for six months, all their medical expenses and other day to day expenses are incurred overseas. Pensioners did not have the superannuation schemes available to them throughout their working lives and for me personally, the bank lost over half my super on the share market and charged massive fees to do it.

    Six weeks is far too short to visit overseas family.

    Maybe we should cut Politicians' perks by 75%.

    This Government is the best thing that could happen to Labor.

    I am tired of their " Granny Bashing"
    KSS
    9th Feb 2016
    12:13pm
    I'm sure in some cases a 6 week visit to family overseas is 51/2 weeks too long ;-)
    Mygasheater
    9th Feb 2016
    1:50pm
    Perhaps we should demand the former parliamentarians are subject to the same rules as other pension recipients instead of being able draw their pensions while getting paid lucrative consultancies, etc.

    I see we are going to coughing up for Phillip Ruddock to be paid for relinquishing his seat in Pariament.

    Nothing is too good for our politicians. Nothing.
    KSS
    9th Feb 2016
    1:56pm
    Fairs fair Mygasheater, Mr Ruddock has worked for over 42 years and is retiring from Parliament. He is 'entitled' to a pension according to those on this site who deem a pension to be an entitlement.
    Dave R
    9th Feb 2016
    2:42pm
    Yes Ruddock is entitled to a pension but in fairness it should have the same conditions attached to it as they are trying to bring in for ordinary pensioners.
    MICK
    9th Feb 2016
    2:44pm
    Your allegiance is showing its true colours KSS. On this matter I think it only FAIR that Ruddock and all the other cronies in parliament apply the new rules to THEMSELVES. Same as superannuation entitlements. Same as salary increases.
    Yeah..........not for pollies KSS. Says a bit about your origins.
    Mygasheater
    9th Feb 2016
    4:12pm
    KSS,

    Fairs fair, yes he is retiring from parliament to take up another position that has been created for him.

    Boring principles like job ad, application for job, job interview, appointment based on merit does seem to apply to some, going for what is essentially a public service position.

    He will by paid for this Special Envoy job, around $300,000 plus perks as well as picking up his parliamentary pension Even not being subject the Work Bonus rules will mean he has a real struggle, poor old bugger.
    KSS
    9th Feb 2016
    9:18pm
    Sounds like a touch of the green-eyed monster there Mygasheater.

    And Mick as you well know, it is not only politicians who have a generous superannuation scheme, and I don't begrudge them their pension at all. I do object to paying for all the 'extras' on top such as offices, travel, staff and so on.But their pension? No, I'm fine with that. So take your best shot!
    TREBOR
    15th Feb 2016
    4:52pm
    Give him the aged pension under the same conditions as everyone else then and tax his incomes above that.
    LiveItUp
    9th Feb 2016
    10:53am
    Good move. If you can afford to go overseas and live there for more than 6 weeks then you don't need the pension.
    ozrog
    9th Feb 2016
    11:02am
    The Australian goverment expects people from other countries to claim their pension entitlements to supplement their Australian pension which saves Australian tax payers money. If not careful other countries might enforce same restrictions and that will cost in some cases Australian tax double in pension payments. Be careful what you wish for!
    Rob
    9th Feb 2016
    11:03am
    It probably already occurs ozrog and so it should.
    Mork
    9th Feb 2016
    11:05am
    Living overseas for up to six months at a time does NOT mean your are well off and don't need a pension. There are many people whose spouse was born in another country and still have family there including elderly parents. They often need or like to spend months living with and supporting other members of their family. What's wrong with that? They're not living it up on the Riviera. Who could do that on the pension?
    Mysteryman
    9th Feb 2016
    11:07am
    A totally mean move. Going overseas does not have to cost any more than a holiday in this country, but they are not saying you can't travel for more then six weeks within this country! Fares in second class can be fairly cheap these days, taking advantage of deals offered. Also many retirees stay with relatives whilst there thus reducing expenses further. So you don't have to be rich to travel outside the country - at least no richer then travelling within - or would you ban that also!
    Rob
    9th Feb 2016
    11:12am
    i think the issue is they want the money spent in australia not overseas??
    LiveItUp
    9th Feb 2016
    11:24am
    If you can afford to even travel overseas then is this what the pension is for? I don't think so.
    Mysteryman
    9th Feb 2016
    11:37am
    Bonny. So you obviously reckon no one should travel anywhere if on the pension.
    Mysteryman
    9th Feb 2016
    11:46am
    So the government expect to save $168m over 4 years with this change. That seems like peanuts to me when you think of the savings that can be made by going after the tax dollars owed by overseas companies. It would be fairer if the same deal also applied to politicians and government workers, who will no doubt continue to get their pension where ever they holiday or reside in the world.
    marls
    9th Feb 2016
    12:25pm
    Bonny you have no idea if I go overseas to see family there is very little cost invoked as most of us the family puts us up in their home and most of them also more than happy to provide food I was over 60 when I went and have worked most of my life this was my one and only holiday
    MICK
    9th Feb 2016
    2:46pm
    Blond Bonny. Says it all. How about you suggest the government takes all assets away from anybody overseas for more than 6 weeks Bonny....you included? Yeah.
    Rosscoe
    9th Feb 2016
    4:19pm
    Well, I'm not surprised by you comment, Bonnie! How is it that there are no restrictions on retired parliamentarians? I'm getting pretty tired of this federal government changing legislation to make life harder for pensioners. And I agree with the comment that the media has been very quiet on many of these issues. The media in Australia is just an organ of the LNP Party.
    LiveItUp
    9th Feb 2016
    5:51pm
    That's OK it's too expensive for me to go overseas for 6 weeks.
    Anonymous
    9th Feb 2016
    7:45pm
    Bonny, as usual you are being selfish and tunnel visioned. There are all sorts of circumstances that justify pensioners NEEDING to go overseas and 6 weeks is not long enough in many cases - especially if the fare is hard to find, in which case they need to stay longer to make the expense worthwhile. We have daughter overseas. If she needed her parents' help, she might well pay our fares, and we could stay with her at minimal cost. Why should someone lose their pension in those circumstances. It's blatantly unfair and cruel!

    This attitude that you and some others have that aged pensioners are ''third class citizens'' is vile and disgusting, not to mention just plain WRONG. You claim to have enough superannuation to live on without a pension. That means you benefited from tax concessions TO A HIGHER EXTENT THAN ANY PENSIONER BENEFITS FROM THE TAXPAYER. That's right, Bonnie. YOU took taxpayer dollars to build your retirement fund. And it's conclusively evidenced by actuarians that those who reach self-funded status get more taxpayer dollars contributed toward their retirement than aged pensioners do.

    So apparently you think it's fine for the privileged and greedy to take taxpayer dollars to do as they please with, but the struggling battlers who build this country don't have any rights?

    Sorry, but I have to say it. Shut the ---- up with your snide and denigrating remarks about the battlers who worked their guts out all their lives for low wages so people like you could accumulate a superannuation nest egg to live on. They DESERVE their pension. They earned it. It's LESS than the government has given you. And they ought to be free to spend it enjoying a decent lifestyle - INCLUDING visiting loved ones abroad if they so desire.
    Adrianus
    9th Feb 2016
    7:51pm
    Rainey are they the same "actuarians" who gave you the $1.28 argument?
    Mzunga
    9th Feb 2016
    8:05pm
    I know more than 1 Australian who has been on the dole for most of their working life. They now live in Thailand and they come every 6 month, they just enter the country, stay here for a week and off they go again. They are from Sydney but they fly to Brisbane because it is cheaper. Stay there with friends and go back to Thailand. Why can't the government apply the same law to them? Just because they were born in Australia?
    Mzunga
    9th Feb 2016
    8:06pm
    To me, that is discrimination.
    Pass the Ductape
    10th Feb 2016
    7:24am
    How do you know Bunny, that a pensioner hasn't made the necessary sacrifices and saved very hard to allow them to go overseas on a world trip - which by the way can quite possibly take quite deal longer than six weeks. Six weeks for an overseas trip is pretty much at the low end if one wants to have a real overseas experience. So what, we now penalize these poor buggers for a once in a life time event? Someone who has scrimped and saved and never had the handout government benefits which many of us seem to expect the government to fork out for these days. Yeah - bash the poor bloody pensioner for having a little enjoyment at the end of their days. Good on you Bunny - get a life!
    Pass the Ductape
    10th Feb 2016
    7:25am
    Bunny - is what I meant - not Bonny...
    Anonymous
    10th Feb 2016
    11:49am
    Spot on Rainey, Bonny hasn't got a clue!
    Mandy
    10th Feb 2016
    1:01pm
    Can you tell me how social services save money if pensioners do not go out of the country? Not only do they have to pay all the supplements but possibly rent assist as well since it is unlikely that these people own homes here. The justification given for cutting the period from 26 to 6 weeks was financial saving, not moral. I just do not see how any savings will be made. Looks to me like nobody in government has done their homework
    Mandy
    9th Feb 2016
    10:53am
    For many of the elderly, air travel is not only expensive but also very stressful. If overseas stays are to be limited to six weeks a year, would it not be possible for the allowances to be accumulated so that a person could visit their family, say every 4 years for a period of 24 weeks. This would be no more expensive for the budget but far cheaper and less stressful for the individual.
    TREBOR
    15th Feb 2016
    4:55pm
    Good thinking, Mandy.
    Inky Black
    9th Feb 2016
    10:59am
    Your editor seems to forget that it is not a handout - it is an entitlement for a working life. I believe that this point was made only recently on TV, and comes from a parliamentary speech made when age pensions were introduced - possibly even written into the original Bill. I have no personal interest, as I have no intention of spending a prolonged period overseas, but your editor's attitude is common among younger folk.
    LiveItUp
    9th Feb 2016
    11:07am
    It is not an entitlement because all people over pension age do not get it although they too have worked all their life. It is welfare and should only be given to those who need it not those who are entitled to it done simply by rearranging their affairs.

    The sooner the house is included in the assets test the better as this is the most inequitable part of the whole pension process. Not only that it can be manipulated so that people get the pension who would not otherwise. It also stops people living in accommodation more suitable to their needs.

    The sooner the basics are introduced the better too as then the money can be spend where it is meant to be spent.
    Rob
    9th Feb 2016
    11:09am
    It's a payment subject to conditions.
    marls
    9th Feb 2016
    12:56pm
    Australia is the only country in the world that means tests the age pension elsewhere you work you are entitle to aged pension Aust is the opposite if you never work you get rewarded and paid the aged pension we are a laughing stock to the world
    Adrianus
    9th Feb 2016
    1:29pm
    Inky, I'm not a young person, although I feel fit and lively, and I cant find any proof to support your theory about entitlement or work. To qualify you need to live here, as the following excerpt from the Human Services Website explains.
    "To be eligible for Age Pension you must satisfy residence requirements.

    On the day you submit your claim, you must be:
    •an Australian resident, and
    •physically present in Australia

    You also need to have been an Australian resident for a continuous period of at least 10 years, or for a number of periods that total more than 10 years with one of the periods being at least 5 years, unless you:
    •are a refugee or former refugee
    •were getting Partner Allowance, Widow Allowance or Widow B Pension immediately before turning age pension age, or
    •are a woman whose partner died while you were both Australian residents, and you have been an Australian resident for 2 years immediately before claiming Age Pension"
    My suggestion would be to leave and then row back.
    MICK
    9th Feb 2016
    2:48pm
    Many countries pay a pension no matter how wealthy taxpayers are. But then I guess many countries force the rich to pay taxes and disallow Tax Shelters.
    Not too hard to work out why average Australians are being hunted down. Called corrupt politics run by the big end of town.
    Adrianus
    9th Feb 2016
    7:13pm
    More nonsense from you mick!
    Australia tax collection is closer to the rate than most countries. What we cant account for is the waste when a bad government lets us down. Where did all that money go and why aren't those responsible held to account???
    Anonymous
    10th Feb 2016
    6:00pm
    It went - and is still going - into the pockets of the rich and greedy, Frank. Huge superannuation tax concessions, obscene grants to rich miners, capital gains tax, global profit-shifting allowed, dodgy loans schemes allowed... it goes on and on. Most of it introduced by the Howard government. And this government REFUSES to address it. They would rather destroy the lifestyles of the LIFTERS who built and carry this country, and who have been shafted by the wealthy all their lives, and for that reason - and often that reason alone - can't fund their own retirement.

