Login | Register

Aussie Pensioners being forced to live in Australia

A close friend of mine Eric is being forced to return to Australia by the Australian government just to qualify for the old age pension. This after he spent 40 years working and paying taxes to the government that funds his old age pension. Now he can't live out his last years in Thailand because of some twat at Centerlink won't approve his application unless he lives in Australia for the next 2 years to satisfy their requirements.

Imagine this: you worked your whole life in Australia never going overseas never leaving the country and you get laid off by your company during the financial crises your 64 years old you can't get another job so you say to yourself well that's it, time to retire. A friend suggests you take a trip to Thailand. Wow imagine the excitement of that guy when he lands on Sukhimvit stays at the Nana Hotel, he wished he'd been laid off years ago. He returns a few weeks later with a few stories from Pattaya now sits in his flat bored to death. "I'm going to retire to Thailand" he says to himself.

Even though he'd been working his whole life he doesn't have that much to show for it so he sells his flat (apartment) and returns to Thailand and goes through all the immigration rigmarole in order to get the necessary visas to live in Thailand. His satisfied his financial requirements for Thailand by selling his flat bought a place in Udon Thani where he lives with his new 25y/o Thai wife and life couldn't get much sweeter from him. His funds are still limited but his waiting out for the pension that will see him live out his days here.

You'd think that would be the end of the story and life is great for this guy, that is of course until he returns to Australia to lodge his Age Pension application and gets denied!!

According to Centerlink he doesn't meet the requirements any longer because he is no longer a resident of Australia. He lives overseas and the only reason he came back to Australia was to get the Age pension. He has no kids, parents are gone and no siblings. He has no phone bill no water bill and no apartment and hasn't been in Australia for the past 2 years so he is no longer eligible. Before he can make the application again he has to move back to Australia and live there for the next 2 years before he can apply again and get approved.

What kind of country does this to retirees!

Aussie Pensioners being forced to live in Australia

There are many different variations to this story no one has the same but the ending is almost always the same. And even after it's approved once you leave the country they start taking away money after a few months because you no longer live in Australia (but honestly who can live there now on an age pension almost impossible it's so expensive!).

So my mate Eric is now back in Australia living with a friend no income because the government won't give him the pension and just a few months ago life was awesome. He can't even get his wife to Australia.

So i'm writing this article to let everyone know exactly what they should do to get their age pension from Centerlink Australia while living in Thailand. The biggest advice i've got from retirees in Thailand on the Australian Age Pension is to bend the Truth don't outright lie but provide proof of the bent truth. You can't lie to centrelink it's australia's second biggest company after the Tax office, if you have a bank account they know about it, you leave the country they know about it, centrelink knows more about you that you do yourself! But here are my tips for guaranteeing you get approved even after living in Thailand.

Tips for getting the Australian Age Pension living in Thailand

The reason why they make you illegible even though your an Australian citizen because they are trying to prove your not a resident and it's the residency requirements that can get you denied. To prove you are a non-resident they have to show clearly that you are a resident of another country like Thailand, don't give them the proof, don't tell them nothing about your situation that they can't prove, say you travelled to Thailand don't say you live there!

  1. Avoid having a permanent address in Thailand, that means don't buy property! To buy property in Thailand you'll have to transfer a large sum through your Australian bank account in order to make the purchase, yes Centerlink can find that information with a blink of an eye!
  2. Make sure you still have a permanent address in Australia! You don't have to buy property on an age pension not a good idea especially if your not living in it. To do this put a mates phone bill or electric bill in your name, even if you have to pay it this way you have proof that you have a permanent address in Australia. Your going to have to prove it more than they do.
  3. Slowly bring your money out of Australia before you retire! If you live in Thailand this is easy because there are always people you know coming here, tell them to bring 5 grand here 5 grand there and slowly build your bank roll over here. Doing it this way the government can't track it. Even using Paypal to make the transfers to a Paypal account here they can't track either.
  4. Don't get married! If you marry a Thai girl the Aussie government will find out about it and that strengthens their case not theirs. Avoid relationships! I know it's hard but make sure the person hanging around is just a friend not a partner.
  5. Don't have any paperwork overseas, pay cash for everything never use a bank to transfer funds, don't even transfer funds to Thailand, only use cash! It's not realistic that centerlink will know that you've been living in an apartment in Chiang Mai but it will keep you focused on where you REALLY live. Which needs to be Australia not Thailand.
  6. Keep your main bank account in Australia. Yes you might be able to get your pension or disability or whatever paid to your bank in Thailand, just don't do it, it doesn't help your case at all!
  7. Try to start spending more time in Australia. I know that sucks but we all go back, and when you do try to spend as much time in Australia as you can at least a few weeks or more.
  8. Go to the doctors on each return to Australia. Everyone on a pension or trying to get the Age pension in Australia should be going to the doctor with each return to Australia. It's a good idea but it does help your case, say you go to the doctor to make sure your fit to TRAVEL to Asia and not to live there. Believe me this works. Tell the doctor what you need.
  9. Try going to other countries not just Thailand. The more different stamps you have in your passport the better your case is that your travelling through asia and not living in one place. If you have a few stamps from different countries it does help prove your case.

Requirements for the Australian Age Pension

To lodge an Age Pension claim you must be an Australian resident and in Australia on the day that you lodge your claim.

To qualify as an Australian resident you must be living in Australia as:

  • an Australian citizen, or
  • the holder of a permanent resident visa, or
  • a New Zealand citizen who was in Australia on 26 February 2001, or for 12 months in the 2 years immediately before that date, or was assessed as "protected" before 26 February 2004.

To be paid Age Pension, you also need to meet the 10-year qualifying Australian residence requirements, unless:

  • you are claiming under an international social security agreement, or
  • you are a refugee or former refugee, or
  • you were getting Partner Allowance, Widow Allowance or Widow B Pension immediately before turning Age Pension age, or
  • you are a woman whose partner died while you were both Australian residents and you had 2 years residency immediately before claiming Age Pension.

Note: The 10-year Australian resident requirement means you have been an Australian resident for a continuous period of at least 10 years, or for a number of periods which total more than 10 years, with one of the periods being at least 5 years.

Related Posts:

Related Posts:

About Chris

Chris founded LivingThai.org in 2011 and has received over 3 million visitors. He has lived here for over 10 years and speaks reads and writes very good Thai.

183 Responses to Aussie Pensioners being forced to live in Australia

  1. Banjo November 21, 2011 at 9:12 am #

    Good advice Chris, it’s an interesting point whether this “rule” will stand up to a court challenge, or whether it may not even get that far.
    I have heard a claim that an appeal against it was upheld at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal which will be good news if it’s true.

    • Chris November 21, 2011 at 9:55 am #

      Australia used to be the place of “the fair go policy”. Seniors arn’t getting a fair go. If you’ve put in the work and paid your taxes it shouldn’t matter where you want to live.

      • Eric November 22, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

        Great effort guys, yes very sad how the “do gooders get shafted (talkin Aussie now) even war vets get shafted.. my Norwegian dad got a great pension (WW2) serving with the AU, and even when he passed, they looked after mum… now there is a fair thing.. It is discusting how they treat THEIR/OUT elderly.. but pump up their own salarys.. (so again, to all you know it alls, saying TH is corupt blah blah, at least u can deal with it, In AU it is goverment mafia, organised… Shit, I knew this years ago and never paid more super that I had to, they are just crooks…

        I hope ur friend sorted something out, hope to hear more about him, and all my best wishes go to him, cmon guys, if it was you, how would you feel? regardless , it is wrong, F’up and getting more and more like that..

        In my view, and I deal in money so I research a lot, is:

        1/ U aussie do gooders.. they will shaft u, shut up…
        2/ Seep out funds offshore..
        3/ Never give more info than u have to..
        4/ try to live outside the system when u can.

        Big bro is upon us.. we are living in the last stages of freedom.. I used to get annoyed with freedom groups complaining about drivers licence pics.. and I even wanted my pic on my Visa card.. but now I see their point..
        ENDORSE personal freedom rights when u can..
        The implant chip controlling u AGAINST ur best interest will come sooner than u think, dont let them fool u!!!
        God help our children…….

        • Glen March 11, 2016 at 7:05 pm #

          Cash is on the way out soon we will be using cards only so every thing can be tracked ,,and maybe chipped as well like a dog or cat

      • lucio November 3, 2012 at 5:19 am #

        Australia never used to be totaly free or democratic country . “YOU ARE FREE TO DO AS YOU TOLD MATE “

    • roger March 21, 2012 at 10:02 am #

      Hi, iam going back to aussie to apply for my aged pension in April, i have lived in Thailand for 4 years i meet all of the criteria to be eligible for the pension.
      Before i came to live in Thailand i contacted center link on two occasions with regards to receiving the pension when i turned 65 on both occasions i was told wont be a problem providing iam back in Aussie when i turn 65.
      But from what i have been told by Center Link one in Perth and one in Hobart is conflicting, in Perth they told me i have to live in Aussie for 2 years before i could receive the pension.
      Hobart told me not a problem i will be paid the pension when i turn 65 but i cannot leave the country for 2 years otherwise my pension will stop and i will have to reapply, i will keep you posted on the outcome after i turn 65

      • roger May 30, 2012 at 7:08 am #

        hi to all of you like to receive the Aussie pension, i have just been back to Aussie having lived in Thailand for 4 years, i made my application and after 6 weeks i was paid the pension which amounts to about 41,000 per month and i lost some money because i have investments.
        The local branches dont have any knowledge of the system if you live overseas, i phoned hobart who look after overseas claims.
        The first time i phoned i was told i could not travel for 2 years, the second time i phoned i was told i could travel but if my stay overseas was to long or went overseas lots it could be reviewed and my payment would stop. also my 2 years would start again .
        Once you have achieved the 2 years payment you can live overseas forever without any problems.
        The problem seems to be the lack of understanding of staff or the legislation is complex and open to who ever you are dealing with, so now iam back in Thailand i tried to send an email to Centre Link but the site was down which happens lots, and the other news is that Human Resources will be handling future claims i think in June 2012 so i think more problems for us, i will keep you posted about my payments if they stop so good luck to all of you

        • Chris May 30, 2012 at 8:05 am #

          thanks for the update roger!

