Age Pension: does the two-year residency rule apply?

Font Size:

Albert is keen to head back to Australia to see his grandchildren but has been told that he will lose his Age Pension if he then returns overseas. Surely this can’t be fair?

Q. Albert
I live overseas, having moved for financial reasons when I retired four years ago at age 67. I receive a full, single Age Pension – of course there are no extras.  I have to pay for my own medical and medication costs but it’s still far cheaper to live here than in the country I love, which is Australia.

I am told if I come back to Australia for more than six weeks and then return overseas, I will lose my Age Pension. Is it true that I have to actually remain in Australia for two years before I can again depart to live permanently overseas? If so, how can this be fair?  I worked all my life from age 15 and see an Age Pension as it was originally designed and as our politicians enjoy, i.e. an entitlement.

I am planning a trip back home to Australia to spend time with my grandkids so I need to know exactly what I can and cannot do.

A. We’re not sure who gave you the information but it’s incorrect.

The two-year residence only applies to those who return to Australia to make a claim for the Age Pension. They must then remain in the country for two years or they will have their Age Pension stopped when they leave.

You will be able to come back to Australia and spend some time with your grandchildren, who I’m sure will be delighted to see you, without your Age Pension being affected.

Join YourLifeChoices today
and get this free eBook!

Join
By joining YourLifeChoices you consent that you have read and agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy

RELATED LINKS

Two-year residency rule

The two-year residency rule is causing Dale some confusion.

Written by Debbie McTaggart

104 Comments

Total Comments: 104
  1. 0
    0

    I guess people have to decide whether they are Australians or not. Whilst I can sort of understand the belief that citizens who retire overseas want their pension I am not all that sure this is fair as we are either Australians or we are not.
    I’m sure that point of view will bring out the knives but I am commenting on what I perceive to be double standards.

    • 0
      0

      MICK, not a knife thrust, just an observation. Albert is a single man and could well have found everlasting love in another country but the love of his life cannot get a visa to enter Australia. Would you deny Albert his happiness? He is not giving up his citizenship.

    • 0
      0

      See your point and fair comment.

    • 0
      0

      Mick, I don’t think it is a matter of being an Australian or not nor loyal to this country nor double standards. Your assumptions are incorrect. One, like me, works for 40 years or more in here and one is entitled to an Age Pension. Working all those years one paid the due taxes and have the right to the pension and is entitled to do with it whatever one wants.

      Not a fair comment at all…

    • 0
      0

      There’s that word ‘entitlement’ again. Seems to be what is going around the heads of every other citizen these days.
      I would think it pertinent to only pay pensions to people who live in Australia. Just imagine if every foreign born Australian went back to their country of origin. That would end this nonsense immediately.
      Pensions need to be paid to RESIDENTS only as this is what helps the LOCAL economy. Departure for maybe 10 weeks a year ok.

      Sorry if that does not fit with your situation but we should all be supporting our own economy, not that of other countries. The issue of working here and paying taxes has nothing to do with this issue. If you think so then please explain our universal pension as Australians were once taxed for this purpose and it was rolled into consolidated revenue and now the pension is means tested so that it can be denied t people who are doing ok but who are in no way rich.

    • 0
      0

      Do politicians etc lose their pension if they move overseas… another government handout after all and heavily subsidised by the long-suffering public…..???

    • 0
      0

      They are Australian citizens, Mick – resident or not…..

    • 0
      0

      Aussie Tuca, you are SPOT ON !!!

    • 0
      0

      Who should be getting the pension IN AUSTRALIA Trebor. The belief that we should be paying pensions to ex pats is the rhetoric of those who ‘choose’ to live in another country.
      I do not believe that pensions should not be portable. You either live in this country or live in another country and become a part of the fabric of that country. Should not have it both ways! Sorry.

    • 0
      0

      Yeee-usssh- but then there are entitlements and Entitlements – politician perks are an entitlement and thus are malleable according to the going rate etc, Pensions etc are an Entitlement full and sacred, bought and paid for.