    Mick is right. Many countries do not means test aged pensions. And neither should they. People who didn't get the huge tax concessions people who had superannuation got ARE entitled to a comfortable retirement funded by the taxpayer. After all, the privileged superannuants collected loads of taxpayer dollars. But its interesting that it's those greedy mongrels who took taxpayer dollars to fund their retirement who begrudge pensioners their share. Just how do selfish people justify giving taxpayer dollars to people who good super plans to fund their retirement, but begrudging giving benefit (usually much less benefit) to those who DIDN'T have super? SELFISH.
    Adrianus
    10th Feb 2016
    6:22pm
    Rainey mick is very rarely right. I don't know why you continually state that mick is right? When did you become mick's lickspitter? lol
    Does getup have a rank and file?
    Anonymous
    11th Feb 2016
    10:00am
    I don't always state that Mick is right, Frank, but he's right far more often than you are.
    loraines
    9th Feb 2016
    11:07am
    I don't get the pension yet, Rob, but soon will be old enough to apply.
    Rob
    9th Feb 2016
    11:10am
    But I assume you will be entitled to the full pension less any british contribution?
    loraines
    9th Feb 2016
    1:55pm
    No I won't as I own a holiday house which my son lives in. My assets are too high for an Australian pension but have very little income when I retire and was relying on my uk pension
    Anonymous
    10th Feb 2016
    6:04pm
    Then you are in the same boat as hundreds of thousands of Australians, lorraines. Lots of Aussies will get no pension at all but have minimal income and have to live off their savings until they dwindle enough that they qualify for a pension. Stupid system, and very unfair. But you are lucky that you MIGHT get a UK pension. Most Aussies have NO recourse at all.
    Crazy Horse
    9th Feb 2016
    11:12am
    Don't blame me, I didn't vote for this nasty Liberal Government.
    MICK
    9th Feb 2016
    2:51pm
    Neither did I. Only gullible folk or rusted on Liberals would have voted this government in 4 word slogans with no meat on any of their dodgy promises. Not too hard to understand that this was the biggest LYING election campaign ever witnessed in this country.
    What will the dim wits do next time around? Likely the same thing because there is a 'new' leader. So what constitutes total stupidity?
    Rae
    9th Feb 2016
    3:14pm
    I fell for it mick and am very ashamed. I was over the in fighting of Rudd/Gillard/ Rudd.

    I can't believe the attacks on the elderly. Dreadful things happen to societies that have no respect for and refuse to honour their fathers and mothers.

    I will certainly be checking out the Independents and numbering all boxes very carefully in future.
    roy
    9th Feb 2016
    5:23pm
    Vote independent, it's the only way.
    Adrianus
    9th Feb 2016
    7:18pm
    OK Rae, say it three times out loud! "I am a Ruddaholic." It starts with you admitting you have a problem LOL.
    Nikolai
    9th Feb 2016
    11:17am
    Dont know why Loraines isnt getting UK pension, I migrated to Australia after working in UK for 17 years and I get a part UK pension, in fact Centrelink ensure that you claim it.
    Nikolai
    9th Feb 2016
    11:21am
    Should also add that what I get from the UK is classed as earnings and my Australian pension is adjusted accordingly.
    *Imagine*
    9th Feb 2016
    6:18pm
    Yes Nikolai and it is taxed by the ATO as well, although they do allow 8% of it tax free as a return of your own capital that you paid in. However, Clink count the whole of UK pension as income. Can't imagine why!
    jg42
    9th Feb 2016
    11:24am
    THIS COUNTRY OWES SO MUCH TO US MIGRATES AS WE DO TO THE COUNTRY. THIS GOVERNMENT ARE COWARDS
    LiveItUp
    9th Feb 2016
    11:48am
    No the government is looking after it's taxpayers. I certainly don't want to be paying people to live overseas on Australian welfare.
    marls
    9th Feb 2016
    1:01pm
    I agree if you work and pay tax you should lives where ever you choose the current gvts only look after invaders and ppl that have never nor will ever work I know a few of them like a single dsp never worked in her 60s and 3 bedroom dept housing laughing all the way to the bank
    MICK
    9th Feb 2016
    2:52pm
    Until you want to do that Bonny. Then it's different.
    Anonymous
    10th Feb 2016
    6:09pm
    Bonny, you took TAXPAYER dollars to build your superannuation fund. Yet you begrudge those who DIDN'T get that benefit their fair share of taxpayer dollars in retirement? That's disgustingly selfish and greedy.

    EVERYONE SHOULD get their share of tax dollars (or reductions) - EITHER in the form of superannuation concessions to build their own retirement fund, OR in the form of pensions. It is a nasty, unfair, selfish, greedy person who claims that those who get their share as a pension should be disadvantaged over those who are lucky enough to get it as a superannuation tax concession (and who, therefore, were more fortunate in their working life as well).

    What you seem to be saying is that the better off who had superannuation are ENTITLED to taxpayer dollars, but the battlers who worked their guts out for less benefit are NOT. Disgusting!
    TREBOR
    15th Feb 2016
    4:59pm
    What difference does it make where they live?
    hmmm
    9th Feb 2016
    11:27am
    maybe say for example they where allowed 24 weeks in 5 years might work ?
    TREBOR
    15th Feb 2016
    10:24pm
    What about six weeks for every year of receiving pension? That means I've already got twelve weeks salted away, and a further six weeks owing this year.... so after my birthday I'm owed eighteen weeks - I could do that... then wait a year and do a six week run....

    On the other hand, I've been on DSP since 1997, pending The Guv and DVA argument, so am I entitled to 'back pay' of six weeks free run for every year pensioned?

    Sounds good to me.... I might go and live in Thailand or KL for a coupla years... coupla lady friends there....
    TREBOR
    15th Feb 2016
    10:25pm
    Nineteen years times six weeks.... 114 weeks.... hmmm.... two years... plus a little....

    Just musing here people..... good idea though....
    bletch
    9th Feb 2016
    11:45am
    And yet again this government could not get the GST through but hits the pensioners again.
    This affects me big time and my plans for my wife and myself has now gone out the window.
    This topic should have been a referendum to the Australian people.
    The editor Debbie agrees with this decision and I think you and Bonny are mean spirited and self centered people. May you get your justice in the future.
    As for me, I am not interested in voting for this government any more, I have had enough.
    Good Luck Everyone............
    KSS
    9th Feb 2016
    12:11pm
    Bletch, the Government has NOT presented any changes to Parliament so please, to say they couldn't get GST changes through and this resulted in changes to the rules around the aged pension is just plain wrong. They are two very separate issues.

    As for the issue being cause for a referendum, why? It may affect you personally but is not in the same class as say the republican issue and whether you/we like it or not, the Government of the day does not need to consult the general populous on every matter of basic financial management.
    marls
    9th Feb 2016
    1:07pm
    Bletchley you are so spot on what a hearty mean person with no soul may she come down to earth
    MICK
    9th Feb 2016
    2:54pm
    Rusted on Liberal KSS! The point being made is that every sacrifice is being extracted from average citizens as our Offshore Tax Shelter PM plots how to give himself and other rich Australians a heap of tax cuts. The pattern is what is of concern.
    TREBOR
    15th Feb 2016
    5:02pm
    I'm retiring this year for final, bletch..... well.. unless I go ahead with one or two business ideas.... and I plan a triumphal circle.... look up the ancestral stamping grounds and such...

    Sure - I can do it within six weeks.... but how many people do you know who can escape the clutches of a Guinness drinking Irish clan? Then there's the Scots and the Germans.....

    What's annoying about this pettiness is that it will force many to fly home and then fly out again, thus costing them extra for their well-earned holiday.

    Petty, stupid, selfish and not worth the time of the Senate to knock it on the head.
    Lorrainehk
    9th Feb 2016
    11:48am
    The pension is only reduced after 6 weeks if you have not worked here for 35 years and then pro rata according to the time that you have worked ( and paid taxes ) in Australia. The Aged Pension is not an entitlement it is welfare. We have paid taxes all our lives and are not entitled to anything because we put our money in superannuation to support ourselves in our retirement
    LiveItUp
    9th Feb 2016
    11:55am
    Agree. If you have lived here all your life it doesn't effect you. But if you have just turned up on our doorstop why should the Australian taxpayer pay you to live overseas?

    I am neither mean spirited or self centred because if people had done the right thing then they would not be on welfare. I took heed of warnings way back when I first started work and planned for the day I retired way back then. I have done nothing that other people couldn't have done.
    Rosret
    9th Feb 2016
    12:13pm
    Thank you for that clarification. - and yes, I reduced my take home pay considerably to be a self funded retiree. No guarantee if the money will last, no tax benefits and at the prey of the fluctuating hedge funds. There is absolutely no way I can go overseas on an extended trip - unless I was going to family of course.
    marls
    9th Feb 2016
    1:12pm
    Lorrainehk
    My super was compulsory the money I paid was out of my own salary if I didn't pay I didn't get super I was in sass yes went I retired I was better off but whilst I was paying the money my 4children went without so did I I was so poor I was bringing home left over food from work but be assumed it came out of my pay
    MICK
    9th Feb 2016
    2:58pm
    Some merit from a few posts here.
    Mygasheater
    9th Feb 2016
    4:20pm
    Bonny

    Those who just turned up on our door step do not automatically get the Age Pension. There is a 10 year residency rule to meet for eligibility. In very limited, highly specific circumstances people may be eligible in less than two years.
    Mygasheater
    9th Feb 2016
    4:22pm
    That should be " In very limited, highly specific circumstances, people may be eligible in less than TEN years."
    roy
    9th Feb 2016
    5:25pm
    Vote independent.
    Lucky
    9th Feb 2016
    9:50pm
    Lorrainehk,

    No, there is NO mention about 35 years working in Australia in the Bill but about 35 years residing....here is the Bill:

    Schedule 1—Proportional payment of pensions outside Australia
    This measure was announced in the 2015–16 Budget and was first introduced in the Social Services Legislation
    Amendment (Fair and Sustainable Pensions) Bill 2015. The government removed the measure to secure passage
    of that Bill through the Senate.
    The measure achieves savings by reducing the period of time some pensioners can receive the full means tested
    rate of payment while they are overseas from 26 weeks to six weeks. It affects recipients of the age pension and
    a limited number of recipients of Widow B Pension, Wife Pension, and Disability Support Pension who have
    unlimited portability and who have resided in Australia for less than 35 years between the age of 16 and age
    pension age.
    The changes would commence from 1 January 2017.

    AUSSIES, NO WORRIES WE CAN STAY FOR 26 WEEKS O/SEAS provided one resided in Australia for not less than 35 years!!
    Anonymous
    11th Feb 2016
    8:10am
    Bonny, you are full of it! If people ''did the right thing they wouldn't be on welfare''? So having a chronic illness or a disabled child or a crippling accident, or being born with a serious birth defect is ''doing the wrong thing'' is it?

    Working your guts out for 50 years in a crap job that pays miserable wages and has no super because you grew up in an orphanage and were denied education or opportunity or even enough confidence in yourself to believe you could do better is ''doing the wrong thing'''?

    You disgust me. Your statements are those of a self-righteous and self-centred individual who has no empathy at all. I think this disease is called narcissism. People who have it are also referred to as sociopaths.

    I agree that a lot of people on pensions could have done better for themselves - worked harder, saved more, etc. But among current retirees, people who had the opportunity to have superannuation before 1992 were in the minority. Even then, many earned so little that their employer contributed LESS to super than the fees charged. I know people who got bills from their funds because employer contributions were so low.

    People on low incomes, people who had serious sickness or disability in their families etc. COULD NOT hope to save to fund their own retirement. Even many who did save enough to be self-sufficient now find that stock market crashes and low interest have wiped out their financial plans.

    My financial plans were destroyed by government corruption and bureaucratic incompetence. I should have had enough to live very comfortably in retirement, if powerful bureaucrats hadn't stuffed up and lied to cover their mistake.

    The current attitude toward retired pensioners and the disabled and their carers is nothing short of disgustingly inhuman. I am appalled at the contempt people are showing for decent Australians who do their best throughout their life, but have suffered hideous disadvantage - often through nothing other than an accident of birth.

    This society is SICK. I'm really fed up with reading the disgusting remarks of self-serving individuals whose only concern is THEIR welfare, and who want the best people of this nation to be treated like scum. Reminds me of a place a relative worked - an orpahange, where the nuns regularly told the children they were ''the filth of the earth'' and ''rotten to the core'' and had ''bad blood''. One would think our society might have progressed past that vile attitude, but apparently its still alive and well.
    Adrianus
    11th Feb 2016
    8:48am
    "Working your guts out for 50 years in a crap job that pays miserable wages and has no super because you grew up in an orphanage and were denied education or opportunity or even enough confidence in yourself to believe you could do better is ''doing the wrong thing'''?" - Rainey.