        • geoff sloman October 26, 2012 at 4:28 am #

          Same problem here.
          I am now 69 and have been living in Thailand for 9 years. Have not been back to Sydney for last 4 years. Retired at age 60 and came here. Born in Sydney and worked there (and paid taxes)from age 18 to 60. (42 years).
          Centrelink (soon Human Resources) told me that I must return to Australia and live for 2 years before I can apply for the Aged Pension. My life is here and I have no property or family left in Australia so I cannot return for such a long time. It would cost me more than the ultimate pension I may get. It is so unfair. My U.K. friends who live here can get the Age Pension but it is not indexed if you live out of England…and they complain about that ! My Yank friends here get it without any problem and cannot believe the unfair rule applied to people like myself. I am totally disillusioned with what Centrelink has done to me.

      • Brian April 17, 2016 at 3:08 am #

        Good potential for some enterprising people to provide assistance to depart Au by boat. i.e. Boat People heading the other way…

        • Roland January 18, 2018 at 7:26 am #

          hi Brian,
          i got 4 month to go before i can move overseas. 2 times my pension was cut off.
          Appeal at independent appeals Tribunal or you can call a kangaroo Court!! Worst experience in all my 40 years in Australia … being a Dual nationality is almost a crime!!

          very disappointing …..Australia not call it Home anymore!

      • MarkCM September 4, 2016 at 7:07 pm #

        The Hobart reply is the correct one.

        • Grant Howlett September 6, 2016 at 2:32 pm #

          Correct as I understand, however, the crux is: Not legislation from what I can ascertain – POLICY. Can any soul out there point to the Legislation? I doubt it. If I am correct such policy can be appealed thru’ the likes of the AAT (Administrative Appeals Tribunal). Ought to be done collectively although I do not know if that is possible. You will get no sympathy from the politicians, nor the the general public, alas. (Note: some 18 months ago, I think, absence from Oz more than 3 yrs disenfranchises you as a voter). Sorry folks it, sucks.

  2. Foxy November 22, 2011 at 2:54 am #

    As an Aussie living and working in Thailand, the ATO says I don’t need to pay tax on my income. So we should remember to be thankful for that if we later decide to retire here. Of course, it probably won’t be long before they try to tax us non-residents as well.

    Unfortunately my Thai wife and I have to return to Sydney next year because my wife will otherwise lose her Permanent Resident status because she’s been a non-resident for too long. Time to go do the time and get her an Aussie passport, then we can leave as long as we want.

    • JACK FROST July 17, 2016 at 7:28 pm #

      u THINK . the gov gives a shit about u leave the country??

      Are u that Nieve ?? They dont give a shit ! period.

  3. Chris Williams November 22, 2011 at 4:20 pm #

    Interesting but confusing, I am 71 and living in Thailand. I spent most of my working life in SEA returning to Australia for a few years with my Thai wife, now divorced in 1999. I came back to Thailand in 2010 and I get the govt age pension also Centrelink even offered to transfer at their cost to my bank a/c here in Thailand. Furthermore I get regular updates about the pension rates etc by e-mail. If the man in question spent 40 years in Australia I cannot see why he has a problem.

    • Chris November 22, 2011 at 4:26 pm #

      From the sounds of it you had applied and recieved the old age pension before you decided to return and live in Thailand. You were living in Australia for 2 years before you applied and recieved the pension. Now once your approved then you can leave but not before.

      • Chris Williams November 23, 2011 at 3:49 am #

        You may be right Chris but if the man spent 40 years in Australia he has more than earned his right to an Australian Government pension. It might well be that the Centrelink officer he spoke to is incorrect. I once had a very difficult and intransigent Centrelink officer who not only refused to believe that I was telling her the truth she was also the same person who responded to an appeal I lodged upholding her first decision. I appealed again but this time the first officer was over ruled. The frustrating and most stressful aspect of it all was the time it took to resolve the issue, months of writing and waiting. Eventually I was rewarded with 8 months back pay in the allowance I was claiming.
        By the way I suppose your friend knows that the Aged Pension is not sufficient in itself to be eligible for a “retirement” visa in Thailand. The minimum annual income for that priviege is Bht 800,000 per annum unless he is married to a Thai and then the figure is Bht 400,000. I wish him all the very best of luck.

        • David Walden September 13, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

          My enquiries indicates that aged pensioners payments are adjusted only after 13 weeks and by only a small amount…this has been the case for long time…the 6 weeks bit only applies to pensions other than aged pensions

        • David Walden September 13, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

          I find it hard to get a clear answer to this question although I’ve tried:-
          a single Aus aged pensioner after 13 weeks living in Thailand receives $A 19,500 pa Aus pension, when converted to Thai bht this amounts to approx ThB 650,000, If this can be confirmed by Aus Consul and C/link in Thailand does this mean you are now only required to put ThB 150,000 in a bank account in Thailand some people suggest this so I wonder? Your pension would be 650,000 your bank account would be 150,000 total 800,000, would this satisfy the thai immigration…regards David

        • erik October 26, 2012 at 7:54 am #

          800 000 in Thai account NOT per year!!

        • David Walden October 31, 2012 at 6:52 am #

          The amount of 800,000.00 is the amount the Thai gov expects you will need to live in Thailand for a year. I believe this can be made up a gov or super pension that your own gov pays and has to be confirmed by your own embassy in writing. If you dont spend all that amount any left over can be part of the next years 800,000 . It must be in the bank ( no interest) for a least 3 mths before application for retirement visa ( I think there are ways arround it) good luck

        • seeit July 17, 2013 at 5:57 am #

          Bht 800,000 per annum ? nooooo just need to have the funds sit there 3 months prior to Ret V renewal…..

        • JACK FROST July 17, 2016 at 7:35 pm #

          Buull crap.. if its $10,ooo u can reside in thailand

    • JACK FROST July 17, 2016 at 7:30 pm #

      This is 2016.. Centrelink has fuked eveything ! period !

    • Andrew April 26, 2017 at 9:04 am #

      Hi Chris – were you in Australia for 2 years before you originally applied for the pension?

  4. Eric November 22, 2011 at 4:28 pm #

    Hey all,

    it will all be a coninuous mess up sure…

    that is why sites like this are better than gold..

    power to the people….

  5. Ron1947 November 23, 2011 at 1:24 am #

    Thank you for the information concerning obtaining the Ozzie pension. I’m an Ozzie who has lived in Thailand for 8 years. I intended going back to Oz a week before my birthday in July.apply for the pension and then leave a week later. Based on your information I would be denied a pension. Now I’m not sure what to do or whether your information is 100% accurate nor where to go to obtain a definitive answer.

    • Chris November 23, 2011 at 6:48 am #

      I think everyone had different circumstances this is just one mans story. If I were you i’d contact centerlink by phone but as this guide says never say that you are living overseas say that you are travelling. My mates mistake was he was overly honest and that’s what got him into trouble.

    • John Mac November 28, 2016 at 1:29 pm #

      I just got the pension. I returned to Australia 10 months ago, after spending several years on-off overseas.

      I got the wrong information from Centrelink for over a year (7 meetings). What appears to be true is the latest version:

      I can travel overseas only briefly until I have spent 2 whole years in Australia. (That’ll be Feb 2018 for me.)

      I have spent 35+ years in Oz, so that’s not a factor. But less than 35 reduces your pension.

      Inside the 2 years, I can go live in a country with which Australia has a social security agreement.

  6. Banjo November 23, 2011 at 1:52 am #

    Chris never had a problem because he had been living in Australia for 2 years when he applied. He qualified through the amount of time he had worked in Australia so when he got the pension he could leave the country immediately without losing it.
    Go figure.

    I have a small single issue message board for Aussie pensioners living and traveling regularly overseas and I hope Administer Chris will allow me to place a link to it here.
    I’ll certainly return the courtesy with a link to this article.


    • Chris November 23, 2011 at 6:50 am #

      I think that’s a good resource. I’m nowhere near retirement age so I really don’t have any experience just what guys here have told me. But I read your board lots of good information there. Great work.

      • Banjo November 23, 2011 at 7:23 am #

        Thanks Chris, there’s a lot of jealousy among expat websites… try getting a link on ThaiVisa… so it’s good to find someone like yourself.
        I’d like to point out that our site offers no professional advice, we are not qualified to do so, but we can offer support and hopefully point people in the right direction.

        • see all May 27, 2015 at 6:43 pm #

          ummm what is ur site????????

  7. Banjo November 23, 2011 at 6:13 am #

    There is an organisation in Australia called the National Welfare Rights Network, they have a website and are an independent advice group for people dealing with Centrelink.
    You may like to read their site then give them a ring for more information.