      There’s your difference….

      We pay ex-pats Pension because they’ve contributed to the pot and they retain their Australian citizenship.. ask anyone in Earl’s Court if they are a Pom or an Aussie…

      (ask anyone in Bankistan if they are a Muslim or an Aussie… guess what)…. just saying…

    • 0
      0

      So those who go and live overseas to achieve a better living standard in their later years SHOULD get a pension, but those who go without comforts to save so they can have a better lifestyle in old age SHOULDN’T get a pension. Something seriously unfair there.

    • 0
      0

      You’re always welcome to move to Offshoria, Rainey – you wouldn’t lose a cent by doing so if you have an income strand all worked out … so why would you persecute the pensioner who does the same?

    • 0
      0

      I’m not persecuting anyone, Trebor. I’m merely saying that it’s seriously unfair to favour one method of enhancing one’s retirement living standards over another. If a part-pensioner living in Australia is to be deprived of an improved living standard as punishment for saving, why is it fair to let a full pensioner take their income off shore and improve their living standard? It’s the double-standard I oppose.

      Personally, I think every Australian who worked and paid taxes for several decades should receive the full pension regardless of where they live. Having paid their dues, they are entitled to their reward. We don’t tell rich superannuants that their money isn’t their unless they meet this rule about how much they can have and that rule about where they can live and yet another rule about how much they can give to their needy children or grandchildren. Why should those who paid into a different retirement funding system, in accordance with the rule of the day, be bullied and deprived?

  2. 0
    0

    Dear Mick, this problem is not unique to Australia. I came as a 23 old to Australia from Switzerland and now I am 69. I worked all those years here in Australia and paid tax. When I retired I was told by Centrelink I must apply first the pension from Switzerland. I have worked in total as a junior 3 years in Switzerland. I get now mustic 158 Swiss Francs per month. Why should the Swiss people have to pay me a pension when I have not contributed to the Swiss economic all those years. It was Keating who introduced this International Tax Agreement. Very few Australian people have any ideas how pensions realy work. How do you think what the view is of a Swiss person. It unfortunately works both ways.

    • 0
      0

      There are many reasons why those of us on the age pension choose to live overseas in their retirement.
      One can live near the sea without paying a fortune for rental, or further north where it’s cooler in Thailand, afford to go to see a film in a top quality theatre for $4.00, eat out with a beer for $5.00, rent an apartment with pool and security for a reasonable amount.
      Yes, we can collect our pensions after a lifetime of working in Australia; it’s minus rent support, and a few other add-ons; we pay for every doctor’s visit, buy our own medication, pay for the dentist (1/3 of Aussie costs), pay for surgery.
      It’s up to the individual; we lose some, we gain some, and we collect the pension every month, the same as every other pensioner does in Oz.

    • 0
      0

      Swings and roundabouts TT. The only thing I would add is that money spent IN AUSTRALIA helps the local economy. If everybody did what you did then the system would collapse.
      Good luck to you. Whilst we travel a lot we do call Australia home. The only thing which will change that is a pending dictatorship (thing Turkey) and then we’ll be gone. We all have to be careful who we vote for……and at the least I thank God that Herr Abbott is gone.

    • 0
      0

      Thai Traveller…A friend of mine has been living there for over 10 years and will never return here to live. He says Australians are being ripped off by their government.

    • 0
      0

      Mick…I doubt all pensioners are moving overseas and threatening to bring the financial system to its knees.
      And last time I looked Australia was no longer a penal colony, meaning we have freedom to move overseas after spending 40/50 years working and paying taxes? A pension goes a lot further in SE Asia. Would you deny some poor pensioner a right to some happiness in their twilight years? Why just sit around paying enormous energy bills, petrol and food costs till you eventually fall off the perch?
      A bit of empathy please.

    • 0
      0

      You are missing the point. Read my last response to first post.
      It sounds to me like self interest is being put ahead of the national interest. Special rules might be fine for those who have used the current rules but that is the fault of politicians who cannot normally see past the ends of their noses.