    Rainey how many posters here would fit that description?
    Anonymous
    11th Feb 2016
    9:38am
    Not relevant, Frank, but possibly more than you think have suffered huge disadvantage of one kind or another. But I don't care if it's only .05% of the population, that portion of the population is ENTITLED to respect, compassion, and to a comfortable life.

    I suspect a large proportion of today's retirees have had significant struggles in their lives. And the attitude of politicians and some posters here is disgusting.
    Adrianus
    11th Feb 2016
    10:27am
    My point is Rainey that you're not being relevant by using the disabled and the destitute in your argument for millionaires like you to get more welfare. Why try to cloud the issue by grasping for the high moral ground? Why not be honest and separate the groups based on needs?
    None of us want the disabled and destitute to get left behind. Why are you using them for some sort of political edge?
    Anonymous
    11th Feb 2016
    10:52am
    ASS-U-MEs, Frank, make you a prize ASS. Firstly, who ever said I was a ''millionaire'' (I wish!). And I'm not ''using the disabled and the destitute'' in my ''argument for millionaires'' to ''get more welfare''.

    I'm arguing that those who, like me, EARNED a decent lifestyle in retirement, but - thanks to bureaucratic bungling, business fraud, early disadvantage, special needs children, and bad economic management that resulted in investment earnings crashing - can't be self-funded, are ENTITLED to a comfortable lifestyle at taxpayer expense, and that INCLUDES the right to NOT be told that they are on ''welfare'' and therefore treated as second-class citizens, and to NOT be told they can't visit aging parents or grandchildren overseas.

    What you don't seem to realize is that it's not just the destitute who have a need for, and a right to, taxpayer support in old age. A very large portion of our retired population didn't have the opportunity to be self-sufficient in old age, and NONE of them should suffer unfair loss of lifestyle or family separation.

    And what you also can't seem to admit is that the privileged got their handouts and concessions - WITHOUT the strings attached - and now the greedy rich bastards want to deny equal rights to those they took advantage of to get wealthy.
    TREBOR
    15th Feb 2016
    5:05pm
    Rubbish. The Age Pension is a bought and paid for
    Entitlement - unlike super with its tax perks along the way.....

    Been explained here and elsewhere a thousand times and only the truly case-hardened continue to label it 'welfare'....

    Welfare is when you go to the church group asking for some help.... and get it....

    I will not subscribe to the propaganda campaign that seeks to label Pensioners 'welfare recipients'.

    On the other hand I will adopt the propaganda campaign that labels super collectors and politicians etc as welfare recipients....
    jimmy
    9th Feb 2016
    12:04pm
    agree with Rob regarding the pension being sent and spent overseas. we are exporting Aussie dollars at the expense of Aussie tax payers.
    Mygasheater
    9th Feb 2016
    4:27pm
    Australia has reciprocal pension agreements with a number of other countries. Pensioners from those countries visit Australia spend money during their visit.
    bletch
    9th Feb 2016
    4:31pm
    Exactly right Mygasheater
    If people are whinging about pensioners spending money overseas then lets make a rule for our people and government that no Australians are allowed to spend money overseas.

    No imports at all.......where would we all be......no cars no computers.........What difference is there ????
    Rosret
    9th Feb 2016
    12:05pm
    So if you break a leg overseas and end up in hospital your pension is reduced? Let's hope you are visiting a third world country. I understand why the government is doing this but some people go "home" to family because they are in poverty and can't afford to live in Australia without family support. If they are not Australian born or an Australian citizens or have not contributed to our taxation system then maybe there is a case here. However that still wouldn't cover the case of a non working spouse. I think this so much more complex than ruling a pen through a date line. In some countries everybody is given a base line pension regardless of income. A pension should be a right - not a priviledge. It would be so much fairer.
    I have friends who live in Australia permanently and get pensions from Canada and the UK. What is our problem?
    Rob
    9th Feb 2016
    12:12pm
    I just wonder because of the fact Australia has been a significant acceptor of migrants the net outflow of moneys is then a lot higher for Australia than other countries?
    KSS
    9th Feb 2016
    12:28pm
    Roset, if you end up in hospital overseas you had better hope you had travel insurance. That being the case you would be flown back to Australia under medical care. If you travel without insurance because you 'can't afford it' then frankly you can't afford to travel at all.

    As for whether you would get 'cut off' in the case of a genuine medical emergency preventing someone catching their flight home, that remains to be seen. But again travel insurance would likely assist there too until you could be repatriated.
    Mandy
    9th Feb 2016
    12:08pm
    How does this help the budget? Is the government assuming that those who are now staying out of the country for 26 weeks will continue to do so and forfeit 20 weeks of pension. The only gain I can see is that those pensioners will spend their 20 weeks of pension in Australia which will improve the balance of payments but will not reflect in the social service budget. In fact the social service budget will increase as they will be receiving supplements which they do not receive while overseas. This is very petty.
    Rae
    9th Feb 2016
    3:21pm
    I wonder how many of them will be forced home with no accommodation. Perhaps a tent city for older pension homeless on the lawns of Parliament would be a very good idea.
    phantom
    9th Feb 2016
    12:21pm
    I know of people who live and work overseas and only come back here to Australia every year of so to keep their Medicare valid. If any operation is needed they come back here, get it done and go back. If you are going to retire on and Australian pension then you should reside in Australia, although 6 weeks is a tad short for holidays etc.
    MICK
    9th Feb 2016
    3:01pm
    Rorters should be cut out. But then the same is true for our badly abused welfare system in general which is never fixed so as not to offend voters receiving their payments of ill repute.
    Sundays
    9th Feb 2016
    6:10pm
    I agree Phantom. Unfortunately, there are pensioners who can't see the difference between spending their own savings overseas and spending the government funded pension. If you retire and receive the pension then the money should stay in this country. Don't agree that you should be able to retire overseas. How can your extra income from work etc be tracked if you don't live here. However, it's a pity that holiday makers and those visiting friends and relatives have been included. Six weeks too short for them
    Anonymous
    11th Feb 2016
    2:45pm
    Sundays, many go overseas to live because they simply can't afford to live in Australia. And many of those don't want to go. Maybe if we treated our retirees with more respect, we'd have fewer leaving for greener pastures.
    TREBOR
    15th Feb 2016
    5:08pm
    That's their personal choice.... Choice-Mobile, son - that's what it's all about!
    DLJD
    9th Feb 2016
    12:28pm
    Please read the detail of the legislation, which has been poorly summarised by the YourLifeChoices writer, viz

    "To retain their basic means-tested rate while overseas, a person needs 35 years’ working life residence in Australia.  Working life residence is calculated based upon the period beginning when the person turns 16 and ending when the person reaches pension age (point 1221-B1 of the Social Security Act).  If a person’s period of Australian working life residence is less than 35 years, their individual rate of pension after six weeks will be adjusted according to their years of working life residence.

    The measure will reinforce and strengthen the residence-based nature of Australia’s social security system.  After a six-week absence, payment will be based on the length of time a person has resided in Australia during their working life.

    The measure does not affect the length of the portability period, which continues to be unlimited.  However, the rate received after a six-week absence may change. 

    The amendments will commence from 1 January 2017, but will only apply to absences starting on or after that date.  Pensioners who are overseas on 1 January 2017 will continue to be allowed the full 26-week period of absence before their payment is potentially reduced."
    Sceptic
    9th Feb 2016
    4:47pm
    Also the know-alls on this page should note that the pro-rated residency qualifications also apply to be able to receive a UK pension or part pension when overseas.
    Paicey58
    9th Feb 2016
    5:02pm
    Well said DLJD.
    If people read the actual legislation they will see that the majority of aged pensioners will not be effected by this at all.
    Lucky
    9th Feb 2016
    9:54pm
    DLDJ,

    SORRY, but there is NO mention about 'working life residence' in the Bill AT ALL!! The only requirement in the Bill is not less than 35 years of residency in Australia, which will affect the o/seas staying from 26 to 6 weeks.

    Here is the quote of the Bill:


    Schedule 1—Proportional payment of pensions outside Australia
    This measure was announced in the 2015–16 Budget and was first introduced in the Social Services Legislation
    Amendment (Fair and Sustainable Pensions) Bill 2015. The government removed the measure to secure passage
    of that Bill through the Senate.
    The measure achieves savings by reducing the period of time some pensioners can receive the full means tested
    rate of payment while they are overseas from 26 weeks to six weeks. It affects recipients of the age pension and
    a limited number of recipients of Widow B Pension, Wife Pension, and Disability Support Pension who have
    unlimited portability and who have resided in Australia for less than 35 years between the age of 16 and age
    pension age.
    The changes would commence from 1 January 2017.
    cmr
    9th Feb 2016
    12:29pm
    Why pick on the age pension all the time ? Why not do the same for all the pensions--including the politicians one.
    MICK
    9th Feb 2016
    3:03pm
    That is the question. Will politicians apply the same torch to themselves? What do you think?
    yldone
    9th Feb 2016
    12:29pm
    I came to Australian in 1964, I worked in NZ for 6 years before my departure. I had to complete a form for my NZ pension as well as my Australian pension. My combined pensions equal my Australian pension, however in saying that I do not get the full amount as I get a top up from my super so my pension is calculated accordingly, instead of the full amount I get a percentage based on my super payment. I feel this is fair. I also cannot see why every time they need money - regardless of government in power it is the pensions and the super they attack first. We work hard over the years to save the government money and this is what they do to repay us. I agree with tackling the multi nationals and make them pay their dues.
    rob101
    9th Feb 2016
    12:31pm
    if I could point out once again.Pensions,other than Blind Pension and Disability Support Payments are TAXED! So double whammy!We paid Tax all our working life,and again through the Pension.

    rob101
    Dave R
    9th Feb 2016
    12:35pm
    I wonder if other countries paying pensions to their citizens residing in Australia will follow suit? At present there is a small net inflow of pension money to Australia. If they do then Australia will be the loser. That would serve our mean government right.
    kev888
    9th Feb 2016
    12:41pm
    Unlike the editor Debbie McTaggart discriminate views against the aged and aging, the Australian pension is a fund that all Australians have paid tax's and contributed to. It is an aged pensioner’s entitlement to have a fair standard of living, freedom of will and freedom of movement. I have trusted that the Government would act in the best interests of all Australian citizens [all classes] to provide a sustainable fund to support the aged pension, to create a sustainable fund, to future proof our entitlements. The fault lays with the government, they have knowingly for years not provided a sustainable fund to provide and support aged entitlement (s). Here's an idea! Why not introduce a bill that will show mercy and euthanasia all citizens at 65 years of age. Perhaps kindness is better a option than survival mode the most retires are forced into because of government (s) failure of policy. Further, I myself have planned for travel beyond retirement years, what right have you, the government or anyone for that matter the right to restrict my freedom, anyone’s freedom of movements under such barbaric ideals. Good governance has been severed by those in government.
    We have free will, we do not have freedom whether it be physical or virtual.
    Support portability
    MICK
    9th Feb 2016
    3:09pm
    The real issue is that governments generally have used taxpayer money like Monopoly tender. On top of that they have allowed the big end of town to use ridiculous means to minimise paying fair taxes. And now we have Multinationals who opt out of the tax system, a PM who like other top Australians uses an Offshore Tax Shelter and governments who lack the backbone to fix the problems lest they lose election funding and are voted out.
    What we have is systemic corruption happening at the highest levels which is well hidden for the most part as average citizens come under sustained attack from the bastards who refuse to do a proper job of government.
    That is the problem. Not whether or not retirees should leave the country for more than 6 weeks or not.
    Adrianus
    10th Feb 2016
    7:46am
    mick, you sound like a getup troll. shouldn't be allowed to post.
    The Bronze Anzac
    9th Feb 2016
    12:57pm
    I think that such a change would be a disgrace. Using myself as an example only. I am an Australian born citizen. I have lived & worked in Australia for more than the current required period of time of 35 years. There was no such thing as Superannuation schemes during most of my working life in Australia. Should I wish to visit family or friends outside Australia for a period of up to 26 weeks, & if that country does not have a pension welfare system, why should I be penalised after contributing tax for many years. Whilst overseas, there would be no strain on Medicare or other costs that would be covered personally if I were overseas during the 26 weeks, so that would be a Government saving. An aged pensioner has to live whilst overseas for up to the 26 week period, the same if he/she was in Australia. How could they exist if this was reduced to 6 weeks ? Aged Pension is a Welfare entitlement, & must not be changed, simply for political gain.
    Pat
    9th Feb 2016
    12:59pm
    I think this is very mean spirited. I worked in the UK until I was 30 and earned an entitlement for a UK government pension. Although I live in Australia and am an Australian citizen they still pay me my pension, be it small. Why should not Australia do the same...
    Dave R
    9th Feb 2016
    1:13pm
    Of course Australia should continue to pay the aged pension to any citizen while overseas. Other countries pay pensions to their citizens who move to Australia.This Australian government is just out to hurt as many ordinary people as it can while leaving the wealthy alone, free to evade billions of dollars in taxes.
    Adrianus
    9th Feb 2016
    1:09pm
    Some on here believe that the more money we give to pensioners the stronger our economy and budget bottom line?
    How does it help if we send the money to pensioners living overseas??
    MICK
    9th Feb 2016
    3:11pm
    And how does it help if billions of dollars of Australian money are sent to offshore Tax Shelters set up for the rich?
    What a dick you are Frank. Show some common courtesy to average people who are being used as scapegoats whilst the big end of town may do as it likes with sums of money some of us cannot even imagine.
    jeffr
    9th Feb 2016
    3:50pm
    Hey Frank...I get a part British Pension allowing this government to decrease my aged pension thus saving money for the likes of you. Would you like to complain about that? I agree with Mick.
    kev888
    9th Feb 2016
    1:14pm
    For those that have not got a clue about Superannuation and the aged pension, Superannuation was never to be a substitute for the aged pension rather an enhancement, [Hawk, Keating ] Know the history before you make stupid assumptions and ridiculous comments without foundation.
    Dave R
    9th Feb 2016
    1:24pm
    That is correct. Superannuation was meant to supplement the Age Pension, not replace it.
    Mygasheater
    9th Feb 2016
    1:39pm
    It was introduced as a trade off for wage increases we did not get. It was not a one off trade off and has been ongoing.