    • Ron1947 November 23, 2011 at 2:38 pm #

      Thank you very much for the information. I’ve accessed the site you mentioned and it confirms people in my circumstances must stay in Oz for 2 years while receiving the pension before living overseas. I guess they will know how long I’ve been out of Oz simply by looking up the entry & exit custom’s web site.

      • Banjo November 24, 2011 at 1:23 am #

        They’re sneaky like that.
        If you get stuck in Oz for 2 years you may as well appeal the decision, doesn’t cost anything and will help people coming along later.
        Make sure you write to your MP and complain as well.

  8. Barnsy November 26, 2011 at 1:13 am #

    Hi all, I am turning 50 in january and married to a great lady in the philippines and we have 2 tin lids, I have been on dsp since march 2004 ans want to be able to live with my family there, I have looked into bringing my family here, but not possible because i am on dsp. I just want to be happy and care for my family. if i had $1000 au a month i could live the comfortably with my family. but they will not let me. I wish they would get there act together and stop breaking families up and forcing people further into deeper depresion.

  9. Chris Williams November 26, 2011 at 2:46 am #

    Forgive me Barnsey I’m getting on in years and I’m a little confused, but where is “there” and “here” and who is “they”, do you mean the Aust. authorities in Australia, Thailand or the Philippines? Is it that you want to live in the Philippines but you are not allowed to so you have looked at moving to Thailand?

  10. jack December 18, 2011 at 7:25 am #

    australia what a fucken failure

    • JACK FROST July 17, 2016 at 7:38 pm #

      2016, an still a fukin failure period !

  11. majorie west March 22, 2012 at 11:44 am #

    My husband and I are looking to invest in Phuket for our future and move there in about 5 yrs. We will not even be the age to get the pension. How would we go if we kept our property in Australia and then lived over there ??? is that a way around this whole problem??
    p>S I love this site

    • Eric March 22, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

      Sounds unclear what the problem is.
      I sold up and moved 3 years ago from Aus, bought a large house and 4 investment units which seem to have doubled.

      My Aussie friend keeps his cash in the bank in Aus at 6.5% and lives off that..

      Visas: did hve the WP and all but a waste of cash unless u do work here, so am now on an EDU visa…

      This pension thing really stinks doesn’t it…

  12. Rex April 1, 2012 at 10:32 am #

    Yes, the 2 year rule is true re Thailand but after that they will transfer your pension to a Thai bank A/C.
    I heard that (I hope not true) now you have to report to CenterLink every 3 months in person when on the retirement pension ???

    • Chris April 1, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

      Can anyone help rex out?

    • Ron April 2, 2012 at 3:15 am #

      I now a couple of people living in Thailand receiving the Oz pension. They say that they report via Centrelink web site.

    • David Walden February 5, 2013 at 3:49 am #

      not true, if you live in Thailand on a retirement visa you have to report to immigration there every 3 months…once granted the Aged pension in Aus you can live anywhere in the world you will loose some of the small Pension supplement but not much overall. If you don’t have a house you can also have up to $325,000.00 invested and not effect the pension

      • roger August 27, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

        Iam just going through this bullshit 2 residency period for the aussie pension. i turned 65 on the 28 th of april 2012 after returning from living overseas for 5 years mostly in thailand.

        i applied for the pension and it was granted , i left for overseas again to do voluntary work in Cambodia and i was away for 3 months, i was paid 3 months back pay for the period i was away.

        i stayed for 2 months and returned to Thailand and Cambodia to do voluntary work at all times i presented documents to show that i was doing volunteer work i was away for six months.

        On returning i was told i would not be paid for the six months i was away and so i accepted that decision.

        I then returned to Cambodia and Thailand for 3 months and i was told prior to leaving that it was ok for me to go and would be paid for the 3 months i was away,.

        while away i asked the International Team in Hobart if i still had my 2 year residency status in place and after 1 hour on the phone i was told %100 all ok for me and after the 1st of April 2014 i can live overseas without coming back to Aussie, amd all was ok.

        I arrived back in Aussie 10 days ago to stay for the last 7 months of my 2 year residency period and was told by Centrelink that no i would not be paid and that i would have to stay for another 20 months to finish my 2 year stint.

        i was told the I nternational did not know what they were talking about and were wrong.

        so now its up for appeal and iam waiting to hear, so for me regardless what they tell you it can be changed at any time, sadly they refuse to put it in writing, i will let you know of the outcome

  13. Richard Raymond April 13, 2012 at 6:58 am #

    Australia is a sick country every one has to be controlled by the government not a lucky country as it was once.

  14. Ron April 13, 2012 at 4:11 pm #

    I disagree. I went to the Dr today for an annual check-up, waved my Medicare card and it cost me nothing. I have a seniors card as I’m over 60 and can travel anywhere in the city for only $2.50 which is good for multiple trips in any one day. But, yes my waterloo will be in July when I apply for the pension and then request to return to Thailand. I’ll wait a couple of months after getting the pension before enquiring about returning to Thailand.

  15. gerald young April 27, 2012 at 11:43 am #

    Can someone tell me if it is possible to get a fiance or spouse visa for my overseas girlfriend to come to Australia if I am on a DSP or Age Pension?

    • Ron May 30, 2012 at 8:23 am #

      Just ring and ask Centrelink in Australia. They are actually very helpful.

  16. roger June 1, 2012 at 3:57 am #

    Hi i mentioned that i had received the Aussie pension and had returned to Thailand, well i left Aussie on the 22nd of May and my pension payment was stopped from the 15th of May until the 21st of May $290.00 because i had left the Country and it wont be paid unless i return to Aussie it just shows they are on the ball with Immigration but with regards to the giving out consistent advice from Hobart on your rights that is sadly lacking consistent with Government departments in Aussie

  17. lucio August 2, 2012 at 12:53 am #

    Yes you are intitled a Australia aged pension abroad if :
    You are 65 and worked untill last day.
    Worked minimum of 25 years
    You are Australian Cittizen
    Past asset test in Australia
    Applied for aged care pension beffore living permanently Australia .
    If you qualify for all the above , you ca apply for a aged pension and to be send to country of your choice .

  18. Chris Williams August 2, 2012 at 8:03 am #

    I am afraid Lucio that the conditions set for Aged Pensioners have changed from July 1 2012. The length of work experience in Australia is now 35 years. Unfortunately any pensioner who is resident overseas and receiving the pension now and was eligible regarding the 25 year rule has to face new stringent conditions. If he/she returns to Australia for a period of more than 6 months then he/she leaves Australia or otherwise lives in Australia then that pensioner must meet the same requirements that all others do.

    That means he must now have had 35 years work experience in Australia to be eligible for the aged pension.
    Furthermore any aged pensioner that takes a holiday overseas for more than 6 weeks loses all benifits other than the basic pension until he/she returns. The only exception is Pensioners on a disability allowance. They continue to get paid all allowances.
    That’s some of the changes and if you want to knpw more then I suggest you call Centrelink.

    Kind regards

    Chris Williams

    • Chris August 2, 2012 at 6:16 pm #

      Man that sucks, I only works in Australia for what maybe 3 years, what if you’ve never worked say you were a stay at home mum you’re whole life then they don’t get it?
      For the older guys who relied on this it’s just sad, the new generation realise you can’t trust the government to look after you you need to make you’re own plans.

      • bruce April 20, 2014 at 11:56 pm #

        I am from n.z. but have worked in aust for the last3.5 years,i am 65 in june and want to retire in Thailand,according to centrelink ,I only have to have worked for 10 years in both nz and aust to qualifiy, then the pension is made up by both countrys,and I can retire any were I like. too easy.

    • Graeme January 28, 2013 at 10:58 pm #

      Your 100% wrong Chris, its still 25yrs next year 1st Jan 2014, they try changes. hope this helps

    • David Walden February 5, 2013 at 3:42 am #

      I not too sure Chris that you are correct, the Disability Support Pensioners (DSP) recipiants will loose all benifits, all Pension and pension supplement after being absent from Aus after 6 weeks from 1/1/13. Single Aged Pensioners will continue to receive the aged pension forever of $745.00 p/f, but they will loose some of the pension supplement which is about $50 p/f after 6 weeks which has changed from 13 weeks as from 1/1/13

      • Graham January 2, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

        That’s spot on David

        Age Pension

        You can get Age Pension for the whole time you are overseas, regardless of whether you leave Australia temporarily or permanently.

        However, the amount of pension you receive may change if you remain outside Australia for more than 26 weeks. Whether or not your payment amount changes will depend on how long you have lived in Australia between age 16 and age pension age.

        This is a cut and paste straight off Centrelinks website(January 3,2014). The change referred to is the supplement not the base pension itself. I’m 51 years old and setting up my retirement now (which will be at 67years old) and have been trawling info all over the net for weeks.Though I’m a Kiwi I’ve lived and worked in Aussie since 1992 and have been checking my eligibilty status-dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s as it were. I will qualify at 64years old for the new 35 year working (residency) requirement (I came here as a sprightly 29year old) and have never left except holidays.I’m a ‘protected’ SCV visa holder for those who are interested.Great info here and more than a little confusion it seems which is why I’ve pored over all the info I can find over the last few weeks asI was confused myself at first. I WILL be speaking to my accountant AND Centrelink about taxable and non taxable income streams from investments because I don’t want to end up like some of these poor buggers getting caught outside eligibilty requirements. Structuring my retirement is the SMARTEST thing I’ve ever done. Yes I’d do it tough trying to retire here as it’s so bloody expensive for everything. Fantasic to find this website and all the best to everyone here.Travelling to Thailand this year to set up my bank account..can’t wait. Peace.

