A massive continent with an undeniable charm. Australia is filled with rich species of plants and diverse wildlife. It has transformed into a developed country boasting top of the line healthcare, education, and quality of life. The brilliant government system makes it a suitable place for retirement or at least for Age Pension.
Let us be honest. If a Filipino citizen who is an Australian resident is torn between retiring in Australia to reap its benefits or in the Philippines to reside with their family, he or she will most likely lean on the latter.
With this life-changing transition to retirement, one of your top priorities is to consider applying for a retirement visa and the Age Pension. These two are only granted to the people who meet the standards set by the law. For now, this article will be focusing on how to still get Age Pension when abroad. But is it actually doable?
The Age Pension is a scheme that pays out an alternative to a steady income to qualified Australian residents. It serves as a supplement to help these individuals handle the costs of living after retiring. Some residents choose to retire outside of Australia as it is more comfortable, relaxing, and affordable.
Over 60,000 Australians are currently receiving their Age Pensions overseas. This means that they are permanently paid by the scheme even though they are abroad.
But not everyone can be paid with the same amount for the entire time that they are away. You see, the amount that you will receive may change at certain points. The pension payout changed based on these factors:
how long you’re away
if your income and assets change
if your pension is through a social security agreement with another country
For the purpose of this article, we will assume that you plan to live in another country after applying for your age pension. With that, all things held constant, these are some things you should know.
Age, Income, and Asset Requirements
The regulations in this area are complex when it comes to expatriates. This is why it is recommended to seek the professional advice and the government’s Centrelink regarding your claims.
Given that, the earliest you can apply for age pension is 13 weeks before your eligible age. Check this nifty informational video to help you in your application.
The simplest bullet to fill is the age requirement. You have to be at least age 65 to be eligible for the Australian Age Pension. This means that it is the minimum age requirement. The qualifying age will still be based on your year of birth (i.e., please see the “Age Requirements” table – here). This minimum age allowance will soon increase to 65 years and 6 months starting July 2017.
Claims to the Age Pension depend upon the applicant’s ability to meet both the Income and Assets tests. If an applicant’s income or assets exceed specific levels, pension entitlements will gradually reduce.
Next, you must be an Australian resident for 10 years total. And at least, you should’ve uninterruptedly lived for 5 consecutive years out those 10 years.
Residing in Australia is also necessary on the day of lodging your claim unless you are claiming it under an International Social Security Agreement.
Unfortunately, the Philippines is not included in the countries that follow this agreement. This is why you must physically remain in Australia for a certain amount of years before leaving and be paid in the Philippines.
Now, you wait for approval. Just in case you don’t get approved, you can check this link to request reviews and appeals for the decision.
Availing Your Pension Abroad
The first step is letting the government know of your plans of leaving Australia. The easiest way is thru your Centrelink account through myGov. If you can’t, you can always call theAustralian Hotline or go to a service centre.
Afterward, your pension receivable will change depending on how long you will stay abroad. Check this link for the pension rates outside Australia.
Additional Rules if You Decide to Live in Australia Again
There are certain rules also when you go back to live in Australia.
If you have returned to live in Australia within the last 2 years and you have started receiving Age Pension during this period, you cannot be paid outside Australia until the 2-year waiting period has passed.
With that, I hope you enjoy your retirement anywhere in the world! Ciao!
These are just basic scenarios for claiming you age pension. This article relies on the generalized information provided by the Australian Government.
This article shall serve as a springboard or a support only. As always, one size does not fit all. Each situation dictates a different approach. This is why it is best to contact Centrelink for an accurate assessment of your circumstance.