    Had it not been introduced wages would be much higher now and there would be less part pensions topped up by super.
    Mike
    9th Feb 2016
    1:21pm
    Debbie McTaggart says the pension is NOT to fund peoples holidays but to support their own retirement. DOES that mean that Debbie is saying you work your guts out all your life and finally can retire and have a bit relaxation but you are not allowed to go overseas and see some of the wonders of this world before you die. Also why is Hockey allows to skip overseas on a huge salary plus a taxfree pension and stll be allowed to keep that $288 taxfunded allowance he claimed for his Canberra holiday house, and why isn't Bronwyn Bishop being forced to repay some of the huge expenses she splurged on herself.
    KSS
    9th Feb 2016
    1:47pm
    Mike, you can "work your guts out all your life and finally can retire and have a bit relaxation" just NOT on the taxpayers money. You can go "overseas and see some of the wonders of this world before you die" but 6 weeks at a time if you don't meet the residential requirements.

    Mr Hockey is allowed " to skip overseas on a huge salary plus a taxfree pension" because his job takes him there and since he has left Parliament he is allowed to claim his pension if he chooses because those are the rules of his pension fund.

    Mr Hockey is "allowed to keep that $288 taxfunded allowance he claimed for his Canberra holiday house" because the overnight allowance rules say he can.

    Finally Mrs Bishop did repay "some of the huge expenses she splurged on herself".

    So your point is???

    Instead of whinging, are you saying that no-one should 'play by the rules' if you disagree with those rules? Compliance with the 'rules' is fine. It is possible that the 'rules' are bad, but being critical of people complying with them is churlish to say the least.
    bletch
    9th Feb 2016
    2:16pm
    Well KSS lets change the rules for the politicians just like they are doing to everyday Australian pensioners !!!!!
    MICK
    9th Feb 2016
    3:13pm
    KSS: the comment of a rusted on Liberal. Amusing if it were not so sad.
    Sundays
    9th Feb 2016
    6:19pm
    Well I'm not a rusted on Liberal and while I don't always agree with KSS, I do in this Instance. I believe that the pension is an entitlement, but it should be, and is, subject to some rules. Many especially for part pensioners are very generous. Yes, 6 weeks too short but being paid to retire overseas is not right either
    Adrianus
    10th Feb 2016
    7:53am
    Mike if you worked your guts out all your life, then why do you need welfare?
    Anonymous
    11th Feb 2016
    10:37am
    I can't believe the arrogance and ignorance of that question, Frank. It beggars belief that some people think this way! The hardest workers in this country didn't earn anywhere enough to have any hope of funding their own retirement, and only a selfish idiot would claim otherwise. And many worked their guts out to give kids a chance to do well and pay huge taxes, or to fund medical care for sick or disabled kids, or to pay for medical care and disability aids for a disabled or sick partner's care. There are a million valid reasons why people work their guts out all their life and still need an AGED PENSION (which is NOT welfare) or a disability or carers pension.

    KSS, the privileged go overseas on the taxpayer's money, so why not pensioners? Superannuants take huge tax concessions all their working life and tax free income in retirement. Business people claim huge tax concessions not available to struggling wage earners, as well as grants and various types of handout. Public servants claim big salaries from the taxpayer - and many do precious little to earn it. All that is okay, apparently, but battlers getting a small share of the national wealth to live a comfortable lifestyle. Oh no! The privileged can't have that!

    The arrogance and self-serving attitude reflected by some here is really sickening.
    TREBOR
    15th Feb 2016
    5:41pm
    It's not 'tax payer's money' - we ARE the taxpayers. It's OUR money in return for fifty years of taxes, and not just income tax.

    Mick is correct - politicians throw billions around like Monopoly money and have no thought for the coming Winter of Our Retirement Discontent ... true grasshoppers running the show for the ants.
    flowerpot
    9th Feb 2016
    1:37pm
    I was born in the UK and my husband in Sydney. We met overseas. My husband is on the age pension but my 92 year old mother resides in the UK. We have just spent 7 weeks with her - not exactly a holiday, let me tell you! When she goes into a care home or dies I will need to go over and sell her house. This could take 3 months. My husband would therefore lose his age pension if he came with me to help. The point here is that not all trips are for holidays - does the new pension portability rule take our circumstances into account?
    Adrianus
    9th Feb 2016
    1:45pm
    You may lose the pension anyway flowerpot, depending on the value of the house.
    flowerpot
    9th Feb 2016
    3:44pm
    Frank - The house is not worth a great deal being in the north east of England, and my brother will also inherit, that is, if there's any left after potential future care home fees are deducted. I know you can't take every single possibility into consideration when making laws but it does seem a bit miserable. I'm not yet at pensionable age but my husband and I have done 2 long stints in the recent past of looking after my mother for a total of 2 and half years. My husband was working then, so not claiming a pension, but if we had to do it again that could cause real hardship.
    Adrianus
    9th Feb 2016
    4:16pm
    flowerpot, you know these changes weren't meant to make life difficult for honest people like you. It was meant to stop the likes of Rainey and mick et al from extending their overseas ski trips at our expense then returning to get an increased pension.
    Anonymous
    11th Feb 2016
    11:19am
    Frank, you are vile and disgusting. How dare you ASSUME that I am dishonest or doing - or even wanting to do - anything immoral or unfair?

    Nothing I have said suggests that I want to take a ''ski trip'' or any other kind of luxury holiday. I could tell you about my life and it would shock you, but I value my privacy too much to advertise the hardships I've endured here. What I can tell you is that I've NEVER been well off and I went 40 years without a vacation of any kind and with no more than 5 restaurant meals in that entire time. And the hardship was NOT self-imposed or a result of ''not doing the right thing''. It was a consequence of unfortunate circumstances well beyond my control. And now I want to visit my daughter abroad and for health reasons, my partner can't fly. It's a 24 day trip each way by boat. We've been saving for it for 10 years, and couldn't take it earlier (before retirement) because we were SAVING TAXPAYER MONEY by caring UNPAID for family members who were in dire circumstances. Our daughter will contribute to the cost of our trip, but we NEED to maintain our pension while we are away in order to meet the costs of maintaining our residence while empty and eating while away.

    Now IF I were a lot better off, I might spend my own money, and then I'd fall below the asset threshold and qualify for a pension when I got back, but THAT would be okay, because it would be MY money I was spending. Or I COULD go without my trip and play the pokies or bet on horses with taxpayer money, or go on day trips or Australian holidays, or eat in expensive restaurants or buy fancy clothes. And all of THOSE things would be okay. But NOT visiting my daughter!

    What utter BS!

    One more point everyone seems to overlook. If people are denied their pension but have to go anyway - because of genuine family needs or a need for medical treatment abroad, or whatever, or even if they just want to go badly enough to sacrifice - then they will come back much poorer and that will put more strain on the taxpayer in the future. A few dollars now would often save a lot down the track.

    I agree with sensible and fair restrictions. I agree with stopping millionaires taking taxpayer funds to go overseas. That's why I think we need to stop huge superannuation tax concessions for the well off, and negative gearing and capital gains tax concessions for the rich, and profit-shifting and other tax minimization devices. And it's why we need to curb politician's spending. Stop slugging the least well off while all these greedy rorts by the rich continue!
    Play Fairly
    9th Feb 2016
    1:39pm
    If I work and pay my taxes for 45 years, and I have saved to have an extended holiday overseas to see the world, WHY should I have my Aged Pension stopped if I stay over 6 weeks???? Really, if our country is in such a mess that we are now looking to Aged Pensioners and our disadvantaged Disability Pensioners to make "savings" to balance the budget, then WHY don't our politicians show their sincerity and take a voluntary Salary decrease of 10% over the coming 12 months?
    KSS
    9th Feb 2016
    1:53pm
    See DLJD comment above 12.28pm.

    Read the 'rules' before buying in to the scaremongering.

    QUOTE:

    "To retain their basic means-tested rate while overseas, a person needs 35 years’ working life residence in Australia. Working life residence is calculated based upon the period beginning when the person turns 16 and ending when the person reaches pension age (point 1221-B1 of the Social Security Act). If a person’s period of Australian working life residence is less than 35 years, their individual rate of pension after six weeks will be adjusted according to their years of working life residence.

    The measure will reinforce and strengthen the residence-based nature of Australia’s social security system. After a six-week absence, payment will be based on the length of time a person has resided in Australia during their working life.

    The measure does not affect the length of the portability period, which continues to be unlimited. However, the rate received after a six-week absence may change.

    The amendments will commence from 1 January 2017, but will only apply to absences starting on or after that date. Pensioners who are overseas on 1 January 2017 will continue to be allowed the full 26-week period of absence before their payment is potentially reduced."
    Mygasheater
    9th Feb 2016
    4:42pm
    Play Fairly,

    MPs got a 2% pay rise on 1 January 2016. They didn't have to come with "structural efficiencies" or "productivity gains" as did many other public servants.

    The cleaners at Parliament were limited to a1.5% pay rise, in keeping with other public servants.

    Nothing is too good for our politicians. Nothing.
    Lucky
    9th Feb 2016
    9:43pm
    KSS,

    There is NOT 'working life residence' referred to in the Bill at all! I quote this part of the Bill here:

    Schedule 1—Proportional payment of pensions outside Australia
    This measure was announced in the 2015–16 Budget and was first introduced in the Social Services Legislation
    Amendment (Fair and Sustainable Pensions) Bill 2015. The government removed the measure to secure passage
    of that Bill through the Senate.
    The measure achieves savings by reducing the period of time some pensioners can receive the full means tested
    rate of payment while they are overseas from 26 weeks to six weeks. It affects recipients of the age pension and
    a limited number of recipients of Widow B Pension, Wife Pension, and Disability Support Pension who have
    unlimited portability and who have resided in Australia for less than 35 years between the age of 16 and age
    pension age.
    The changes would commence from 1 January 2017.

    So you can see, that all people who have resided in Australia for MORE than 35 years between the age of 16 and pension age will be able to STAY O/SEAS FOR 26 WEEKS after 1st Jan 2017.

    Aussies CHEER UP! ALL IS FINE!
    TREBOR
    15th Feb 2016
    6:13pm
    Goes against the grain to have First and Second Class Pensioners....

    You're talking with the guy who designed and posted about The
    Reality Cheque that helped force Wee Johnnie's government to pay DSP at the same rate as Aged....