  19. lucio August 2, 2012 at 10:03 pm #

    Well governament is in title to change their opinion or law as we have a stupid woman on helm. I was also planing to choose enother country and live better on the age pension . but it look like i will fail short 5 years with a new laws.I am originaly italian and come to Australia in my early 20. I keep always saying that if you pay maffia you get protected better than you pay governament , and do not steal from the governnament as they do not like competition. At least i was vendicated . In Europe to get a full pension you must work 35 years but if less you still get pension reduced as per years you worked . So much for a country of milk and honey turn into communist state . I fell sorry for me and for the rest of you guys . That proves that monarchy will shaft you at the end one way or enother . I wonder how much they will jup in the air if they have to pay taxes for so many years .Small people will be small regardless of the country name .

  20. Ron August 2, 2012 at 10:55 pm #

    I have read all of the above information which seems to be contradictory. I have just been through the process and my best advice to you is to ring Centrelink Internation Services on 131673 within Australia or 61-362223455 reverse charge from overseas. They are most helpful and provided you answer their questions truthfully you will be advised correctly on your situation. The law is very complex therefore being forthright and also asking for a receipt or reference conversation number is very important should a future problem arise. One key point is to be sure that you are in Australia working at the time of aplying for the aged pension, the amount of which is quite generous considering.

  21. Ron August 3, 2012 at 7:40 am #

    Lucio and all those other concerned people, here is the web-site with the new 35year rule. You can still retire overseas but the payment is pro-rata. So if you have lived in Oz for only 25 years, then after 1/1/2014 you would receive 25/35ths of the full pension while living abroad.


    I hope this helps and reduces all the anxiety.

  22. lucio August 3, 2012 at 7:07 pm #

    To Chris and Ron. I live in Mildura and yesterday i went to a phone with Centrelinks .To get a pension abroad you have to : Be Australian cittizen.Pass asset test .Lived in Australia for 25 years or ower,and applied for the aged pension before you live Australia as it has to be approved by centrelinks . This is all carent from 01.06.12 . Remember you do not have to work for 25 years only be a permanent resident continuosly in Australia .
    For the rulle of 35 years the legislation is not passed yet . It is planed to pass in parlament in 2014 , where you have to live in Australia for 35 years or more . Either way , i am qualifiy for the aged pension . As a male Nurse and working most of my life in Australia i come to conclusion that my standard of life will significantly demisish so i am seruosly consider enother country to be rest at peace as here will be very tough going on the aged pension .My electricity bill come the other day 1253 dollars , and will get worse. I was wright advised my my fellows Italians years ago . Pay a maffia becouse maffia will protect you , as the governament will not . How true . Australia governament is lately also try hard to renlinqish responsability towards age care Australian fellow cittizen as they are no longer tax payers and therefore no use to governament . Furthermore they tray to make a new Aged care Industry out of oldies by trying to strip them from a life assetts to put them in private nursing home by curent entry fees exceeding 200.000 big ones . I know as i curently work in aged care . My addvice is : stick to the young sheilla in Thailand and i wish you (like only one mman wish to enother fellow men ) hard for ever bellow. The only medicine that can cure old age is Viagra and Cialis . Take care ….Lucio

  23. lucio August 6, 2012 at 4:34 pm #

    Can enybody of you guys living in Thailand tell me how you get permanent residency in Thailand ? Can you get residency , providing you are married to Thai national ? Thanks

  24. David Walden September 12, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

    If you have lived in Aus for 25 years, reach 65 yrs and wish to live in Thailand on the aged pension (only) as I understand you will receive the full pension for at least 13 weeks (the 2 year bit may change?), it will be then reduced by about $15 p/f this being the pharmacy, telephone and some other small amount which is only available if spent in Aus…if the period of residency is less then the 25 or ( 35 yrs soon to be), a complex calculation will be made as a fraction of time spent in Aus eg. 15 years will be 15 over 25 or you will only be entiteled to 60% of the pension. Returning to Aus is not required to maintain the aged pension, this I believe is not the case for other pensions. Recipiants of invalid, sickness, single parent or many of the other payments will stop after 6 weeks

    • Ron September 14, 2012 at 2:06 am #

      Thailand has what is called a retirement visa. Basically you need an income of 60,000baht/month which is about $2000/mth. You can have a mix of both pension and money in a Thai bank account. The easiest method is to have 800,000 baht deposited in a Thai bank account. This meets the requirement. On renewal each year you will need to show how you are financing your retirement. Centrelink will even pay your pension monthly into a foreign account. Admitedly the pension only translates to about 450,000 baht a year but you can live on that here quite well. The real challenge is health insurance as you can buy one in Thailand from a Thai company once you are over 60. I buy a travel policy each year but have to return to Oz, my country of residency, each year to purchase another one. You can buy an expat health insurance policy but it will cost about $300/mth.

      • Ron September 14, 2012 at 2:08 am #

        Oops. I meant you CAN NOT buy one…………(health ins).

      • Chris September 14, 2012 at 2:11 am #

        I have health insurance from Bupa costs 10,000 baht a year i’m sure it’s not like the best but it’s better than nothing I suppose.

        • Ron September 14, 2012 at 2:22 am #

          Chris, I thought you were under 60. I’m 65.

        • Chris September 14, 2012 at 4:22 am #

          I am I’m 32 retired already but can’t get this visa because my age doesn’t qualify! oh well, was just saying about the insurance, my dad is over 55 lives here and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t pay $300 a month through Bupa worth checking out which is why I mentioned it.

  25. Chris Williams November 2, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

    I work with the Royal Thai Police Immigration Service in Phuket advising foreigners what they need to know regarding Long Term Visas. For your information an applicant for a Retirement Visa can have either savings of 800,000 Baht in the bank or at least 65,000 Baht per month income or a combination of both that add up to 800,000 baht per year. If it’s money in the bank option it must be in a Thai bank for two months on the very first application for the Ret. Visa but three months on every subsequent application. The money in the bank option must be accompanied by a letter from the Thai bank confirming the 800,000 Baht deposit along with all copies of the pages of the applicants bank book. The money in the bank option does not require a letter from the applicant’s embassy or consulate.

    If the application is based on annual income then a letter from the applicants embassy or consulate is required confirming that the applicant does receive the amount he claims to be getting. The Australian Embassy will not give anyone a letter confirming income but will acknowledge sighting a stat dec completed by the applicant. The application for the Ret Visa must also include copies of document evidence of the source of the yearly funds, a copy of the applicant’s ATM card (face only, not the back). The applicant is not required to get a letter from the bank.

    I hope this information is helpful.

    • Chris November 2, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

      What are the age requirements for that in Thailand?

    • seeit July 17, 2013 at 10:05 am #

      @ Chris Williams, or anyone else who knows.. is there any benefits of a Retirement visa over an Education Visa?

      Thanks all….

      • Chris July 17, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

        The yearly fees are cheaper. However you need to have money tied up. I don’t see any benefits to it.

  26. Chris Williams November 3, 2012 at 4:42 am #

    The applicant must be 50 Years old.

  27. john December 15, 2012 at 7:07 am #

    i am a citizen of australia and israel
    having worked in australia for 14 years can i get my aussie pension and return to sign in 4 times a year ,but before i apply to centre link i want to get it correct i am approaching 65

  28. Banjo December 16, 2012 at 12:27 am #

    It’s not enough to be a citizen you have to be a resident as well.
    If they consider you to be a non-resident you are still eligible for the Old Age Pension but you lose it if you leave Australia in 2 years of being granted it.
    If you haven’t been back to Australia for a while you would be well advised to find out.
    There is currently no return requirement on the OAP. I f you stay overseas you lose the Pension supplement, about $30 a week after 26 weeks.

  29. dok49 January 31, 2013 at 4:44 pm #

    Ok, I’m trying to figure out what to do? I am an Australian citizen who is also an American citizen. My Social Security from USA will amount to about $800 a month USD. I am currently on a DSP form Australia and I go to the Philippines reg. but, now it will be for only 6 weeks at a time. My quandary is what to do before or after I turn 65. I turn 65 on Feb. 2014. One month after the new changes are proposed to make it 35 years instead of 25 years to get the full pension for OAP. I immigrated to Australia in July of 1990, so my time in Australia as a resident is about 24 years. So, I will lose a lot if I lose my residency by living overseas permanently? Do, I try for the Permanent disabled label or move to OAP? I would get some USA social security but, is it worth it? Do I move out of the country before I turn 65 or keep my residency by going back and forth, I’m so confused and dont want to lay my cards all on the table to Centrelink. PS: I also have a 401K in the USA that is worth a fair bit. If I take it and my residency is not in the USA then they dont care about taxes? Right? Any help or advice from anybody?

  30. Chris Williams February 1, 2013 at 5:07 am #

    You could ask Centrelink International any questions you like. I do get straight answers from them.
    Use a John Doe name if you want or just anonymously. You do not have to give your real name. I’m only guessing here but if you qualify for a pension according to the time spent in Australia you will be given a reduced Age pension. For example I have a Commonwealth Super pension of roughly $600+ a fortnight. Centrelink pay me approximately $470 a fortnight although because I’m overseas CL do not pay me any allowances such as medical.
    There is much confusion amongst us who rely on money from government sources. I have met several guys who say they have to go home once every year or they miss out on the pension. I rang Centrelink about that and they say it is not required for me to report home every year just to get the pension. I also know many in my situation here in Thailand and they don’t go home every year.
    I often wonder if all the confusion is brought about by whoever you speak to in Centrelink . Is it possible that each CL office has a different understanding of the Aged Pension Requirements?
    Good luck in your coming endeavours.

