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Australian Aged Pension


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#1 VOICEOVER

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Posted 2008-01-10 20:41:31

I don't turn 65 for another couple of years but when I do, I was under the impression that I could claim the Australian Aged Pension while continuing to reside in Thailand.

Having paid massive amounts in Australian income tax and every other tax they can think of for my entire working life, I figured I could look forward to living reasonably well on our Aged Pension in Thailand. Problem is, according to one source, I might not be able to claim the pension if I am not living in Australia. Another says it will cut-out after 26 weeks if I am away from Oz.

Tried to get info from the so called "Seniors" Link through the Aust. Gvt. website. No USE!!

Would greatly appreciate ANY and ALL info you can offer.
Cheers,
VOICEOVER.

#2 Thai Chi

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Posted 2008-01-10 22:12:39

I don't turn 65 for another couple of years but when I do, I was under the impression that I could claim the Australian Aged Pension while continuing to reside in Thailand.

Having paid massive amounts in Australian income tax and every other tax they can think of for my entire working life, I figured I could look forward to living reasonably well on our Aged Pension in Thailand. Problem is, according to one source, I might not be able to claim the pension if I am not living in Australia. Another says it will cut-out after 26 weeks if I am away from Oz.

Tried to get info from the so called "Seniors" Link through the Aust. Gvt. website. No USE!!

Would greatly appreciate ANY and ALL info you can offer.
Cheers,
VOICEOVER.


This may help, but may change before you hit the big 65 :D

"To lodge a claim and qualify for Age Pension, you must be:

in Australia on the day you lodge your claim - the exceptions to this rule are that the person is:
in an agreement country when the claim is lodged and is either a resident of Australia or a resident of an agreement country, or
transferring from a different payment type and does not need to lodge a claim (e.g. a person in receipt of a Disability Support Pension, turning Age Pension age does not need to lodge a claim).


In most cases, you can be paid Age Pension outside Australia indefinitely, although the rate of payment may vary after a period.

Generally able to be paid indefinitely, proportional after 26 weeks."
Source.....the friendly govt centrelink office :o

The reduction after 26 weeks depends on a few different factors and can differ from person to person. I do know one gentleman that receives about $100 less per f'nite due to his being in Thailand full time.

:D

#3 Nignoy

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Posted 2008-01-11 05:04:46

Sorry to be the bearer of Bad News, my wife and I are both australian old age pensioners, we were leaving australia on the 21st of september last year on a 6 month tour of asia and europe, we were informed by immigration at Brisbane if we stayed out of australia for more than 13 weeks we would both lose our age pension and have to wait a further 3 months before being eligable to apply again,so we cut short our trip and returned after 12 weeks,when we returned on the 3rd of december we contacted a solicitor to check up on this new regulation, uptil now all we are getting is conflicting informationas soon as we hear something definite in writing we will post it here Nignoy

#4 david96

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Posted 2008-01-11 06:20:06

You should contact the local office of Centrelink, the web site is not very explicit. Thailand does not have any social security agreements with Australia.You must be in Australia to apply when you are 65 for age {retirement) pension.
Full pension is 25 years in Australia part pension after 10 years. You can get the payments credited to your Australian bank account. However you must notify Centrelink if you are going overseas and how long you will be away.

Everyones circumstances are different so one should contact Centrelink, in person, and state your case.

There are special requirements for Australian citizens returning to Australia to claim an age pension after living or working overseas for a number of years.

If you have problems with Centrelink staff take the matter up with your local Federal Member their office might be able to solve it with a telephone call.

#5 sezzo

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Posted 2008-01-11 06:58:02

I have a friend who lives close to me in our part of Thailand and he is 77 years old and on the age pension. He returns to Oz once per year and always visits his local centrelink office to tell them of his whereabouts. He is in Oz now so I will ask him what he is required to do to maintain his age pension. I will post the results from him when known.

#6 Goinghomesoon

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Posted 2008-01-11 08:04:07

I thought the 13 week rule applied to other Centrelink payments such as the dole, not aged pensions. I would take the advice of immigration officers at the airport with a large grain of salt.