    Department of Second Class Citizens (DSCC)
    Ed
    9th Feb 2016
    1:49pm
    Good post DLJD. If only people would read the legislation,half of them wouldn't get so hot under the collar about it.
    loraines
    9th Feb 2016
    1:51pm
    No I don't get a UK pension any more. I checked a month ago.
    Yes I do have my NI no.
    thommo
    9th Feb 2016
    1:53pm
    What a load of BS. These changes are mean and nasty. I was born in Australia and I've lived and worked here all of my life.
    When I retire, I should be able to travel where I want to, and still get my entitlement to the (part) age pension. How I spend it is no ones business, especially not the government, who put forward the spurious claim that its not to fund lifestyle changes eg travel.
    This government will be sacked come the next election.
    They hit the vulnerable but leave the big end of town alone.
    loraines
    9th Feb 2016
    1:59pm
    Totally agree
    thommo
    9th Feb 2016
    2:12pm
    In fact, these changes are probably unconstitutional/illegal, as the government is dictating my mobility at the risk of losing my age pension entitlement. I'll bet they won't be affected on their fat lifetime, fully indexed, taxpayer funded pensions.
    Anonymous
    9th Feb 2016
    10:15pm
    Does this mean we really DON'T live in a democracy?

    I think the answer is "yes". It appears to be more like an hypocrisy.
    poorwomanme
    9th Feb 2016
    2:11pm
    How interesting that Christian Porter only has to "work" 6 years as a Parliamentarian before he gets a life-time pension, no strings attached. I had to work 50 years for mine and it is constantly under attack to fiddle with it to pay for business mistakes. I never made a mistake and I won't make one by voting for anyone who would make my life more difficult. l would accept this sort of poorly considered legislation if the 'Top End of Town' including our tax-avoiding PM, were also made to accept their fair share considering it was their bad decisions that created this scenario. I'm not anyone's scapegoat and the very reason people voted for an Independent controlled Senate was to 'kill' such poorly worked out Legislation.
    Dave R
    9th Feb 2016
    2:58pm
    I suspect the Senate will kill these proposed changes. Let's hope so anyway even though I am a fifth generation Australian and not affected these proposed changes they could only come from a very mean spirited government.
    Play Fairly
    9th Feb 2016
    3:00pm
    poorwomanme..... I agree wholeheartedly with every word of your post. How do we bring about a huge shake up in the shameful way our Government behaves. The planned policies of reducing the entitlements of our Aged (and also ill) citizens is disgusting. My husband is nearing retirement age, and has been refused the Disability Support Pension. He was diagnosed with a life threatening illness & is undergoing chemotherapy, to be followed with radiotherapy. He is very ill, yet he has been refused a Disability Pension because he does not have the "20 points" Centrelink requires to qualify for the Disability Pension. Throughout our working lives we have never called on Centrelink for assistance. Now my husband is suffering a serious illness, Centrelink want to ignore Medical Reports and proceed with their ridiculous 20 points assessment process to qualify.
    poorwomanme
    10th Feb 2016
    5:56pm
    And I don't choose to put up a picture of myself, my choice but I would like the choice to be able to put up a 'shadow pic' of a female rather than being forced to use a male one as the only one provided.
    Or are we seeing another instance of women being ignored as separate identities.
    It seems like a reasonable request or can I only be continued to be seen here as a male personage.
    I think not.
    What say ye, Ms Debbie McTaggart?
    The program title is YourLifeChoices yet I don't even have the choice of my appropriate gender showing. Nothing against men, I just don't fancy to be seen as one.
    Adrianus
    10th Feb 2016
    6:16pm
    Why must others continually comply? This is what I find difficult to understand about our modern society. If we don't like the situation it is others who must change?
    poorwomanme, why cant you find a female shadow and use it? Why must YLC call in the IT people at $80 per hour?
    That head has no sex at all it is just a head. :)
    Ayin
    9th Feb 2016
    2:28pm
    Bonny or anyone else can you tell me at what age one is entitled to claim the aged pension?
    KSS
    9th Feb 2016
    3:14pm
    From the Department of Human Services website:

    "Age requirements for Age Pension.

    To be eligible for Age Pension you must be 65 years of age or older. From 1 July 2017, the qualifying age for Age Pension will increase from 65 years to 65 years and 6 months. The qualifying age will then increase by 6 months every 2 years, reaching 67 years by 1 July 2023."

    (Qualifying age born before 1 July 1952)
    Blondie
    9th Feb 2016
    2:31pm
    Loraines: I'm sure that it's incorrect that you say you're not entitled to a UK pension! When I retired, and using the family financial advisor, amongst our paperwork were the UK National Social Security cards we had, when working in the UK during the 70's ( we both have English mothers, although born in Oz) This was 2006....we were advised to pay a nominal amount to the Social Security in the UK, and after some paperwork, a couple of phone calls, we receive a UK pension, part Oz pension, and some earnings from super. My husband has no super. Try again, Loraines....don't give up!
    Hairy
    9th Feb 2016
    2:39pm
    I'm sorry bonnie but you are a weak excuse for a human.you are what's wrong with the world today self made self serving selfish t--t.without a shred of common decency.just like our pollies heartless the lot of you.whitlam was right God help Australia because you have all reaped the benefit of pensioners work the last 40 years now you want to corale them like slaves.pathetic little minds.
    MICK
    9th Feb 2016
    3:15pm
    I often think bonnie may be one of the Liberal Party hacks who do the rounds here. Not too much between the ears from some of the commentary. Also, bonnie has claimed to be on the pension and then turns around and says she is not. Plant I'd say. Bad one at that.
    TREBOR
    15th Feb 2016
    8:17pm
    Yes - the inconsistencies in stories leads one to believe in the Shill Fairy at work here....

    Could be a room full of Bonnys typing away.....

    I had one a while ago having at me over my epublished books and criticising them and me and the way I published them - all highly personal attacks. Could type like the wind and online until 3-4 am.... and argued like a woman... always had to havge the last word etc... attack and then whine she is the victim.... I'd fairly pick some paid flunkey sheila working to discredit anyone who posts ebooks etc critical of government.

    Could be the same group... let's wait and see... their security is not good.... they give away a heap every time they post and don't even realise it.
    MICK
    9th Feb 2016
    2:40pm
    What do you expect from this bunch of bastards. Now retirees need to insist that parliamentary pensions also have this clause inserted so that the gravy train stops for pollies who make different laws for themselves.
    My wife and I draw no pension but find this bastardry of the worst kind and feel sorry for those who deserve to get away for as long as they like.
    Andy
    9th Feb 2016
    2:44pm
    its time the old age pension was taken back out of welfare, and the billions of $s that the governments have been taking out of it returned to it. then the governments will be forced to fight the real problem unemployment.
    MICK
    9th Feb 2016
    3:16pm
    And let those with no assets or income starve. That'll fix the entitlements problem real quickly.
    Anonymous
    11th Feb 2016
    2:58pm
    I thought Andy was saying take the aged pension out of welfare and give the money that Fraser stole back to retirees (with interest) to fund the pensions we are all properly ENTITLED to. If so, I agree. We paid for our pensions and the money was stolen. Give it back!
    Adrianus
    11th Feb 2016
    4:05pm
    Rainey, I wonder if you could clear something up for me?
    You have so much hate and pent up anger for the LNP which goes back to the Fraser years and beyond.
    Can you tell me how you come to be always a LNP voter up until now??
    I'm just trying to join the dots?
    Anonymous
    12th Feb 2016
    8:49am
    Happy to tell you, Frank. I was so busy, back then, struggling to support a family and pay accumulated medical bills for a disabled child (who was cheated of medical benefits by an incompetent bureaucrat) and saving to give my kids a better chance at life than I or my partner had, that I was working an 18 hour day and had no time to pay attention to politics. Without the access to information that we have today, and buried in worries over how to pay bills and how to fund an education for my kids, I didn't understand what was really going on in the world, and I believed people I THOUGHT must know more than I did - People like you and Bonny, probably, who CLAIMED that they were better off because they were smarter and more capable. Took me a long while to realize what utter CRAP that was!

    I've now learned that the better off are where they are because they have greater privilege and opportunity, and that no matter how hard you work, if you are born on the ''wrong side of the tracks'', you will ALWAYS be shafted at every turn and scorned by those who THINK they are better than you.

    And no, I don't have ''pent up hate and anger for the LNP''. I have disgust and contempt for people who are destroying what was once a good society in which people had confidence and hope - destroying it solely to line the pockets of the wealthy who don't need more handouts, but whose greed and selfishness knows no bounds.
    TREBOR
    15th Feb 2016
    8:20pm
    **dusts off hands and applauds** That about says it all, Rainey. I too did the eighteen hour days etc.... and for pretty much nothing but a lot of pain and early poor health.

    " I have disgust and contempt for people who are destroying what was once a good society in which people had confidence and hope - destroying it solely to line the pockets of the wealthy who don't need more handouts, but whose greed and selfishness knows no bounds. "

    Spot on.
    lleunes
    9th Feb 2016
    2:57pm
    What a stupid government, now is when they should be letting age pensioners live overseas, imagine the millions saved in medical treatments. Mind you, I"m a migrant of 50 years but wouldn't move overseas.
    Hank
    9th Feb 2016
    3:07pm
    I have worked for no more than 4 years in a European country and lived more than 50 years overseas. They have and still are paying close to what CL pays, who are using this overseas pension to reduce my part Australian pension. The European country does NOT restrict in any where live or if I work. Australian pensions compare poorly with other OECD countries, get more restrictive all time and maybe I'll retire in Penang where you don need Medicare
    Adrianus
    9th Feb 2016
    7:23pm
    Australia is a leading country on economic matters as well.
    Anonymous
    11th Feb 2016
    3:05pm
    Hank is right, Frank. Standards of living for retirees in Australia and aged pension spending is VERY poor compared to most OECD countries. We are getting a very bad deal.
    Adrianus
    11th Feb 2016
    4:09pm
    Rainey which countries in particular? I know I've asked you this question before and you started raving about the disabled and poor people. Then having a good old rant about the "greedy rich" as you call them.
    OK just give me one country?
    Anonymous
    12th Feb 2016
    8:58am
    Don't you read, Frank. Try asking Mr Google. It's all over the Internet! Oh, sorry, I forgot you don't understand what you read. Not much point in me telling you. You will change what I say to mean the opposite, just as you have changed my statements favouring the rich paying their share of tax to somehow interpret them as meaning I want to increase the national debt!!!!
    Anonymous
    12th Feb 2016
    8:59am
    Don't you read, Frank. Try asking Mr Google. It's all over the Internet! Oh, sorry, I forgot you don't understand what you read. Not much point in me telling you. You will change what I say to mean the opposite, just as you have changed my statements favouring the rich paying their share of tax to somehow interpret them as meaning I want to increase the national debt!!!!

    9th Feb 2016
    3:09pm
    Dear Australian Resident/Citizen

    Have you worked in Australia and paid your income tax, tax on savings income, tax on superannuation, excise tax on all "non-essentials", capital gains tax, inheretance tax, payroll tax if employer, and GST? Wonderful, you are a good resident/citizen.

    We also trust that you are enjoying your later years of retirement in Australia - ? Great, we thought you would be.

    So, now we are hoping to keep you here so you can spend ALL of your savings in our country and VERY little elsewhere, as we need more of your money due to our ineptness of handling taxpayers' dollars and for our own retirement funds.

    Therefore, you will now be penalised to a greater degree if you stay out of the country for a longer period than before.

    We appreciate your understanding, generosity, and patriotism.

    Y.M.C.A. (Your Money Cheerfully Accepted)
    The Australian Government
    MICK
    9th Feb 2016
    3:18pm
    Priceless. On the mark.
    LiveItUp
    9th Feb 2016
    6:18pm
    I really can't see how anyone on the pension can afford to go overseas so it won't be a problem.
    Sundays
    9th Feb 2016
    6:23pm
    Ah Bonnie you're being naive. The struggling single pensioner who rents can barely afford a bus fare to the shops, but the part pensioners, well they travel all the time! Good luck to them, just have to cut it back a bit
    TREBOR
    15th Feb 2016
    10:37pm
    We grow our own vegetables, maintain our own vehicles, do our own home improvements and repairs, and often work a few hours a week....... don't smoke, make home brew, and don't eat out.... often. The ex, for whom I'm carer, turns 69 this week... I'll have to spend my carer cash on a meal out or whatever... A Night At The Pokies.. sounds very Marx Bros....

    THAT'S how we afford offshore trips.......... we save where we can and we often work.

    I reckon that deserves special treatment - and not like the NAZI of special treatment for Jews......

    (reckon that hit home with some).....
    Trevine
    9th Feb 2016
    3:28pm
    I strongly say the same rules should apply to the politicians. They are very happy to make rules for us but they don't practice what they preach. Kick them out they are no good.
    TREBOR
    15th Feb 2016
    10:41pm
    Politicians need to be treated like royalty... just ask them......

