Life Begins At » Limit OS Stay Or Your Pension May Be Cut
International Travel

Limit OS Stay Or Your Pension May Be Cut

If you’ve dreamed of an overseas retirement – or even half a year overseas – supported at least in part by your whole pension, you might want to reconsider your finances.

This month laws to cut back (adjust) the pensions of Australians spending six or more weeks overseas were passed in parliament’s lower house.

In other words, the ‘portability’ – which refers to the continuation of income support payments during a recipient’s overseas absence – have been reduced from 26 weeks to the mere six weeks, commencing January 2017.

EDIT: After six weeks abroad, the amount received from your pension fund will be adjusted, although you will continue to receive some pension indefinitely. Pension cuts will not affect residents who worked for 35 years or more in Australia.

Given the portability policy was originally intended to acknowledge Australia’s modern living and cultural diversity – nearly one in four Australians are born overseas – the slashing has come as bad news for many pension recipients, especially those with children or grandchildren living in other countries.

National Seniors chief executive Michael O’Neill said the move was unfair.

“The government’s decision to cut Age Pensions for people who spend more than six weeks overseas will unfairly target many Australians who like to visit their family and friends abroad,” he said.

“Reducing the time allowed overseas from 26 weeks to just six weeks is a drastic change for a significant proportion of pensioners.

“The tightening of these portability rules is a step too far, especially as 18 months ago the rules were already tightened.”

According to Social Services Minister Christian Porter, if the savings weren’t made to the social services budget, it would be impossible to return the budget to surplus.

Has this, or will this affect you or anyone you know?

About the author

Alana Lowes


Click here to post a comment

  • i think this is disgusting they get there pensions when they like BUT us the people who have done it hard for 40 years plus paying taxes are hit again in the pocket they wount be happy until they get rid off us thieving bastards

  • How would this affect the portability of pensions to countries which have a reciprocal arrangement with Australia and a dual citizenship agreement?

  • Hi, I just made a phone call to the Editor re. the above article on pension entitlement.
    I spoke with a Centrelink Financial service officer last week that you can take your
    Australian pension and live anywhere in the world with it. Not to be confused with the
    rules, if you are absent fromAustralia for over 6 weeks you do lose the utilities benefit
    payments, which is fair enough. There is a new rule coming in, that the pension will
    be based on the length of time you have lived and worked in Australia, eg. if lived and worked here for 35 years you will receive the full pension, and there is no condition that
    is rescinded, after 26 weeks. If you worked for say 10 years , you will receive the pension
    percentage based over that period. Please confirm this as a matter of urgency, as a good % of you readers will be having heart attacks based on your story.

    • Hi Kevin,

      Thanks so much for your comment – it’s good to hear you’ve spoken with authority to confirm some information! From what I gather, the information you’ve sought is currently correct, and indeed there are many considerations to be made when the pension payments are adjusted after the six weeks (from January 2017).
      I have sent you an email to follow up on your comment.

      Kind regards,
      The Editor

  • I have just sent an email message to our local Federal Liberal member Ross Vasta. so now you can’t even take an a cruise for 6 weeks? Basically, I asked him if he and his Liberal members had lost their marbles!! I reminded him that The Govt had already screwed 90,000+ “middle level road kill” victim part pensioners who from 1st January 2017 will get NIL pension due to the doubling of the asset taper rates from $1.50 to $3.00 per $1,000 assets. I’m a Liberal voter and I think they are nuts!!!! In what way have politician (State and Federal) pay and super conditions changed to reflect the required cuts to the budget?