Pension portability changes scrapped

Announced in Budget 2015/16, changes to Age Pension portability have been scrapped as part of the overall dump of measures that the Government has failed to pass through the Senate.

The changes would have seen those who choose to live overseas have their Age Pension payments subject to the work life residency rule after six weeks, rather than the current 26 weeks.

The work life residency rule means that those who have not resided in Australia for 35 years or more between the ages of 16 and Age Pension age, have their Age Pension paid at a pro rata rate should they leave the country for a period of more than 26 weeks. For example, if you have only lived in Australia for 24 years between these ages, you will receive 24/35ths of your applicable Age Pension payment.

The scrapped change was due to take effect from 1 January 2017 and would have affected around 81,000 age pensioners, however, it was a measure that was vehemently opposed by the opposition and crossbench senators.

Written by Debbie McTaggart

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