    I may be forgoing my offshore travels in order to stand as a Republican for the Senate...... I don't see that as a great benefit to me personally.... but the issues at large are worthy of my attention and my willingness to accept that I will take a lot of flak...
    whatsupdok
    9th Feb 2016
    3:36pm
    Just going to make a lot of airlines rich flying us all out of Darwin every 6 weeks. Especially those it hits the hardest. Dirty Mongers.
    Howard
    9th Feb 2016
    3:38pm
    I am interested in the general outlook of the comments. However I wonder if we should be attacking the Govt. on THEIR spending such as giving away BILLIONS of $'s. They seem to think that we are going to run the world with a population of 23m.?? Hockey, I thought, that we should all take part with the heavy lifting. What happened? Pensioners & lower paid workers seem to be doing it all? What about the vast sums of money that could be garnered by cutting spending on Govt.waste in the public service. Pay rates for all levels of Govt. They have just given themselves & the civil service a 2% pay rise. Work that out. They are, as I understand, the highest paid politicians in the world? How about the retired dozens of them that are living very well on the taxpayer? One could go on about the money they waste. Billions spent on refugees. It all seems very unbalanced & the pensioners who have worked & paid taxes etc etc. They really have a necessity to look to other areas than the pensioners and GST, which would be more lucrative.
    Mygasheater
    9th Feb 2016
    5:27pm
    Malcolm Turnbull is paid more ($550,000 plus) than the President of the US and more that the British Prime Minister.

    Their economies, their populations, are far, far, bigger than ours.

    The old adage about paying peanuts and you get monkeys, in Australia seems to be the more you pay, the more it's worth?

    Not in Australia. We get politicians that are more concerned with ensuring the elites and the "deserving rich" are looked after, that there's is no future beyond a spot on the six o'clock news, that point scoring is better that actual accomplishment, integrity and decency are old fashioned, dirty words, they have the long term vision of a blind mullet, a sense of entitlement that knows no bounds and just because they are MPs, that they are people of the highest calibre, that the concepts of duty and genuine public service are outmoded with no place in the modern world.

    These are the people we elect to represent us.
    roy
    9th Feb 2016
    8:31pm
    Mygasheater. I didn't elect them, I voted independent.
    Anonymous
    11th Feb 2016
    3:07pm
    I vote for paying peanuts. The monkeys would do a far better job!

    9th Feb 2016
    3:46pm
    I for the life of me can"t think why a Government would want to pay people to travel and live overseas in years to come most of the welfare recipients could be on a welfare card restricting expenditure or on perhaps food stamps as this and any other Government can"t keep paying welfare to people who want to live on a resort lifestyle overseas the welfare is to let you exist, no luxuries pay for that out of your own money or perhaps some of you should have worked harder and put a little away for retirement.
    bletch
    9th Feb 2016
    3:49pm
    You are so narrow minded, not everyone lives overseas in luxury resorts......many just get by which is a bit more than they will get here. AND many have worked damn hard here with not much luck either !
    Anonymous
    9th Feb 2016
    4:18pm
    Every body on this websight has different circumstances the Government can"t be expected to suit everyones particular needs so they have to have a cut off time and amount somewhere and I think six weeks is way to generous in my opinion you go overseas your pension is cut to nothing until you come back.
    Adrianus
    9th Feb 2016
    4:23pm
    robbo, we have had a culture of people entering Oz for as long as it takes to get on welfare, then going to live in a low cost country and living like royalty. That ex union boss, who ratted on Gillard and her boyfriend about the secret slush funds, was living in Asia like a king.
    The Australian pension is sort after by everyone because it is the highest in US$'s. A lot of Aussies work 30 or 40 hours per week and still don't earn as much as a couple on the aged pension.
    bletch
    9th Feb 2016
    4:25pm
    Good on you Robbo if you had your way then Pensioners would not get a pension at all if they travelled overseas for any length of time.

    I am glad that you are not in Government !
    roy
    9th Feb 2016
    5:26pm
    Vote independent.
    TREBOR
    15th Feb 2016
    10:46pm
    No Pensioner is a 'welfare recipient' - we are drawing our paid for superannuation that has not attracted the tax concessions that super beneficiaries who can live without pension had...... we are definitely the Second Class Retirees.. and treated as such - but we are NOT 'welfare recipients' and are thus not subject to government whim over our payments.

    Thank you for coming..... it's good to see a third rate team of nobodies train hard and work hard in the hope of winning a match.... and it is.. to me personally as Captain of the winning side... a great honour to have had to work so hard to defeat such a team. They are worthy opponents and players, and I trust that in future, with a little team reconstruction and some solid coaching... they will be one day truly competitive in the big league... thanks, Brad.. I'm off for a singing session and a few drinks with the boys....

    (Just my Rugby winner's speech)....
    Franky
    9th Feb 2016
    4:55pm
    Has it occurred to politicians that it's a lot cheaper to live overseas than here in Australia? This new rule will tip people into poverty by having to remain here to receive the pension, rather than maximizing their pension by living overseas part of the year. A very mean move indeed!
    kev888
    9th Feb 2016
    5:01pm
    [dictionary.... Wank to masturbate] some people are continually masturbating headlines feed to the media. Taxation is collected by the government for various country and community expenditures, the aged pension is one of those ongoing expenditures.These wankers that continually soap box ownership of taxation as being governments money is correct but they are forgetting the people are the government and we pay taxes and trust that the government is to do the right thing in the best interest of the tax payer, US.I have trusted that part of those taxes have been deposited in the government bank to provide for my pension, this is an entitlement for all citizens not a welfare handout .

    9th Feb 2016
    5:07pm
    I was born overseas but all of my working life has been in Australia. Should I choose to travel overseas to see relatives and stay for, say, 26 weeks, I will still receive the full pension. These changes only apply to those who have migrated to Australia and have worked for a limited time in this country. I think there is a misconception in play here that the changes affect all age pensioners and I hope the misconception is accidental, not deliberate.
    Lyn
    9th Feb 2016
    6:08pm
    I think it is deliberate Old Man. yes you should be allowed to return to your country of birth and see your relatives.
    Next the govt will have us working 10 hours a week to get our pension ....wait and see.
    Anonymous
    9th Feb 2016
    8:07pm
    You may have missed my point Lyn, if it is deliberate it means that lies are being told. In my retirement, I choose to do volunteer work because I feel that I need to be a part of an organisation where people rely on me like used to happen when I was gainfully employed. If I have to do more hours doing something I like well, so be it.
    BElle
    9th Feb 2016
    5:18pm
    Dear Ms McTaggart. Aged Pension is an entitlement for which we, aged pensioners, have been paying tax for some 50 years. It is not a charitable donation to a better lifestyle. Indeed the Aged Pension is only an amount on which to exist, it is not an amount on which you are able to enjoy a privileged lifestyle. Aged Pensioners should not be attacked for providing for themselves to be able to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle in retirement. How many times does this current, and previous government, need to be reminded that the current retirees did not have the benefit of Superannuation..
    I should also like to point out the Superannuation is not a free gift. It constitutes part of your salary/wages whilst you are in employment. If you don't earn, you don't get. It is purely based on your working life income, even for those current working. In other words it is "personal income" and not a gratuity from employers nor the government. Its time they got their hands out of the bickie barrel of Super and left people to enjoy the fruits of their labours.
    Lyn
    9th Feb 2016
    6:14pm
    Here Here ! Belle

    Worked for 48 years and never had enough money to travel OS as paying off the house and sending kids to school then looking after my aged mother until she passed away sadly.

    Now when you want to travel as you have the time and a little energy left you will be penalised .

    I believe it is envy and jealousy from the younger people that they don't have the well earned freedom that we now have .....after sacrificing MOST of our life working to earn it.
    TREBOR
    15th Feb 2016
    8:30pm
    My kids have had 3-4 times the overseas trips I've had - and they're not even thirty yet. My daughter seems to have an annual pilgrimage to Paris....
    Rusty
    9th Feb 2016
    5:20pm
    I think at the moment our pension is secure,it would be unthinkable for the government to change the pension rules now as there are may expats living over seas...what if the government changes the rules ?Would this mean all the pensioners living over seas now will loose there pension ? I don't think so. I retire in 13 month and our plan is to sell the house buy a sailer and sail around the world...Could this be done in 6 weeks ??? I don,t think so.
    Anonymous
    12th Feb 2016
    8:26pm
    Best of British, Rusty. They HAVE changed the rules. They have lied. They have betrayed the voters with dishonesty and unfairness. Don't, for an instant, think it won't continue and get worse. They seem to have gotten away with vile dishonesty and cruel unfairness - with SOME self-serving and green-eyed voters even endorsing it, pretending it's a good thing. They WILL keep on with it, and nobody knows where it will end, but it won't be pretty for those of us who pay these lying thieving bastards to cheat us out of everything we worked and paid for over the last 4 or 5 decades.
    BElle
    9th Feb 2016
    5:21pm
    Whilst on the subject of Superannuation it is well past time that restrictions were placed on the amount of monies that individuals are able to squirrel away into Super as a means of avoiding their tax liability. Only the wealth are able to benefit from this extremely generous rout. If everyone paid their requisite amount of income tax this country would be to the better financially.
    crazy one
    9th Feb 2016
    5:53pm
    does this also go for the big nobs that run our country when they retire or are they different
    Irene
    9th Feb 2016
    6:04pm
    Debbie McTaggart feels that we, the Aged Pensioners, need to be aware that the pension is “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.” Her statement read rather like a rap on the knuckles, and I would argue that the Aged Pension is not supposed to be a means of controlling older people’s lifestyles or choices! If a person has been assessed for either the full or part pension, then it is obvious they fulfil the criteria necessary to do so, ie: they are legally entitled to that amount of pension. How, or where a pensioner decides to use, or live on that pension surely should make no difference. Christian Porter suggests that the changes are aimed at reducing the cost of social services and is a vital part of returning the budget to surplus. How does reducing a person’s ability to travel overseas for more than 6 weeks reduce the cost of social services? That’s rubbish. The pension payments are made automatically, and can be made wherever a person chooses to be. Reducing the time spent outside of Australia can only reduce the costs when the government sets a time limit and then stops paying after that limit. The whole thing is yet another “hit out” at Aged Pensioners, who are treated as though we are parasites on the community. They need to be reminded that most of us spent over 50 years working and paying our taxes, buying our homes and bringing up our kids without any handouts or help from successive governments. This whole think is disgusting.
    Lyn
    9th Feb 2016
    6:05pm
    How about removing some of the luxury benefits that ministers and some MP's get. One for all and all for one.
    Also when will any govt have the courage to start taxing at the proper rate those huge corporations and multinationals that rip us off with their low paid or no tax benefit.
    we would certainly see the coffers fill then.
    John1945
    9th Feb 2016
    6:36pm
    "a vital part of returning the budget to surplus" BS !!
    Money thrown away on every rubbish cause to appease the UN instead of looking after our pensioners! I am 70, just retired after 45 years in the workforce and have a foreign wife and children overseas.
    If this legislation will affect pensioners who are retired and already living overseas then all-hell will break loose! There are tens of thousands of Australian expats living overseas mainly because you can live a better life, more cheaply than in Australia, which is weighed down with regulations, political correctness and so bloody over-priced for every commodity you can name. I don't even feel safe here!
    Cutting off our life-line (aka pension) will cause extreme hardship for those like myself. Coming back to Australia every 6 weeks would be impossible, even every 26 weeks would be ridiculous. I will stay overseas and die there if need be and to hell with Australian politicians if this is the best they can do for us.
    cookie47
    9th Feb 2016
    8:35pm
    Spot on John
    Sickofit
    9th Feb 2016
    6:43pm
    Also, why does YourLifeChoices’ Editor Debbie Mactaggart believe that the family home should be included in the assets test? I bought mine for $175,000 21 years ago and, because the market went crazy it's supposedly worth over $1mill. Is that my fault? Does that mean that, as Turncoats house is worth over $50 mill, he will loose his PM pension? I bet not!!
    Adrianus
    9th Feb 2016
    7:04pm
    Sicko, it may or may not be your fault that the value of your house is worth over $1m. That is not in question.
    The fact is that you are a $millionaire.
    And the question is, should we be giving $millionaires welfare??
    Anonymous
    9th Feb 2016
    10:08pm
    Frank, having paid taxes, you, too, are paying politicians their welfare, and they have made big bucks while sitting on their arses doing sod-all. Is that fare fair?
    Adrianus
    10th Feb 2016
    8:07am
    I have paid more taxes than the average Aussie and worked for 50 years. Sometimes doing work that others would not do. I have had jobs that paid lower than the minimum wage and jobs that paid nearly four times the average wage. I know where the taxes go. I don't mind politicians getting a decent remuneration for the difficult job they do. What really urks me is the waste and corruption.
    I consider welfare to millionaires as simply waste.
    Anonymous
    11th Feb 2016
    3:14pm
    Frank, we don't pay ''welfare to millionaires'' in this country. I agree the pension assets test is seriously flawed and should be changed, but aged pensions are a bought and paid for entitlement, not welfare. The fact that a corrupt and dishonest government chooses to allow the money millions of workers paid SPECIFICALLY to fund retirement to be stolen and misused doesn't change facts. We DID pay for our retirement. Those lucky enough to have superannuation are being told ''it's YOUR money'' and are not being denied the right to visit relatives abroad. Those of us who didn't have the good fortune to enjoy superannuation should be entitled to enjoy the money we paid into a very different scheme, but one that was fully intended to fund OUR retirement and was NEVER intended to be part of consolidated revenue.

