Pensioners living overseas are costing you millions every year 50



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New figures have revealed Australian pensioners living overseas are costing taxpayers nearly $800 million every year.

The number of pensioners living overseas has steadily increased since the early 1990s, with the most recent data showing 87,791 pensioners are living outside of Australia.

Following these revelations, some people are calling for an end to the system, saying you should only receive your pension if you are living in Australia full time.

As it stands, pensioners can leave the country – either for a holiday or a permanent move – for up to six weeks and still receive their full pension payment.

Once a person has been outside of Australia for 26 weeks they will be paid according to how long they lived and worked in Australia.

This means that anyone who has lived in Australia as an Australian resident for 35 years can still get a full means tested rate of Age Pension after 26 weeks overseas.

The government is looking to crack down on this though, with Social Services Minister Christian Porter saying they want to effectively reduce the amount people are paid when they move overseas.

“The government has proposed to, subject to the passage of legislation, reduce the period that the Age Pension (and a small number of other payments with indefinite portability) can be paid outside Australia at the basic (means-tested) rate from 26 weeks to six weeks,” Mr Porter told The Australian.

“After six weeks overseas, a pensioner will have their pension rate adjusted according to their working life residence in Australia. For example, a person with 17 years of working life residence would receive 17/35ths of the pension they would receive if they stayed in Australia.

“This measure will provide savings of $168.4m over the forward estimates, which Labor has ­opposed. This change reinforces the strong residency based nature of Australia’s welfare system.”

While some have jumped to support this idea, others say it’s just the government taking another shot at pensioners.

“… the pension should be portable – people who qualify should be able to live where they choose, this isn’t North Korea,” one commenter said.

“The argument that the money should be spent in Australia is nonsense – the budget would also have to carry the full cost of their aged care, on top of the pension.”

Others said it was time to show Aussie seniors a little respect.

“Why not leave the poor old pensioner alone, they paid there dues,” said an online commenter.

What are your thoughts on this issue?

Should pensioners still receive a full payment if they live overseas? Or, should you have to live in Australia to receive your pension?

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  1. here in NZ if you are eligable for a pension or part pension from overseas eg .uk i received a part pension from the uk for the time i worked there on reaching retirement age here had the option of keeping uk pension and nz would make up the shortfall to nz pension or give the nz gov. my british pensionand get full nz pension opted for this2nd version have worked here 35 yrs so the nz gov get approx half of my pension paid by uk presume aussie has the same agreement?

  2. If you have worked for it you should get it no matter where you live.

    1 REPLY
    • Bloody right mate…after working for 38yrs in OZ, and paying single person’s tax I deserve to receive my pension.

      1 REPLY
      • Definitely. I’m 69 and still working. If and when I retire, I deserve to get my full pension, thank you – wherever I want to live. It makes no difference to the cost to taxpayers, no matter where I live.

  3. What if you have struggled all your life and have finally saved enough for a world trip. That takes more than 6 weeks. It’s just not fair. Think about 6 months and that might be a better option. If you were born overseas and have come here and gone back to live that’s different but for Australian born residents, 6 weeks before losing part of your increment is lousy.

  4. Pension should be paid outnomatter where you are, you have to live, and you cannot get two pensions. Stop picking on older people start looking at huge amounts wasted on politicians pay rises, business millionaires dodging tax etc

    1 REPLY
    • There is wisdom in your words. I agree look at the big companies who are not paying the appropriate tax in the country they are making their huge profits. I have paid taxes all my life I would like the choice of where I can holiday when finally retire at 68! My mother retired at 55 I thought I could retire at 60 now the govt says 68! Now don’t tell us where to live!

  5. It not unreasonable to be able to live abroad while on an aged pension. You have effectively paid into that pension while working. The government manages to avoid medical and other supporting costs while a pension recipient is abroad.

  6. they have paid there taxes over 40-50 years, they should be able to enjoy all those years of paying there taxes, working hard, putting up with all the ups and downs, its time for them to put their feet up and relax with family and friends where ever they like, and the govt should appreciate what they have done, politicians will be doing the same thing some day.

  7. I’m sorry, I have worked all my life including bringing up two children as a single Mum with very little support from their Father. I have moved to Greece to enjoy a lifestyle that I can afford (because like other women of my age their is not much Super), and be with my daughter her and my son in London.
    By the way neither of my kids have ever been on the dole. I would not allow it.
    They have both worked since the were old enough to start.

  8. Fair enough if you’ve only lived in OZ for a few years your pension should be adjusted, unless you have come from a country with an agreement with OZ , (in which case they pay proportionate pension). But if those rules put you on a full pension then you should be entitled to take it with you wherever you go.

  9. They should be paid if you have worked for 30yrs and paid taxes and find your self a widow who cannot survive to a acceptable srandard why can,t they move to a country that thry like with a much less cost of living and accommodation.

  10. I am outraged at the thought of pensions of Australians, who have worked and paid their taxes all their working life, being cut or revoked because they choose to live overseas. Pensioners are struggling financially here in Australia, their “golden years” should be spent without financial burden and if that can be found outside Australia, then support them and be greatfull for the years they dedicated to building this country by years of hard work.

  11. This is totally unfair !!
    Leave the pensioners alone !!
    Cut the ridiculous benefits given to politicians !!!
    Stop wasting billions on economic refugees !!!
    Pentioners who live overseas have to do so because it is too damn expensive to live in Australia !!!!!!!!!

  12. This is totally unfair !!
    Leave the pensioners alone !!
    Cut the ridiculous benefits given to politicians !!!
    Stop wasting billions on economic refugees !!!
    Pentioners who live overseas have to do so because it is too damn expensive to live in Australia !!!!!!!!!

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