    • geoff sloman February 1, 2013 at 5:36 am #

      Regarding this post. I also get a Commonwealth Super Pension paid into my Australian bank account. I live in Thailand fulltime.
      You say you also get the Centrelink Age Pension. Did you first get that before living in Thailand or after you moved here ? If you first got it whilst living in Thailand I would be very interested to learn how ? All of my enquiries with CL tell me that I must return to Australia and live there for 2 years before applying. I fullfill all the other requirements of CL to claim the age pension. Thanks.

    • John Mac November 28, 2016 at 1:43 pm #

      Yes it is true.

      The only office which knows the true status of pensioners living overseas is the Hobart office dealing with that subject – 13 16 73.

      I had 7 meetings with Centrelink, all of which gave me wrong advice, before finding these guys.

  31. Ron February 1, 2013 at 5:59 am #

    I now receive an aged pension and live in Thailand but needed to live in Australia before applying. If you go back to Australia just for the purpose of claiming the pension, then you can be denied, according to C/L International. I agree with C. Williams post, but it guarantees nothing. The legislation is so complex, (I’ve read it), that many areas are open to interpretation based on how C/L staff view the genuineness of your answers with respect to your true intentions. In the end it is Commonwealth’s money paid out of current tax revenue. There is also an independent appeals process. Good luck.

  32. Chris Williams February 1, 2013 at 6:26 am #

    Yes Geoff, I did get it before leaving Australia but I was in ignorance at that time that I had to be resident in Australia for two years to qualify. It was just luck for me. I lived in SEA for 30 years and went home with a Thai bride for a few years before reaching 65. I worked for many years with the Telstra in Australia and the Australian Develpment Assistance Bureau in PNG, Brunei, and Indonesia so qualified for length of service.
    I don’t know if it would help but surely if there was enough people approaching their Member of Parliament complaining something might be done about this crazy rule. It would be interesting to know if it legislation or a Human Resources Department edict about the two year rule. If it’s a HRD rule it wouldn’t be as difficult to change one would think.

    Chris Williams

    • Gerard March 12, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

      It’s legislation! I sought help from my local MP but no interest was shown to the problem, other than simply regurgitating what Centrelink staff had already told me; it’s legislation!

  33. Ron February 1, 2013 at 6:38 am #

    It’s specifically stated in the legislation with the addition aside saying that C/L staff do not have the discretion to vary the regulation.

  34. Chris Williams February 2, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

    Ron, I’d very much like to read the legislation. Is it available on line? About C/L staff not having the discretion to vary the regulation; that may be true but it’s possible the rules could be interpreted differently by different people, yes? I suppose it depends on the way the language is couched.

    Thanks for your input to this discussion.

    Chris Williams

  35. David Walden February 5, 2013 at 3:23 am #

    It seems that there is considerable confussion about the Disa bility Support Pension (DSP) (for people too sick to work and under 65) and the Aged Pension. From 1/1/13 the DSP will cease completly after 6 weeks if you leave Aus to live overseas, you will have to re-apply when you return to Aus. (don’t let it happen) The Aged Pension which is for people over 65 yrs is granted for life, it is subject to residency and asset matters, once you are granted the aged pension you can live almost anywhere in the world…both are made up of a pension amount for a single person of around $750.00 P/F and a pension supplement of about $50 P/F. For people living overseas and receiving the DSP all of it will stop after 6 weeks from 1/1/13. There are people living out of Aus who will now have to return to Aus ( and are not happy). If you are an Aged Pensioner and living overseas you only loose some of the pension supplement after 6 weeks, you will not loose the $750.00 Aged Pension. Many recipiants of the DSP are putting comments on line at present saying that all pensions will stop, it will for them unless they return to Aus by about 12/2/2013

  36. MAURICE 47 February 28, 2013 at 3:49 am #

    Hi, I need urgent Help! I am living in Thailand with No Money!Turned 65 Last May. I have applied for Aged Pension and been rejected in all Areas! I am Medically Unfit to Fly! I can not go back to Australia.I need help in getting the Australian law changed for people like myself, and who to Contact. I went through Legal Aid in Australia & they said can not help me The Law Has To Be Changed! Thank You Maurice

    • Joel June 18, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

      Ok….. I have written in to my local member asking they ensure they never change the law…. Pathetic that cunts like you think you can live in Thailand, yet demand Australians in Australia support you…. How about you go fuck yourself! 🙂 You, Chris and the pople like you will live in the crappy 100k baht a month lives you gave yourselves….I will enjoy my better living standard, and enjoy the fact a cockhead like Chris will be in your place soon enough…

      • Ezy E November 6, 2013 at 11:32 pm #

        Hey Joel,
        I just read your comment to all the people who have lived and worked all their lives in Australia, paid taxes all their life and wish for a better life in Thailand.
        How about you go Fuck yourself. If these guys choose to live in Thailand on an old age pension that they well deserve Good luck to them.
        That’s what they deserve after working and paying taxes all their live. Shut your mouth you pathetic cunt.

      • Garry Graham January 10, 2014 at 10:11 am #

        Hey Joel numb nuts, I fought for the country you now live in and so did my dad, How dare you say we 65yr olds are not entitled to some Gov pension for our service to our country no matter where we choose to live in. But I Think I must explain to a stupid imbicile like you who I believe will be high on anything he can obtain to realize A crappy baht is sooo much better than living on the streets in Aus.

        • Craig December 7, 2014 at 9:44 am #

          Gary Graham, I totally agree with you.

          And you Joe, you numb nutted CUNT yes you go fuck yourself, I have work bloody hard all my life in Australia i started work at 16yrs till 55yrs and I live in Thailand with by beautiful Thai wife, over here many Thai people live on nothing but you won’t see them carrying on like you, Joe you fucking dumb CUNT.

  37. Richard March 1, 2013 at 4:56 am #

    Question for Chris Williams and Geoff Sloman. In recent posts you mentioned that you receive Commonwealth Super pensions. I’m also on a modest Comm super pension and am thinking of moving to Thailand and buying a condo. Problem is that people who become non residents in Australia for tax purposes lose the whole tax free threshold, and pay tax on their entire income at 32.5 cents in the dollar. Do you know if Comm super pensions are treated differently from other income, and are not affected?

  38. Chris Williams March 1, 2013 at 11:27 am #

    Hi Richard,

    My address with the ATO is an address in Australia. I don’t have an official overseas address. My CSS pension is paid into an Australian bank account because CSS will not remit any money overseas. Centrelink will but only once a month and that is very inconvenient for me as it’s a long time between drinks, therefore all the pension money is paid into my Aust bank a/c each fortnight.
    If you wish to notify the CSS and Tax department of your overseas address this is entirely up to you and it seems you already know the financial responsibilty for that . Good Luck.

    Now for another matter sometimes dicussed on this forum; Centrelink pensioners being told to return to Australia every year.
    I had a customer today in immigration who, after I told him he didn’t have to, wrote to the Minister asking him if this was true. He had a positive reply telling him no, he didn’t have to. He has now sent in a claim to Centrelink for all costs he incurred buying flight tickets etc. He has been told that because he has the name of the Cemtrelink lady that told him he had to come home once a year he has an 80% chance of being reimbursed all costs. That’s one piece of good news for sure.


    • Richard March 2, 2013 at 4:12 am #

      Understood, thanks Chris

  39. Chris Williams May 4, 2013 at 9:01 am #

    I’m very sorry to hear of your plight. It’s possible if you cannot fly that you might get an extension on your current visa for up to 90 days i.e. provided you get a doctors certificate from a recognised hospital in Thailand (not a doctors private clinic) stating that you absolutely cannot fly. I’m told that some foreigners who state they cannot fly as an excuse to prolong their visa are told to leave by bus.

    You could do that too and get another tourist visa TR60 from Laos, Cambodia or Malaysia. If you’re really stuck for money then go to your embassy in Bangkok and ask for assistance. I hear they can help you but you must repay the loan over time once back home. As for changing the law in Australia that takes a long time but may I suggest you write to your Federal Member of Parliament as a start. Very best of luck.

  40. mike May 6, 2013 at 4:29 am #

    this is the law mate, make sure you read it before making moves.

    all countries have it.

  41. Scott taylor June 7, 2013 at 11:30 pm #

    Thanx for the info ,is there anywere to send our disgust or pensioner lobby groups to contact??,iam ritired at 50 and been thailand now 3yrs iam so glad i wont be paying anymore taxes ,has ive always thought ill be lucky to get a pension,the system sucks,yet its ok to be a refugee or such thats never worked still get a pension what a joke and an insult to the workers whos paid there dues,who would want to retire ,or could afford to retire in that boring shithole

  42. Joel June 18, 2013 at 2:08 pm #

    Oh My God! An Australian, collecting Australian Benefits is required to complete the same standard checks any other Australian is required to undertake!

    Lets riot! Burn down parliament! Kill the PM! All in the name of some fuck wit who couldn’t arrange enough super, and thus needs to live off the 50k i pay in tax a year.