    And how does anyone justify this arbitrary delineation? If you happen to have $1 million, you are entitled to respect and can do as you please, but if you only have $750,000 (for a couple), you are a ''welfare recipient'' and a third class citizen. What a sick attitude!
    Adrianus
    11th Feb 2016
    4:57pm
    Rainey, show me the proof that ....

    1. The aged pension is not welfare and should not be part of the welfare budget?

    2. We don't pay welfare to $millionaires?

    3. Where's the proof that the aged pension is a bought and paid for entitlement?

    4. Where's your evidence that someone with $750,000 is a third class citizen?
    Anonymous
    12th Feb 2016
    8:40pm
    Frank, a couple with $750,000 are ''third class citizens'' because they are not allowed to give gifts to their family and friends above a very mean threshold, they have to account for every cent they save and are punished harshly for saving, and now they may be effectively ''fined'' for going overseas, despite having worked their guts out all their lives to subsidise gamblers and spendthrifts and to give huge tax concessions to the rich and privileged and to pay unrealistically high salaries to often grossly incompetent bureaucrats and politicians whose stuff ups cost them the fruits of their labour.

    We don't pay ''welfare'' to millionaires because a very flawed means test bans payment to anyone with more than about $825,000 (for a couple - after Jan 2017) UNLESS their wealth is invested in their home, in which case they unfairly become ''first class citizens'''- like the thieving and corrupt and inept and the privileged.

    And anyone who reads history knows that the aged pension was guaranteed, many decades ago, to be an ENTITLEMENT paid for by a tax levy that was specifically designed to ensure EVERYONE received their fair entitlement after a lifetime of work. Again, thieving, lying corrupt politicians STOLE the money that was set aside for retirement funding, WITHOUT stopping the collection of the levy (which is still being paid today), and lied to declare an ENTITLEMENT that was fully funded by the future recipients of it was in fact ''welfare'' paid out of consolidated revenue. Never was. Never will be. The money WE paid to fund OUR retirement is still rightly OURS, no matter which politicians lied and stole. If what YOU paid into superannuation is yours, what I paid into MY retirement fund is MINE, and what other workers paid into their retirement fund is THEIRS. And no amount of lying and cheating and thievery can change the morals or ethics of the matter. Just because cheats and frauds can lie to gain the power to change laws immorally, unethically and dishonestly, doesn't make anything so. It only gives the selfish and greedy who benefit regardless an excuse to deny others their rights and entitlements. In other words, it panders (again - as always) to the self-serving greedy privileged who don't NEED to hold governments to account and make them tell the truth, because THEY are being looked after by a government that loves the privileged, hates the disadvantaged, and refuses to compel the privileged to pay their fair share of the cost of running the nation.
    TREBOR
    15th Feb 2016
    8:38pm
    Can't eat or spend a home, Frank - it's there to live in.

    The fact that Pensions and even Unemployment Benefits are NOT welfare but are paid for social security has been explained more times than Tony Abbott stuffed up....

    I've posted the link many, many times that shows Pensions and other Social Security are funded from Income Tax and levies from other taxation strands... all bought and paid for.

    I'm afraid the LNP are not going to get away with this one.....

    http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/94713ad445ff1425ca25682000192af2/8e72c4526a94aaedca2569de00296978!OpenDocument
    Tjamu
    9th Feb 2016
    7:27pm
    If my circumstances had been similar to YourLifeChoices’ Editor Debbie McTaggart, with a delightful job and super coming out of everywhere I could understand. There are however some people in Australia who have really battled in the lower paid jobs, finally paid for their humble dwelling and having never had an extended time overseas would like to do so now.
    So get off your high horse Ms McTaggart, get in touch with the battlers, not everyone is as fortunate as you.
    cookie47
    9th Feb 2016
    8:21pm
    Absolutely correct
    cookie47
    9th Feb 2016
    8:25pm
    Try 50 years in the motor trade instead of sitting on your arse at a computer slagging off the pensioners
    Adrianus
    9th Feb 2016
    8:30pm
    Labor frontbencher Michelle Rowland has called the changes to portability “downright mean”. Well Michelle would think that because it was her Labor government which kept the welfare being delivered to the ISIS fighters in the ME.
    Tjamu
    9th Feb 2016
    8:38pm
    I am assuming, Frank. ME stands for Middle East, are you too lazy to write Middle East? and obviously you're to rich to give a dam about poor pensioners who want a life, not just an existence.
    Adrianus
    10th Feb 2016
    8:15am
    If you are a poor pensioner who wants a life then that's great. Great to see some level of aspiration.
    Why is it not your responsibility?
    Why should others pay for your lifestyle needs?
    You are smart enough to work out what ME stands for. You are smart enough to type an abusive post at me. Surely you can go one step further and do something for yourself?
    Think about Stephen Hawking. 74 and still working.
    Lucky
    10th Feb 2016
    9:53am
    Frank, I am 68 and cannot find any work anymore! Stephen Hawking is not an example for you to tell us that we can work and only our laziness is stopping us to do so!!! Your claim is RIDICULOUS!!! And please don't forget the fact, that MOST pensioners PAID TAXES in this country and therefore there ARE NOT OTHERS who will pay for their retirement. Climb down from the tree for we, people, had done it some 40 thousands years ago, will you?
    Adrianus
    10th Feb 2016
    10:26am
    Lucky, my claim is relevant, particularly in your case.
    your first sentence says it all.

    " Frank, I am 68 and cannot find any work anymore!"

    You give yourself away because of the use of the word "anymore."
    you could have said "I cant seem to find any work lately" or something similar?

    You call it laziness. I did not mention that word.
    However, I do know that what ever it is, it is holding back Australia. We have far too many people on welfare and it is now the welfare recipients who have far too much influence on Budgetary measures.

    Yes I do think Stephen Hawking is an inspiration to us all.
    And he is a great creative thinker. Can you imagine the possibilities if we could develop our own creative thought?
    Anonymous
    11th Feb 2016
    3:25pm
    Frank, Stephen Hawking was very privileged. Physically disabled, yes, but lucky to have a secure, loving family and a good education. He is NOT a fair example to put up to people who have struggled all their lives, wrecking their bodies and exhausting their minds in underpaid, stressful work so people like you can live high on the hog. The attitude is disgusting.

    As for working at 68 - few of us can, given the strain that's placed on body and mind in earlier working life and the lack of opportunity in a country that has huge unemployment and absurd requirements for uni degrees for EVERYTHING. But even if we could work, what would that do to opportunity for the young? Technology is reducing the demand for labour. We have to adjust to that. If we keep asking everyone to work more, when technological innovation is demanding we work less, we are going to have an economic and social crisis (as indeed is happening!) We HAVE to pay some who don't work, or else cut everyone's working hours to share the work opportunities. Which would you rather?
    Lucky
    9th Feb 2016
    9:07pm
    The law applies to people who have been living fewer than 35 years in Australia.
    Tjamu
    9th Feb 2016
    9:21pm
    That wasn't in the article and as I'm in South East Asia, I didn't know, so thanks for the info lucky, one would have thought YourLifeChoices’ Editor Debbie McTaggart could have mentioned that.
    Lucky
    9th Feb 2016
    9:34pm
    Quote from the proposed Bills:
    Schedule 1—Proportional payment of pensions outside Australia
    This measure was announced in the 2015–16 Budget and was first introduced in the Social Services Legislation
    Amendment (Fair and Sustainable Pensions) Bill 2015. The government removed the measure to secure passage
    of that Bill through the Senate.
    The measure achieves savings by reducing the period of time some pensioners can receive the full means tested
    rate of payment while they are overseas from 26 weeks to six weeks. It affects recipients of the age pension and
    a limited number of recipients of Widow B Pension, Wife Pension, and Disability Support Pension who have
    unlimited portability and who have resided in Australia for less than 35 years between the age of 16 and age
    pension age.
    The changes would commence from 1 January 2017

    Aussies, no worries, most of us have been living in Australia for more than 35 years and therefore we CAN stay o/seas for 26 weeks even after 1th Jan 20-17!!
    Lucky
    9th Feb 2016
    9:36pm
    Tjamu,
    You can find it here:
    http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/legislation/billsdgs/4337603/upload_binary/4337603.pdf;fileType=application%2Fpdf#search=%22r5580%22
    Tjamu
    10th Feb 2016
    10:24am
    Thanks again Lucky, and though it is comforting for me, there are others who have given to the Australian cause, and have become Australian citizens. raised children who are embedded in the work force, bought property and invested in Australia's future. It is disgusting the money paid to politicians on retirement. When their pensions start to be reduced the playing field will become leveller.
    FM
    9th Feb 2016
    10:50pm
    Ms McTaggert, most people on a pension who go overseas for an extended period are not on extended travel. They are going back to see family, often to care for dying parents or siblings. While you may not wish to care for your family European people feel an obligation to their elders. If people have spent most of their working lives here and are entitled to an Australian pension they should continue to be entitled to that for a reasonable amount of time wherever they are. It is no use saying someone else should pay them a pension if they have spent their working lives here it is Australia's obligation. While these restrictions will cause extreme unhappiness for some poor people they will provide minimal Budget savings.
    Australia’s attitude to seniors is shameful. It has the lowest ranking in this region for income security (61st) and the highest old age poverty rate (35.5 %). Its pension coverage (83 %) and welfare rates (65%) are well below average (Global Watch Report 2105). It is the only Western Country that does not provide an Aged Pension for all despite the fact that a levy was added to income taxes in 1945 for that purpose and continues to be part of the tax levied. It now seems anyone who gets a pension is to be judged and harassed by every little Fascist in town, emboldened by the Abbott Government’s attacks on seniors who have been uniquely singled out to bear the brunt of budget cuts. The severest cuts have been levelled at the poorest people. I am not sure what age Ms McTaggert is or why she is editor of a Seniors Magazine. Her sympathies evidently lie with high income earners who want to fund tax cuts for themselves by robbing the elderly.
    Anonymous
    11th Feb 2016
    3:17pm
    Very well said, FM. I'd love to quote you on FB! Would you mind if I quoted the part starting at ''Australia's attitude to seniors...'' and ending with ''...levelled at the poorest people''? (I don't want to mention Ms McTaggert, though I suspect you are right about her. As editor of Seniors Magazine, she is no doubt a well paid professional.)
    Gypsyfeet
    10th Feb 2016
    12:20am
    Many pensioners go back to their country of origin if they have dual citizenship to get medical attention they can no longer get here or have been left in pain for years until they cannot tolerate waiting here any longer. How much money is that saving the Australian Government. I have been tossed between 4 hospitals since 2002 for a hip replacement. An accident in 2004 leaving me with injuries to my spine now make it very unwise for me to have the hip operation by the old method. Here in Australia I cannot get it done via the new, less invasive manner if I have'nt got private cover - no exceptions. The lenghs Australia went to to get UK & Europeans to migrate here. Now they want is to claim overseas pension on one hand, yet refuse to allow us to return to catch up with our elderly, very much missed extended family. Plus the country we left is generous enough to give medical attention denied us by the country we spent 30-40 yrs working & helping to build. We use to proudly say "The Lucky Country", Once you reach retirement age you rarely hear that phrase. In 1989 I read an article in the Saturday edition of the Age Newspaper that if the government sonn didn't wake up & have the balls to impliment a system which prepared for when all the migrants that flooded in (by invitation) then God help Australia & all the elderly at the turn of the millenium. 16 years after the millenium still nothing has been done except treat us like we are a scurge on society. We know it has to be paid for, get on & do what needs to be done. GST to 12% & 2% on medicare levy. The original levy was rediculously low.
    Rae
    10th Feb 2016
    8:38am
    We need to stop the sale of medicare. The levy will go to the corporations if a sale is allowed to go ahead.