    • 0
      0

      Still haven’t convinced me. I know plenty of ex-pats and they all have contributed to Australia in some way. Some are ex military, some ran businesses, some were teachers, some raised families, their children continuing to contribute. Great that they can now enjoy their retirement, wherever they choose, after years of grinding away. And no argument will convince me otherwise.

  3. 0
    0

    How do they fiqure out the dollar exchange rate for Australians wanting to live overseas. In some countries the Australian dollar would buy better accommodation than in Australia, in other countries it would buy less. This is why its a real can of worms trying to compensate people living overseas for a benefit that was designed for Australian economic conditions.

    • 0
      0

      You think the pension caters for the economic conditions if this country? Dream on We are well below the poverty line compared to politicians on pensions

    • 0
      0

      Anyone that decides to live outside of Australia takes the exchange risk themselves. Payment can be made by Centrelink in AUD or to a nominated account in local currency in which the person resides.

    • 0
      0

      Anyone that decides to live outside of Australia takes the exchange risk themselves. Payment can be made by Centrelink in AUD or to a nominated account in local currency in which the person resides.

    • 0
      0

      Anyone that decides to live outside of Australia takes the exchange risk themselves. Payment can be made by Centrelink in AUD or to a nominated account in local currency in which the person resides.

    • 0
      0

      Anyone that decides to live outside of Australia takes the exchange risk themselves. Payment can be made by Centrelink in AUD or to a nominated account in local currency in which the person resides.

  4. 0
    0

    Australia has become a very expensive country to live in and I can see why those on low incomes are wanting to move overseas. This country is not the same Australia it used to be, it’s Australasia.

    • 0
      0

      Agree…..and apparently there is nil inflation (ha, ha,ha). Also wage and salary earners are denied wage increases and are being driven into part time work so that the workforce is turned into dependent slaves….for the top end of society to plunder.
      Australia has indeed become both an expensive place to live and one where the divide between the top and bottom has been accelerating for a number of years. Where we are heading is a function of who is currently running the country and who these governments are controlled by.

    • 0
      0

      MICK, you have swallowed the unions’ lie that wage and salary earners are being denied a wage rise. Fair Work Australia granted a 3.3% rise of the basic wage to take effect last 1st July. Sure it can be argued that inflation has overtaken this rise but the fact remains that there are age rises.

      Those who have not had a wage rise in the past three years are those who have signed an EBA which cannot be altered by the FWA decision. It’s also a lie that unions are spreading that 700,000 workers will lose their penalty rates. The actual figure of those affected is about 100,000 and they will only lose a fraction of their penalty rates, not all of them. The other 600,000 odd are working under an EBA which, in some cases, have reduced penalty rates.

    • 0
      0

      The ABS has verified that the top is accelerating and wage and salary workers are stuck in first gear. Why else do you think that increases in prices is hurting so much.
      The 3.3% wage rise was limited to the minimum wage. How does that help the other millions of wage and salary earners? And let’s not forget the normal business lobby response of ‘we’ll be ruined’. Here’s a quote from one of the tabloids:

      “Employers have slammed the decision as “devastating”, warning the increase would significantly impede employment growth.”

      When does it ever change.

      You seem to have it in for the union movement OM. Without unions workers of any colour would be the slaves that the top demands. This is my issue and your man Malcolm is leading the Party put in power to bring this about.

      You need to be fair in your comments OM. Nobody who looks at both sides objectively could agree with your comment as it avoids real scrutiny of the culprits.

    • 0
      0

      El Grande Republica Da San Austrador, aka Austrochine….

      (one of my developing books, if I ever get the time again – is titled Austrochine)….