There are also other rules as well as being in Australia on the day you lodge. You must have lived in Australia for a minimum number of years during your working life- I think 20 years - and paid tax during that time. It's all on the Centrelink website.

Edited by Goinghomesoon, 2008-01-11 08:05:44.


#7 fishhooks

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Posted 2008-01-11 12:38:22

Did I read somewhere on T.V. a while back that the Age Pension (65+) for a male, almost cuts out if you are married to a younger lady who is still considered able to wok and provide family income.

I think a male member quoted that he was living in Thailand and had his pension almost zeroed when he advised Centrelink that he was married in the above circumstance.

#8 aussman

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Posted 2008-01-11 12:52:57

Although I am a couple of years away from the OAP I asked Centerlink the same question in November. I was told that they are happy to pay an OAP into an Australian a/c and that it did not matter where I was overseas. The 13 week time frame seems to be for those with Centerlink payments such as Disability, unemployment....etc.

Having said this...those of you who know Centerlink know that different answers come from different offices for the same question...

#9 samran

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Posted 2008-01-11 13:17:25

regardless, you soon find out one way or another. Immigration records are usually linked to you Tax File number (which is what happens when they zap your passport on the way out). In the past I've seen one or two people who's payments have stopped when they've been out of the country of an extended period of time.

#10 sezzo

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Posted 2008-01-11 13:46:50

I just got off the phone with my mate who is back in Oz at the moment but lives most of the year in Thailand. He is on the old age pension and he tells me that the amount of money per fortnight will not change when you leave the country. However after a couple of weeks your health care card is cancelled and your pharmacuetical benefits are all cancelled. If you are living outside of Oz for more than 12 months centrelink may deem your house in Oz as not your primary place of residence and deem it to be available for rent at a certain amount. This amount will then be deducted from your age pension payments.

Your pension can be paid into an overseas account and from my mates experience it was costing about 1500 baht per month for this privelage. He says the main thing is to keep centrelink informed of your movements and you wont have any problems.

Hope this helps.

#11 david96

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Posted 2008-01-11 14:05:59

regardless, you soon find out one way or another. Immigration records are usually linked to you Tax File number (which is what happens when they zap your passport on the way out). In the past I've seen one or two people who's payments have stopped when they've been out of the country of an extended period of time.

Centrelink use data matching and can access information on other Australian government departments including immigration and the ATO. This is why you always notify them before you leave Australia. Remember we are only referring to age (retirement) pensions here.
If you are married and your wife is living in Australia with you and she is below retirement age you may only get about 80% of the full single pension. That may change if you both move overseas.
Pays to check with Centrelink first.

#12 Nignoy

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Posted 2008-01-11 14:55:57

I thought the 13 week rule applied to other Centrelink payments such as the dole, not aged pensions. I would take the advice of immigration officers at the airport with a large grain of salt.

There are also other rules as well as being in Australia on the day you lodge. You must have lived in Australia for a minimum number of years during your working life- I think 20 years - and paid tax during that time. It's all on the Centrelink website.

We both receive aged pension as previously stated, , on the 9th of december we were called into centrelink Caboolture for an interview, to prove that we actually did return to australia, we were informed that as aged pensioners we have to inform centrelink when leaving australia and if leaving for over 13 weeks financial penalties could apply,Nignoy

#13 VOICEOVER

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Posted 2008-01-11 17:56:37

Many thanks to Nignoy and everyone for their info. Much appreciated and I'll attempt to phone Centrelink in Australia on Monday. Fully expect to be "put on hold" and/or have to select from a dozen "options" while trying to get a Real Live Public Servant to talk with.
Will let you know the results as it looks as though there are many other Aussie Expats in a similar situation. My first posting on Thaivisa.com and I'm overwhelmed at the response.
heers,
Voiceover.

#14 gburns57au

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Posted 2008-01-11 20:15:33

If you are penalised.....the rate of pension you receive is linked to the cost of living in the country where you are staying. In Thailand that means you will get stuff all.

#15 bgood

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Posted 2008-01-11 20:55:29

I had always assumed that the Australian OAP was 'means tested'. Is this the case and if so, at what income level does it cut off?