    • Garry Graham January 10, 2014 at 10:16 am #

      You Work for center link

  43. dok49 July 17, 2013 at 5:48 am #

    With respect to you Joel: I appreciate your opinion and the right to express it. Some people are just different in their needs and wants. I learned a long time ago from some very smart people that it is alright to arrange your taxes and living situation to suit yourself. If it causes you problems later in life then you just have to face up to it and make the most out of your situation. If you are not happy paying that much tax and not happy with how your government uses that tax then there are systems to change and have your voice heard. Good Luck with that. One day you may change your opinion and be grateful for the help you receive in benefits that those taxes of yours and mine provide for you and others. Try not to be so angry, it’s bad for your health and mental well being. And your language doesn’t impress anyone with the slightest bit of intelligence. It only hurts you because it makes you look lame.

    PS: The rule on the 35 years is nt law yet and may never be, so lets stop telling everyone that it is.

  44. chris Williams July 17, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

    An Ed visa doesn’t require money in the bank but they are getting harder to get,. Thai Immigration officers are demanding attendance records and have on occasions limited Ed visa periods for three months requiring the holder to return to Immigration for progress reports. This may not be the case for all Thai Immigration Offices. Note too that if you don’t have an Non O visa now you must get one from outside Thailand in order to get a ED visa. The School that you attend also determines the length of time you stay here set by the course you have chosen to undertake.
    A retirement visa requires you to have either 800,000 baht in the bank for 2 months, on the first application. Further RV apps require 3 months. You do not have to leave the money in the bank for the entire year, just the 2 or three months prior to the application.
    The next alternative is to have an income greater than 65,000 baht a month. This must be confirmed by your Embassy along with proof of the source of your funds.
    Finally you can have a combination of money in the bank and Income amounting to 800,000 baht..
    You do not need to leave the country to get an O visa if you are here on a Tourist visa, i.e on arrival or a 60 day visa. But you can buy an O visa for 2000 baht then the Retirement visa for 1900 baht.

    • Chris July 19, 2013 at 2:37 am #

      What’s the current age limits for retirement visa, how old do you have to be?

      • Chris Williams July 19, 2013 at 5:16 am #

        You must be 50 and above to get a Ret Visa

    • seeit July 19, 2013 at 3:24 am #

      @ chris Williams – Thanks, a great bit of info there and good effort..

      So, just a quick one if u don’t mind and sorry to readers for off topic –
      I am on an EV right now, and wondering if there are any shortcuts to changing to a RV? Or am I guessing correctly I need to leave TH and come back on the Tourist V?
      Thanks for ur time..

      • eric March 12, 2016 at 1:10 am #

        as usual in TH its grey, beware the bif german guy in Phuket town he told me YOU WILL HAVE TO LEAVE TH AND COME BACK.. bullshit!!!! I converted from ED to RT easy… thanks german man for not knowing ur job and trying to have me waste so much money on flights… I will chace after u.. I do not forgive!!!

  45. Chris Williams July 19, 2013 at 5:23 am #

    An EV is a Non Immigrant ‘O” visa. You do not need to leave Thailand and return to get a Ret Visa, but don’t forget the money in the bank or income requirements and you must be 50 years old and over. Some Immigration officers may ask for you to return within the last month of your current “O” visa whatever type “O” visa it is and then apply.. Others don’t. But you do not have to leave Thailand.

  46. Rene E Perez March 24, 2014 at 6:58 am #

    Sirs, I understand that conveniently Australian Government: on International Human Services does not get advises from university professors on overseas pensions policies but from fat cats politician member of parliament etc with bank mentality in social issues (crook as many politician are) whom do not respect ex worker-retires which have made this country contributed the healthy way that the nation is now but the denial of human rights, appreciation and dignity of retires and we know what social class is affected by their decision no the wealthiest but ex labours,, people whom could not accumulate enough wealth for retirement, all people whom have chosen another country is for affordability in stretching the $20,000 a year if Australian Centerlink dare to paid overseas pension? The USA pay their more than two million retires living in Mexico without complain; retires built the country they deserve it!!!
    The faceless politician/lawyers who make this laws they have very rich pension for life and by law but not the unlucky ex-worker or a tax number unknown people!!
    Regards to all my social class
    Rene E Perez of Sydney

  47. ron March 24, 2014 at 1:40 pm #

    Yes, we pensioners have contributed to Australia’s wealth, but unless through voluntary work, we all received wages for doing so. The world owes us nothing for doing nothing, so we should be grateful for receiving something (pension) for doing nothing in return.

    • Jenny November 24, 2014 at 4:36 am #

      This was what was promised us for living here and paying our taxes. We most certainly did contribute something.

      I cannot live a quality life on the pension the government pays, whilst they give themselves paying rises of $300K a year.

      I intend moving to Thailand, and will be doing so next March. I can live there in a lovely furnished apartment with aircon per month what it costs to live here per week. I will have more than $100AUD left over each week after having paid all my living expenses including rent, food, water, electricity – to spend on items such as massages and different outings, dinners etc. Food is so cheap, diverse, and fresth – farm to table. Health care is cheap and hospitals leave ours looking like something out of a third world country.

      I love Australia, but it doesn’t love me now that my working life is at an end – I intend to return here on a regular basis but I will be spending most of my time in Thailand.

      Imagine what would have happened if Abbot had cut the supplements for the aged pensions (which still might be a reality) – most older Australians would be living like paupers (which most of them do anyway who don’t have the required $500K in super..).

      Do your homework Rene.

  48. bruce April 21, 2014 at 12:18 am #

    I think it is better to claim the n.z. pension. not so much red tape????????

    • bruce watt November 28, 2014 at 12:24 pm #

      thanks for that reply,as it happens i went though all the red tape with centrelink,it took me 4 months before i got my first payment,,and then a week later my thai wife and myself jumped on a plane,and here we are in bangkok,been here 4 months now,but am concerned about what is going to happen in january when my 6 months full pension ,expires. at the moment it looks like i get 50% from oz and 50% from n.z. ..about $1,559.00 a month.i am happy with that,some dick at centrelink told me i would get next to nothing ,because i am living in a 3rd country,and was told by another dick,that i can live anywhere i like indefintly,.. now i am totaly confused.i hope that you or someone else has had some sort of experiance with this problem. cheers bruce.

      • Gerald L. Young November 30, 2014 at 1:35 pm #

        If you have lived as a resident in Australia for 35 years then you are entitled to 100% of your pension. If you were out of the country on July one of 2014, you still get 100%. If you return to Australia for over 6 months then it reverts to ur pension in australia decided by 35 and then multiplied by the number of years asavresident. Calculation of your combined pensions is done after that.

  49. Jenny November 24, 2014 at 4:37 am #

    Last post – end para, meant to say Ron, not Rene. Sorry Ron.

  50. chris williams November 26, 2014 at 2:01 pm #

    And here’s another new rule since the Abbott govt took over. Any pensioner being paid the pension returning to Australia and staying for more than 26 weeks before returning overseas will have to prove they worked in Australia for 35 years. If less then 26 weeks the old 25 year rule stays in place.

    • Chris November 28, 2014 at 11:29 am #

      Curious about this. What does it mean to “work in Australia” if you don’t live in Australia but you pay tax does this mean you’re “working in Australia” ?

    • Gerald L. Young November 28, 2014 at 2:33 pm #

      Remember, if you were outside of Australia on July 1, 2014. This 25-35 year does not apply to you unless you return and live in Australia for over 26 weeks. You may come and go or stay away indefinetly.

  51. bruce watt November 28, 2014 at 12:26 pm #

    how can you pay tax if you dont live and work there.?????

    • Chris November 30, 2014 at 12:57 pm #

      One of my websites generates thousands of dollars a month and I can only send the money to Australia for which I have to pay tax on because it goes through the banks there. So I pay tax in Australia but don’t live there.

      • bruce watt November 30, 2014 at 1:14 pm #

        o.k. sounds fair.

      • Gerald L. Young November 30, 2014 at 1:27 pm #

        Just because it goes thru a country doesn’t necessarily mean you must pa taxes to that country, persueyour options. If you are worried about centrelink seeing that, make the money go thru your credit card account.

  52. ron November 30, 2014 at 8:10 pm #

    Chris, If you are generating thousands of $s a month, I don’t understand why you are concerned about a measly pension.

    • Chris December 2, 2014 at 2:01 am #

      Anything can happen in the next 30 years my friend….and it’s 10’s of thousands 😉

      • bruce watt December 2, 2014 at 2:36 am #

        hi chris,i don’t care how much money you make, I am only interested in positive people who can help others with the questions that they ask. I am still waiting for some positive anwers to my dilemma. and any chance you can up date this site so you only get recent comments and don’t have to scroll stuff from years ago that is most likey out dated by a new government. thanks mate,its hard to keep everybody happy,but you do o.k..

        • Chris December 2, 2014 at 4:11 pm #

          I see what you’re saying, in all fairness I wrote this story because my mate had to go back to Aus for a few years because of this, try posting your question on a forum might get some better responses.

  53. Dok December 2, 2014 at 6:57 pm #

    Why can’t people who don’t have anything informative to actually add to a post keep quiet. Keep it factual and not opinionated.

    • ron December 2, 2014 at 10:29 pm #

      Yes, good idea.

    • bruce watt December 3, 2014 at 1:25 am #

      what is your question.????????????dick.

  54. bruce watt December 8, 2014 at 5:00 am #

    sorry guys, is there a forum that deals with aussie & kiwi pensions, seems that a lot of us are confused. thanks. bruce.