  5. 0
    0

    sorry Mick you just one of those stuck in the mud people too scared to walk out your front door

  6. 0
    0

    sorry Mick you just one of those stuck in the mud people too scared to walk out your front door

  7. 0
    0

    Ok for every argument there’s an opposite argument. So the money paid to someone living overseas does not get spent in Australia. OK so what about all the expat poms who get a pension from the UK but spend their money in Australia. A pension which is not means tested and paid dependant on how much was paid into the National Health Scheme when they worled there. So has anyone totted up how many Aus pensioners live overseas against how many expat brits live here and the difference in overall pension paid.. I doubt it so a bit of a flawed argument all round imho.

    • 0
      0

      inex i worked in the uk for ten years so i will get part pension of them
      what i get of them i believe will be taken of what i get if anything of the australian goverment after forty years work here i will take whati can and nobody is going to dictate to me where i live

    • 0
      0

      inex i worked in the uk for ten years so i will get part pension of them
      what i get of them i believe will be taken of what i get if anything of the australian goverment after forty years work here i will take whati can and nobody is going to dictate to me where i live

  8. 0
    0

    The whole laws about losing pension with this Turnbull govt is disgraceful. People from the UK live here and still get the UK pension and don’t have to worry. The Politian’s get their pension regardless living overseas or not.

  9. 0
    0

    I once thought I could never leave Australia but now after becoming a self funded retiree and the way we have been treated over the last 2 years it may be the way to go. perhaps swooping one third world for another.

  10. 0
    0

    Most of the people here seem to be under the impression that the Age Pension is some sort of gift, gratuity, charity, from the government!!! It most certainly is NOT. Historically taxes were put UP by a given percentage to finance ‘the pension’. The ‘Pension box’ was NOT to be used for any other purpose. It grew so big it became to attractive for governments not to dip into it to help them get out of their economic incompetence, so they put the ‘untouchable funds’ into ‘General revenue’ and used it as they felt the need. The Aged Pension is OUR money, not charity. If someone has worked here for 40 odd years or more the Aged Pension is THEIR money and they are entitled to it regardless of where they choose to live when they retire.

    • 0
      0

      Nope OAP is welfare nothing more so get used to it!

    • 0
      0

      *ignored*

    • 0
      0

      Absolultely correct, bartpcb. We are being ROBBED. But goodness, the money has to come from somewhere to keep giving to the well-to-do! All those tax cuts and obscenely generous concessions to fat cats who rorted the system for years to build their wealth, then claim to get nothing and whinge constantly and demand MORE MORE MORE. It has to come from somewhere, and the strugglers are fair game.

    • 0
      0

      Sadly it is the Labor party that emptied the Pension Fund which they called hollow logs

      Given half the chance the Labor Party would also empty out the Superannuation Fund.

      Interesting that the Politician’s Fund is secure.

Load More Comments

FACEBOOK COMMENTS



SPONSORED LINKS

continue reading

Food

Succulent Spice-Roasted Salmon

These little salmon bites are something I've made time and time again over the years and this method of roasting...

Photos

How to take great pictures of gardens

If you've never been too good at taking pictures of your beautiful blooms, now's the time to brush up on...

Aged Care

Paid on par with cleaners: the broader issue affecting aged care

Paid on par with cleaners: the broader issue affecting the quality of aged care Ben Farr-Wharton, Edith Cowan University; Matthew...

Food

Researchers fear diet produces ‘untoward effects on the heart’

The keto diet, lauded for its purported fat-burning capabilities, could be bad for your heart, according to new research. The...

COVID-19

Vaccine overdose cases raise questions over doctor training

Australia's vaccine rollout suffered a major hiccup, with health minister Greg Hunt revealing on Wednesday that two elderly residents at...

Retirement Income

Why middle-income Australians are the big losers in retirement

Australia's middle-income earners are losing out when it comes to retirement income. That's the view of Mercer's senior partner, David...

Food

Nine food and heart health myths busted

Should you cook with butter or olive oil? Is that drink of red wine protecting your heart? Pink Himalayan salt is healthy, right? There...

Lifestyle

What to do if your diesel car runs out of fuel

Surely, we've all had those niggling thoughts when driving about - whether what we are doing is shortening the lifespan...

LOADING MORE ARTICLE...