I retired to Thailand in 1997 at the age of 45. My income is from investments in Australia. On the advice of my accountant, I declared myself 'non-resident' in Australia and now pay 10% flat tax on earnings there. That is a lot less than I was paying.

Should I live to the age of 65, (highly unlikly with my lifestyle), how poor will I need to be to receive an old age pension or part there of?

#16 sezzo

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Posted 2008-01-12 03:23:43

I had always assumed that the Australian OAP was 'means tested'. Is this the case and if so, at what income level does it cut off?

I retired to Thailand in 1997 at the age of 45. My income is from investments in Australia. On the advice of my accountant, I declared myself 'non-resident' in Australia and now pay 10% flat tax on earnings there. That is a lot less than I was paying.

Should I live to the age of 65, (highly unlikly with my lifestyle), how poor will I need to be to receive an old age pension or part there of?


Around sept last year I think the "now departed" Howard announced that the amount of assets that was the max limit before being penalised on your aged pension was doubled. Not exactly sure what amounts were mentioned but look up the centrelink website and Im sure it must be quoted somewhere. Maybe he knew his outcome and was trying to do some good for the aged citizens of Oz.

#17 Nignoy

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Posted 2008-01-12 03:35:09

I had always assumed that the Australian OAP was 'means tested'. Is this the case and if so, at what income level does it cut off?

I retired to Thailand in 1997 at the age of 45. My income is from investments in Australia. On the advice of my accountant, I declared myself 'non-resident' in Australia and now pay 10% flat tax on earnings there. That is a lot less than I was paying.

Should I live to the age of 65, (highly unlikly with my lifestyle), how poor will I need to be to receive an old age pension or part there of?

Get ready to pay the Aussie government 49 cents on the dollar on any income you recieve apart from your age pension,It is not worth the agro for us to rent our house out while we are away centrelink take most of the income, 49% of my british military pension gets deducted equally from my wifes and my australian aged pension, our other pension we leave in the country of origin and collect it every couple of years or so, why should we be punished for working hard for 50 years and paying our dues?? Nignoy

#18 david96

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Posted 2008-01-12 05:01:34

If you are penalised.....the rate of pension you receive is linked to the cost of living in the country where you are staying. In Thailand that means you will get stuff all.

That is incorrect, if one is eligible for an age 65+ (retirement) pension in Australia you will receive the pension and it is paid into your Australian bank account. You must comply with Centrelink requirements so they can contact you.The actual amount paid will be subject to an assets test.
Some countries have social security agreements with Australia. Thailand is not one of them.
You may loose some entitlements extra to your pension that can only be claimed in Australia.

#19 david96

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Posted 2008-01-12 05:23:33

Here is the website for Centrelink ( age/ retirement pensions). Just follow the links.

http://myaccount.centrelink.gov.au/wps/por...3;!#7_0_5RT

#20 bgood

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Posted 2008-01-12 10:53:22

Thanks for the link, david96.

I'm married (TW) with a 7y/o son (Oz citizen).

If I'm reading the info. on that link correctly:

I could have an income of up to A$ 6,000 p/a or assets of up to A$ 357,500 and receive the full AP.

I could earn less than A$ 60,000 p/a or have assets less than A$ 960,500 and receive part AP.

I would need to return to Oz and become a resident.

My wife would probably need to sell our family house, and the house her family live in here in Thailand, for us to prove residency in Oz.

While it is good to know that the 'safety net' is there if things go tits-up here, the above does not sound attractive, especially when you consider the cost of living in Oz compared to that of Thailand.

#21 david96

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Posted 2008-01-12 12:57:17

Thanks for the link, david96.

I'm married (TW) with a 7y/o son (Oz citizen).

If I'm reading the info. on that link correctly:

I could have an income of up to A$ 6,000 p/a or assets of up to A$ 357,500 and receive the full AP.

I could earn less than A$ 60,000 p/a or have assets less than A$ 960,500 and receive part AP.

I would need to return to Oz and become a resident.

My wife would probably need to sell our family house, and the house her family live in here in Thailand, for us to prove residency in Oz.

While it is good to know that the 'safety net' is there if things go tits-up here, the above does not sound attractive, especially when you consider the cost of living in Oz compared to that of Thailand.