    Baird is planning to sell off the financial advice arm of State Super too.

    You have to wonder who is getting the money.

    Billions in sales and still they have no money.
    Adrianus
    10th Feb 2016
    9:03am
    Rae it's a little late now. mick has already invested heavily and he is up 20%.
    Fred
    10th Feb 2016
    8:07am
    Bonny so you think that the home should be included in the assets test. I don't know if you realise that you have paid Taxes on your home which includes taxes when you bought it (Stamp duty and other costs) in fact just about everything you own you have paid taxes on so you are in favor of the Government that has already received money in the form of Taxes taxing you again which is like double taxing.
    Rae
    10th Feb 2016
    8:34am
    Interest rates and other maintenance costs, building insurance etc would have to become tax deductions, for home purchases and ownership, for this to work. I don't think that will happen.
    Adrianus
    10th Feb 2016
    8:40am
    Interesting way of justifying welfare maximisation. Tax in reverse.
    mmm?
    Anonymous
    11th Feb 2016
    9:58am
    Rae, interest rates, maintenance costs, insurance etc. are NOT tax deductible on the family home, but we still pay taxes on the family home.

    Personally I agree with including the family home in the means test, but only if the whole system is totally overhauled to be genuinely fair and to provide support for those who want to stay in valuable homes they have lived in for a long time, but still need income support. In that case, I see no reason not to take something back from their estate.

    The problem at present is that the assets test is a totally flawed concept and implemented badly. In fact, the whole system is hopelessly flawed. You can have an multi-million dollar home and get a pension, but a relatively small amount of savings and a very cheap house and not get it. You can gamble and drink and get the pension, but don't you dare save to visit grandchildren or aged parents overseas. It's just ALL WRONG.

    We need a total overhaul, but first we need a change of attitude to recognize that most of today's retirees paid TAXES to fund their retirement, because there was no super for most of us before 1994.
    Those who paid TAXES to fund their retirement are ENTITLED to a generous aged pension WITHOUT the unfair restrictions superannuants don't suffer, and WITHOUT the contemptible attitude of the privileged who wrongly declare it ''welfare''. It may become welfare for future generations. IT IS NOT NOW. It's a bought and paid for entitlement, and yes, Bonny, it SHOULD be available to all retirees regardless of means, but given the nation's difficulties, I would support a means test on INCOME, not ASSETS, with a fair deeming rate applied to ALL assets, and a very generous free threshold.
    MJM
    10th Feb 2016
    8:25am
    My former ex husband was taking himself to live in Thailand on retiring so for my children's sake I'm happy for these changes. For me Pluto isn't far enough!! As for loraines sell your "holiday " home move your son out and go visit your mother ... Whinge whinge

    10th Feb 2016
    11:51am
    Let's just hope it doesn't pass through the Upper House!!! Mean spirited Coalition b......ds!!
    bletch
    10th Feb 2016
    12:41pm
    If this gets through in the Upper House then Ifor one will have lost faith in this country and government.
    I have noticed that we have now lost Bonny to our conversations.
    Perhaps the cat has lost its tongue or most likely her opinions did not get the support that she thought she would get.
    But everyone has the right to voice their opinions regardless.
    Anonymous
    11th Feb 2016
    2:39pm
    No, Bonny is still around, and still blaming the disadvantaged for their plight, claiming people who need ''welfare'' (as she wrongly refers to aged pensions) wouldn't need pensions if they had ''done the right thing''. What was ''the right thing''? She doesn't say. Presumably ''the right thing'' is to be born with a silver spoon in one's mouth, because working your guts out for 45 years certainly doesn't result in financial independence unless you are lucky enough to be able to get a well-paid job with good benefits, retain good health, have a family with good health, and don't experience major crisis in your lifetime.
    Anonymous
    12th Feb 2016
    8:44pm
    And I HAVE lost faith in this country, mainly thanks to selfish and tunnel-visioned people like Bonny and Frank, and to the fraudulent, corrupt and dishonest politicians who pandy to the whims of that type.
    Cooky
    10th Feb 2016
    1:34pm
    Maris 9th Feb...I agree wholeheartedly.
    BONNY[BUNNY], I hope the REST of YOUR life is Happy, you sound as tho you are a Billion-air
    TREBOR
    15th Feb 2016
    8:50pm
    More air than billions, I'd wager... being a Party Flunkey doesn't pay much.. but it lets you imagine you are a prime mover in the country....

    The greatest supporters of the Liberals are wannabes who imagine that by siding with the rich few, they will somehow magically become one of them.

    I knew a woman who worked in the State PS and was paying off a small flat in Elizabeth Bay. She thought that the only Right way was to be Right and to despise all those filthy Lefties out there... She picked up her Super on retirement - still not running the Rolls and living the billionaire lifestyle though.
    Johnno11
    10th Feb 2016
    4:31pm
    I have read a considerable amount of rhetoric referring to pensioners contributing to the Australian economy by spending their money here. Is this "solution" only directed to pensioners? It must be because I dont here any one tslking about those of you who spend thousands upon thousands in other countries when you go on holiday. Bring on a law that states "no one" can leave this country. All funds mustbe spent in Australia,"to boost our economy". What dribble. For those of you that are hell bent in creating a concentration camp for the elderly in Australia maybe you also need to talk to this liberal government who are considering "privatising medicare. Should an overseas investor purchase it we could be looking at a potential of 42 billion Ausse dollars being invested in another country. But what the heck, at least we wont be letting those pesky little pensioners spend Aussie money over seas.
    bletch
    10th Feb 2016
    4:34pm
    Well said Johnno my sentiments exactly !
    Justsane
    10th Feb 2016
    5:08pm
    Rob, This info is off the cuff but I think it is accurate. This age pension portability affects people who have not been resident in Australia for 35 years from the age of 16 till the male retirement age (currently 65). People from anywhere else do get the same rights to the pension and amount of pension as anyone else, as long as they are in Australia.

    It is when people from other countries go back overseas to visit or live while they are on the pension that portability of the pension comes in. So if a person migrated to Australia from the UK at the age of 45, they would have lived in Australia for only 20 years till the age of retirement. So, if they go back to the UK, they will lose 15/35ths (or 3/7ths of the full pension after 26 weeks. If the current changes do get through the Upper House (Senate) they will lose that amount of their pension after six weeks, instead of 26.

    The UK example is significant, because Australia has social security agreements with a lot of countries, which means that a pensioner can live in these countries for as long as they like, and still receive a full pension. But Australia does not have a social security agreement with the UK. (They had one up until around the early 2000s but gave it up because the UK would not index the pensions of their people who migrated to Australia - so the actual amount of the pension that the person had built up in England stayed the same, even if he received it 20 or 30 or more years later.)

    I believe the UK pension received by some pensioners does affect the amount of Australian age pension that they can receive. I guess this is counted as income.

    Additionally, when any pensioner goes overseas they lose some of the pension supplement after 6 weeks (used to be 12 weeks). This applies to all age pensioners, so a 'full pension', above, refers to the normal age pension less a part of the supplement. This is only a small amount of reduction.
    Johnno11
    10th Feb 2016
    5:48pm
    Justsane has perfectly explained in simple terms how the changes will effect retirees.
    Well done. Some sanity has returned to the forum.
    TREBOR
    15th Feb 2016
    10:11pm
    So am I to assume that my cost for keeping power and phone on even when I'm away vanish like a Hockey after a few gaffes, simply because I choose to be offshore?

    Good-O....... That's what the supplement is for - to compensate for the additional costs of living created by privatisation.... such as.. very specifically.. in power, phone etc.

    If I go away for three months and turn off the power, I still pay about $130 to keep it on or pay for its restoration at a higher rate, and I still pay to have the phone service I'm not using on.
    jonboy
    10th Feb 2016
    11:33pm
    I think the Editor here as no idea of what it is like to be retired and try to fund an Oseas trip if they wish! after all it is OUR life and we deserve the Pension either way here or heaven forbid, Oseas!
    26 weeks was fair, why doesnt the Government actually tax big business and leave those mostly living in Poverty already, alone!!
    Ellen
    11th Feb 2016
    6:47am
    It is pathetic. My children chose to work on contracts overseas, and I have 13 grandchildren. The trip alone takes 2-3 days one way, so that is one week gone, provided there is no other hold up. It should not matter if I spend the money here or there for a few weeks more as long as I can get by..
    Ellen
    11th Feb 2016
    6:53am
    Yes Misteryman, one can travel and stay with family, and if I take a bus or train here or there does not matter. If it is a flight, I save for that occasion. Being an island we have to watch that we still are able to look beyond the edges of our dinner plates. This decision is shocking!
    PeteE
    11th Feb 2016
    4:07pm
    Firstly, Debbie McTaggart, stick to running the website and stop editorialising about something of which you know nothing. Clearly you are out if touch with your constitution based on the comments below! It's been a dream of Australians to travel when they retire. 6 weeks is ludicrous. Do you realise how cheap it is to Eurail and stay in "youth" hostels or well facilities camping grounds around Europe? Europe is cheap and retiree friendly. You could easily afford, on modest savings, to spend more than 6 weeks abroad either broadening the mind and/ or visiting relatives and friends. This government is just mean and vindictive. Plus they are stupid as they are alienating their dying voter base!
    Nobby
    12th Feb 2016
    8:05am
    This is mean and pure garbage. We have worked all of our lives and now we get the pension or getting close to getting the pension, they want to change all the rules. This was quite fine at 26 weeks.
    Things are expensive here and just keep getting more and more expensive. That is why some people choose the live overseas to have a better more relaxed lifestyle.
    Others choose to live overseas because they have family, or perhaps a wife who lives overseas while navigating the immigration minefield.
    There are many reasons why someone might want to leave Australia for up to 26 weeks.
    We have worked all of our lives, paid our taxes all our lives, so yes we are entitled to it if we pass the means test.
    Think if pensioner choose to live overseas, then they will not be paid things like rental assistance, utilities allowances, medical allowances, it will free up public housing. The government would save money.
    This Government is targeting Pensioners, Veterans and those with Disabilities... the nice easy soft targets.
    But as I noticed in one of the comments about conditions....
    We Australians are placed under many conditions to get the pension.
    But Refugees they can get it straight away no conditions apply.
    bletch
    12th Feb 2016
    9:05am
    So Correct Nobby !
    Gigi
    12th Feb 2016
    3:19pm
    This is typical journalism half truth & innuendo, anything to spark comment & decent! Why would one write something that wasn't strictly true, absent information is lying! Then of course there are the people that read this article & make assumptions based on no evidence & then 'guild the Lilly' with emotive rubbish.
    If in doubt, don't rely on Journalists, research & make an informed decision.
    Not Senile Yet!
    15th Feb 2016
    12:09am
    There is a Law against Direct Age Discrimination....but guess what????
    The Government is exempt from it....and now you know why!!!!
    Because this is Age Discrimination at it's worst!!!!
    All Pensioners are Australian Citizens to be able to claim a pension....and by that very description...should be allowed to travel anywhere they want for as long as they want....subject to purchase of a Return Flight!!!!
    Anything thing less is Neo Nazi Ideology where the Government Rules the People not the people the Government!!!
    Cannot believe that in the year 2016 a Government believes it has the right to interfere with the Citizens Rights in such a manner....absolutely outrageous!!!!!
    TREBOR
    15th Feb 2016
    4:48pm
    Rubbish - it's a Pension paid pure and simple and the recipient can spend it as and when and where he/she chooses.

    The insolence of office. Do pollies taking an offshore holiday get their pension reduced? No. Does anyone taking an overseas holiday on long service leave suffer a cut in payment? No.

    Argument ends.
    Philhal2
    26th May 2016
    12:49am
    So many people forget that aged pensioners were taxed at a higher rate all their woking lives to provide for their retirement . Not for bludgers , bloodsuckers and other parasites to devour the fruits of their labours . Yes check it out and compare your taxes and the welfare you have sucked out of this country to what the pensioners you want to cheat HAVE GIVEN so that you can live on handouts .
    Philhal2
    26th May 2016
    1:14am
    The more I read in this forum the sillier it gets . Before there was no super funds to pay in to ,for most workers , only a few had this benefit . Our super was a tax that was raised to provide not only for our retirement , but also for those in need of assistance . Nothing was ever said about bludgers and parasites coming to devour what we were working to provde for in the future . How dare those same parasites resent anyone getting an aged pension .