  55. bruce watt January 3, 2015 at 1:51 am #

    hi, after my 26 weeks in Thailand,i have to return to aus to retain my pension payments. my question is….how long do I have to stay in aust before I can return to Thailand.? anyone know.?

  56. ron January 4, 2015 at 2:59 pm #

    You should ring them and ask them. They are there to guide us how to operate within the law and I have always found them helpful.

    • bruce watt January 5, 2015 at 2:21 pm #

      thanks ron.

  57. 'Roo January 28, 2015 at 3:29 pm #

    G’day gentlemen.

    The very first post here (Banjo’s of 21/11/2011) refers to an appeal being ‘upheld by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal’.

    What was that all about and does anyone have follow-up info about it?

    I’ve been residing in CNX for 6 years, turned 65 last year, so went to Perth to apply for my Age Pension which was eventually rejected. Actually, the lovely lady at CentreLink assured me that by putting my then CNX address on my claim it would be OK! Wrong!

    I now understand their requirements about ‘Returning Resident’ etc and will return to go through the complicated process this March.

    Lots of good info on this site; thank you.

  58. NED February 5, 2015 at 4:55 pm #

    It all hinges on how long you have been a resident of Australia in the past.You must satisfy the 10 yr rule first, return to Oz to claim the age pension and remain there for at least 2 years before your go back to your Asian haven.That way you will continue to be paid indefinately.

  59. steve watts April 17, 2015 at 11:19 am #

    Will be in this old age pension situation shortly.The info.here (except joel)is very enlightening but also confusing,as many people have different and varying viewpoints of the requirements.It is now April 16 2015,what’s the latest?

  60. Mark Bokody May 21, 2015 at 8:46 am #

    Kudos to Chris for his posting. Kudos to everybody who has participated (including Joel). This issue needs as much public awareness as possible. I recall Miss Gillard visiting Thailand some years back, she had a meeting with all the honorary consulates in BKK at the time. From what I can understand many of the honorary consulates expressed concern that many of the Australians living in Thailand were not good ambassadors for Australia and would be better off back in Australia. I think that this meeting may lie at the root cause of why this bitter legislation was ever drafted. Perhaps if we can understand why this legislation came about then we may have some chance of figuring out how to reverse it.

  61. peteR KENT May 24, 2015 at 8:02 pm #

    and so the beat goes on,,,,,I am 77 and visited Thailand 3 times last year ,I had met a Thai lady {not 21} she is wonderful to me , I cannot get her into oz so I sold my house and got a retirement visa, centrelink rip $200 off my pension, I give them more info . they rip another $100 from me . I am phoning them tomorrow and do hope that they have made a mistake.
    I have always been open with them , is this where I made the misake???
    my family go back 4 generations , dad at galipalli and france , brother’s ship bombed in Darwin 1942, other brother joined up the day he turned 18. all dinki di aussies , and beleive in giving fellow aussies a FAIR GO . HOW MANY ON THIS LIST ARE GETTING OR GOTTHAT FROM CENTRELINK????? I will let you know what transpires with them tomorrow,

    • Banjo May 25, 2015 at 9:54 am #

      If the loved one has no or little income you can apply for an exemption to the rule that busted you back to half the married rate.
      Ask C’link about this and if you get no satisfaction ring or email Welfare Rights in your home state.


      • peter kent May 26, 2015 at 10:39 am #

        hey banjo, thanks for the info. we have not gotten as far as marriage yet , main reason is as you say , I get couples rate , noi gets nought , so we are done again. hey banjo do you play one ? i used to play cornet in a jazzband . ,
        the result with c,,link the other day was ,,,,ok , the deeming rate is fine , but shock , now down another $78 because of being o/seas for more than 6 weeks
        “how low can they go” tried to call em from here , spent 40 mins on skype and got cut off,tried today , told more that 40 min wait so gave it a miss.
        i hote email works ok ???
        thanks pete

      • peter kent May 26, 2015 at 4:50 pm #

        hey banjo t,, thanks for that info. i think i am going to need all the help that i can get. each day gets worse, c.l has now calculated that i have an income of $12000 from shares and deeming from sale of my house . i gave them info last week signed by stock broker saying that expected income around $3700 .
        of course they have deducted more off my pension, i have tried to call them , 40 minute wait, then got cut off , will try tomorrow, hey banjo , do you play one ?????? i played cornet in a jazzband till i moved here .thanks pete

    • Tassie June 27, 2015 at 9:43 am #

      Hi folks. Yes PeteR, same happened to me. I did what I thought was the ‘right thing’ and advised Oz Veteran’s Affairs of my status in Thailand including marriage. That was 18 months ago. After a lengthy delay I was told my marital status was recognized. Okay, you will now be paid your pension as a married man BUT, your wife is ineligible due to residency requirement. Result? Pension dropped $200 a fortnight. They said I could appeal on hardship grounds but having money in the bank from my house sale would not help my situation.

      Important note though for vets on a disability (read TPI) – they don’t tell – I will – when you fall off the perch your wife is entitled to the widow’s pension. NO RESIDENCY REQUIREMENT. So I treat the loss as like paying insurance for my wife’s future.

  62. Hua Hin Mike June 8, 2015 at 4:41 pm #

    Hi one and all,

    I’ve lived the last 8 years in Thailand. I hoped my savings would get me through until it was my time for burning at the WAT but because of a silly investment few years ago I realized my remaining savings wouldn’t be enough so I came back to Oz last Saturday as I turned 65 on Sunday to look into getting an OAP.

    I worked in Australia for 30 odd years over my working life (unfortunately not 35!) but I believe I would met all the tests required to get an OAP.

    What I cannot understand is why would the Government want me to live here for two years before I can get it.

    I have no property in Oz anymore, no one I could stay with. And on my now limited savings there is no way I could afford accommodation. So all I can say to Centrelink is fine, if that’s your rule give me government housing for the next two years and the OAP and all that goes with it if you want me to live here for the next two years.

    This two year rule is downright bloody stupid.

    I haven’t been to Centrelink yet but after I do I’ll send whatever feedback about the current situation, I fear it won’t be good.


  63. Hua Hin Mike June 28, 2015 at 1:54 pm #

    Hi Folks,

    As expected after I put in a claim for the OAP, I thought it pointless to bend the truth as it’s obvious they know that your not living here, sure enough I got a call last Friday saying as I have not been a resident of OZ my claim was rejected.

    I have to come back and reside in Oz and reapply, after two years it then becomes “portable’ and I can receive it in Thailand. No doubt they deduct part of my pension once I reside overseas.

    I get the feeling that the Minister and Department of SS (pun intended) deep down take umbrage to the fact OAP’s do not want to live in Oz. They don’t seem to appreciate the fact that the $750.00 (if your lucky) a fortnight goes a lot further in Thailand and the quality of life you can have is by far superior to what you could expect on that money in Oz.

    Anyway until someone steps forward and has this law changed we are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

    Good luck and take care

    Hua Hin Mike

    • Tassie June 28, 2015 at 3:43 pm #

      Well said Mike. Bear in mind that politicians – if at all interested at the moment (and cynically I doubt it) then their interest will totally disappear in the future. It is my understanding that expats residing o’seas for a 3 year period will be removed from the electoral role.

      As for the ‘law’ aspect, is it law or simply policy. A Freedom of Information enquiry may be appropriate?

  64. jeff September 28, 2015 at 5:21 pm #

    is there anybody who has successfully appealed not getting a pension after staying in Thailand.. if so how did you achieve this.

    • Ian October 13, 2015 at 7:36 pm #

      Depends entirely on your circumstances, you will need to give a lot more background info if you want useful advice.

  65. Ian October 1, 2015 at 11:33 am #

    Fairly good accurate advice, but there are ways around it mainly by acting a long term and frequent O/S traveller. Return to Aust regularly for a week or two at a time, take the maximum allowable cash out with you each trip. At retirement time be prepared to fight for resident status, claim you have been a regular traveller, have current Aust, bank accounts, medicare and medibank memberships, pay taxes each year and maintain any property in Aust. until you get a pension. Your local Centrelink office only go by what is written in their book of guide-lines which doesn’t address all the facts, variations etc. You won’t get knocked back for a pension but may be clarified as a non-resident which means 2 years in Australia before you can travel O/S again. If this happens protest in writing 1, 2, 3, 4 times if necessary simple stating that you consider Aust. as home and have just been doing a lot of travel, you have no O/S property, or claim to anything O/S and you intend to resettle back in Aust. (white lie – but who cares).

    In my case I was O/S for nearly 5 years but travelled back and forth many times, social visits every year, a couple of weddings, a couple of funerals etc. banks, medicard, taxes, insurance, property etc. I was initially classed as a non-resident but kept protesting until such times a senior staffer from another Centrelink office was appointed to review my case – after looking at all the facts it was decided that in fact I was a resident and a pension without any travel restrictions was approved. As it turned out I did stay in Aust. for 4 years before moving back O/S.

    • Ian October 1, 2015 at 11:36 am #

      Just adding to my previous comment – forgot to add — YES – you do need to be in Australia to apply for your pension – which in my case I was.

  66. Glen March 8, 2016 at 5:10 pm #


    It is now the rule if you go overseas for more than 6 weeks you lose your pension,,and have to live here for 2 yr before you can go over seas.

    I have 12 mths to go and looking for a place to move to,,my Girl friend in Fillo but can’t get her here on a holiday visa as she will run away according to Migration despite only having a passport and no money,, She would have no iD to open any sort of account any where..
    Lived in the Philippines for 5 yrs but it is hopeless place no legal or police system.
    What can you tell me about moving there???