If you own a property in Australia that is non income earning and you live there it is not part of your assets as far as a pension is concerned. If you were to rent it out it would become an income producing asset. I would get the opinion of a chartered accountant in Australia regarding any Thai property that your wife owns, they would give you the correct advice.

#22 VOICEOVER

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Posted 2008-01-12 17:34:40

Thanks again for all the info, May I now prevail upon you good folk to enlighten me on the following:
1: Have a One Third share in a house in Aust along with my daughter and my to be Ex-wife (She and my lady here have met both here and in Aust. They get along well...Lucky me!) (The Aussie "Ex-to-be"and I have been married twice to each other ,the last time was 15 years ago and we broke up after only a few weeks) I imagine from what I have seen on Thaivisa.com that my "interest" in the Aussie house won't cause a problem when I apply for Aged Pension. Am I correct?
2:My lady is 11 years younger than I am. We also intend to adopt a 7 year old child (not my Lady's) but the child of a distant relative. I gather that once all the above takes place it should be simple enough to get PR Status and then in time Aussie Citizenship for both of them. Again, am I correct?

Sorry to sound so dumb but when I came to live in Thailand two years ago it was to WORK. Never intended having a relationship, let alone adopting a child but I now wouldn't change my situation for all the money in the world, not even the Australian Aged Pension!
Cheers,
VOICEOVER.

#23 bgood

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Posted 2008-01-12 21:10:18

I'm sorry I can't help you on the details of your situation, Voiceover.

I came here to piss it up against the wall after two bitter divorces. I was luky enough to meet a lady, 19 years my junior who sorted me out. We had a son and they are now my life.

I agree with you - 'I now wouldn't change my situation for all the money in the world, not even the Australian Aged Pension!'

Your situation certainly doesn't 'sound so dumb' to me.

Good luck and I hope the members here can be of more assistance than me.

#24 fishhooks

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Posted 2008-01-13 12:19:44

If you are living outside of Oz for more than 12 months centrelink may deem your house in Oz as not your primary place of residence and deem it to be available for rent at a certain amount. This amount will then be deducted from your age pension payments.
"from sezzo"

The way that rents are going in Melbourne at this time, you would probably gain a lot more $'s from grabbing the rent and keeping away from Centrelink anyway.

Seriously though, for those of us who have worked a considerable amount of our lives at home and paid a Sh..load of our $'s in tax, we should not have to go through such stress to get a pension, no matter where we choose to live out our final years.
I'm no great lover of the USA system, but they can do whatever they like in retirement and get what they are entitled to wherever they choose to be.

The "Lucky Country" is not what it seems in many ways.

Edited by fishhooks, 2008-01-13 12:20:26.


#25 oxymoron

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Posted 2008-01-13 13:14:16

Thanks for the link, david96.

I'm married (TW) with a 7y/o son (Oz citizen).

If I'm reading the info. on that link correctly:

I could have an income of up to A$ 6,000 p/a or assets of up to A$ 357,500 and receive the full AP.

I could earn less than A$ 60,000 p/a or have assets less than A$ 960,500 and receive part AP.

I would need to return to Oz and become a resident.

My wife would probably need to sell our family house, and the house her family live in here in Thailand, for us to prove residency in Oz.

While it is good to know that the 'safety net' is there if things go tits-up here, the above does not sound attractive, especially when you consider the cost of living in Oz compared to that of Thailand.

If you own a property in Australia that is non income earning and you live there it is not part of your assets as far as a pension is concerned. If you were to rent it out it would become an income producing asset. I would get the opinion of a chartered accountant in Australia regarding any Thai property that your wife owns, they would give you the correct advice.


The first point is not exactly right, 'The property you own and in which you reside is not assessable for either the income or assets test.

Do not bother with Accountants in Australia when it comes to Centrelink they do not know shiiite from clay. The only authorative person is the Centrelink Case Officer.

Be prepared to fill in a book as big as Tolstoy's War and Peace and divulge every aspect of your life if you want a Health Card or OAP.

All assets Real "as defined by the law of Torts" and cash anywhere in the world must be declared, if you do not want to commit fraud when you sign Centrelink Documents.

Edited by oxymoron, 2008-01-13 13:16:27.




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