Will I lose my Age Pension?

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.

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Written by Debbie McTaggart

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