    Got cleaned out by Child support so wanting to start again.

    • Ian March 8, 2016 at 8:52 pm #

      As I understand it, the 6 week rule is applied as follows:
      1. if classed as a resident with 35 years of residency in Aust. it doesn’t apply.
      2. if currently you are being assessed as a former resident (irrespective of the 35 year rule) the 6 week rule applies and I believe that having less than 35 years status it also applies.

      The best advice is obtained from Centrelink in Hobart who loo after overseas pensions, your local Centrelink office’s can only red the rule book and make their own assumptions which are not always right.

      See my earlier post 1 Oct 2015 – regarding my own “battle” and suggestions.

      • Roland Bischof June 4, 2016 at 12:12 pm #

        i am 65 stopped working in 2008 and moved to Thailand have returned to Australia every Year. just in case. my GP advised me to apply for disability pension collapsed vertebrata in my Neck. i never did and kept working.

        the problem did not go away and other health problem started. high blood pressure may be side effect of painkiller…

        Back in Australia i got no where. the GP in Darwin sent sent me to a psychologist….this guy was good. told me there was nothing wrong with my Brain. went back next day to give him the Ex Ray. he was able to read it and gave me advise. After a motor bike Tour with a big heavy helmet. next Day in Hospital… my Neck was so bad only operation can help. the course of my bad Neck was a Car Accident in Darwin. compensation none, well it was 30 years ago.

        back in Thailand at the Bangkok international Hospital they new what to do. now 2 Titanium plates and 12 Screws 2 operation made my Live good again!! it Cost me 16 Thousand US $.

        5 weeks later back in Darwin with very little Feeling’s in my right hand i went for check up at private hospital. the Thai Specialist told me it may take a long time as some nerve damage was the case and and arthritis. 2 years an 5 Months before turning 65 i planned to stay in Australia got rid of the hire Car and bought a Nissan Tida (made in Thailand) i was told i must stay in Australia prior to pension Age.

        I went to apply for Disability at age 62/ 8 Month. after 4 visit to re answer the same Question. i was told that my Australian Residence is canceled the i received letter my Disability and New Start was canceled as well! I had not Applied for New Start allowance i did not fill in any forms as my right had no feeling. the appeal to the Tribunal was done by the same office that canceled my Residence. i had legal advise. they thought it was heavy handled.

        the Tribunal called me form Sydney to back the Decision as i spent to long in Asia..Mr,. J…… answer :was its my Job to Save the Government Money! i did not Appeal again. I sold the Car with big loss an went back to Thailand.

        now in Cairns have been told after 7 weeks waiting time, over the Phone that they accept my argument to be a residence and i will be getting my first payment on the 6, jun . but i cannot leave the Country for 2 years not even on a holiday and no anywhere inclusive New Zealand!!

        i was borne in Switzerland became Aussie in 1980. still have my swiss Nationality… there is a Pension Agreement between the 2 Countries.

        have worked 7 Years in Switzerland and 35 years In Australia. Now i am under Land Arrest!!! ??? spent a total of 8 Years in Thailand with disability. NO financial support from Australia. this is not My Australia as i loved it 20 years ago.

        Any Advise is very welcome. Freedom of speech and travel anywhere not just in this Country.

        • Gerald Young July 13, 2016 at 10:30 pm #

          If they took that long to accept your residence than your argument should be if they had honored it then you would have stayed.

          Please see my comment below earlier

  67. Chris Williams March 8, 2016 at 7:09 pm #

    I’d like to comment on the ‘Tips for getting Age Pension in Thailand” With the utmost respect to the author there are many tips that just might frighten some people to the extent they might not even attempt to try coming to Thailand.

    I do get the aged pension in Thailand and have done so for the past 6 years of my latest stay here minus the subsidy of about $50/ fortnight and I did apply for it prior to coming here. That is essential of course to make an application at home and with at least 2 years under you belt at home.

    I do have a rental property in Thailand and International Centrelink have that address and Thai phone number. I also have friends who do own property here in Thailand and their pension is not affected.

    Bank A/c’s
    I do have an Australian bank a/c because my Com Super people will only transfer my money to an Australian a/c. International Centrelink offered to pay my age pension into my Thai SCB a/c however I declined as it’s inconvenient for me.

    Residence issue.
    I explained to International Centrelink that my Retirement extension was a Non Immigrant Visa on arrival some 5.5 years ago was only valid for one year. I am not a resident as such of Thailand as the Visa extension is temporary and can be withdrawn at any time by me or the Thai authorities. I extend the original Non ‘O’ visa every year for retirement reasons

    I am not married legally or in a common law relationship and if I did I wouldn’t inform Centrelink because the financial burden for that is crippling. I believe it’s somewhere in the vicinity of $100/ a fortnight.

    I am aware of some new rules recently introduced mainly the years of your employment has risen from 25 to 35 years. I’m still safe despite me having worked in Asia for many years but for the Australian Development Assistance Bureau. .

    I have only visited Australia once in the last six years. When I did my subsidy payments were immediately resumed and removed on my departure.

    I get all my correspondence from Centrelink on My Gov. Au.

    I have been informed on various occasions that my pension is rock solid and will always be paid to me.

    I have to say that International Centrelink have always been most courteous whenever I have contacted them.

    As I see it difficulties that occur for many is the ignorance of Centrelink rules, which is very unfair of course to those affected but the only way people can find out what those conditions are need to call Centrelink some years before an application is made

    Best to all

    • Ian March 8, 2016 at 9:04 pm #

      That’s a pretty good summation of the rules for us who luckily fit the “mould” others outside of this will have a battle, in some cases it is justified, in other cases I see it as being very unfair.

      Your last two paragraphs are the spot-on – but unfortunately there is nothing in the system to flag those intending to retire in a few years to call Centrelink for advice unless of course they are lucky enough to read threads like this or have friends who have been thru’ it all.

      • Chris March 8, 2016 at 9:10 pm #

        I had a friend who had to go back for 2 years that’s how i knew about it. I thought it was totally unfair for a guy who worked 40 years for the government. Someone like me who was born in Australia but only spent the first 20 years there it seems fair enough, though i doubt when i’m eligible, i won’t be eligible.

        • Ian March 8, 2016 at 9:23 pm #

          Correct – 20 years doesn’t make the grade.

      • Gerald Young July 27, 2016 at 1:09 pm #

        Luck has nothing to do with it. Being responsible to yourself is important.

    • Erik July 19, 2016 at 2:45 pm #

      You would think ALL the correct rules would be on the Gov website…..

    • John Mac November 28, 2016 at 2:34 pm #

      Good advice, ta.

      I did contact CL from 1 year before turning 65, but received consistently wrong advice (7 calls & visits).

      You need to make sure you ring the international travel people in Hobart on 13 16 73. No other dept in CL seems to have accurate information.

  68. Banjo March 9, 2016 at 8:15 am #

    The Australian Working Life Residency legislation (AWLR) stops people with only 20 years working in Australia drawing a full pension overseas, they get 20/35 as a percentage.
    This was never meant as a free lunch for people who worked a few years, cleared off, then came back at pension age with their hand out, intending to leave again.

    So 4 years down the track most people have done fuck all about this, they’ve gone back to Australia with their tail between their legs and waited out the 2 years.
    All that time they could have been enjoying the Thai lifestyle with their loved one/ones or at least trying to get the legislation changed for the benefit of others.

    The 2 year rule is wrong, it’s not even written into the law, it’s a rule Centrelink made up and wont stand up in the appeals system.

    Grow some balls and stand up to them you guys.


  69. ihappendtome2 June 22, 2016 at 4:38 pm #

    2 year rule :

    Yes it sucks.
    I happened to me too.
    But this might help some of you.

    1. When you enter Aust ALWAYS * “return permanently”

    2. When you leave Australia ALWAYS * leave temporarily

    3. Forget about which country you want to live in eg Thailand

    4. Go first to an *Agreement country

    5. Check first with Centrelink that you will be paid there and that that country allows you to travel under the agreement.

    5. Move there * temporarily

    6 Now. Go wherever you want without reporting this.

    7. The best part ? You will now be accumulating your 2 year waiting time whilst living out your dreams in the location YOU choose !

    8. NO .. Before you ask your 2 years does not have to be continuos. BUT you must first return to Australia permanently first then depart to an agreement country temporarily
    to be paid while there ;=)
    Then go where you want.
    Once you reach your 2 years you are free !

    • Erik July 19, 2016 at 2:40 pm #

      @ ihappendtome2 Best bit of info here! Thank you so much for your time..

    • Roland July 26, 2016 at 7:35 am #

      Have been told by 2 different centrelink staff. .If I moved to the country of Birth I will lose my Australian pension. The Country has pension Agreement!
      If you ask for that in Writing. Good Luck. .They just hand you the Hobart phone number. .
      So far I got no where..
      They hiding from you. .

    • John Mac November 28, 2016 at 2:38 pm #

      Surely Centrelink can ask Immigration to look at your passport when you return, to see where you’ve been – assuming Immigration doesn’t know this already thru links to other countries’ immigration depts?

  70. Gerald Young July 13, 2016 at 10:27 pm #

    Roland Bischof
    Sir, you are being run around. If you are a citizen of a country with a social security agreement, they must honor that. Even if you don’t receive centrelink monies you can still receive your home countries. The other thing is you are only to converse with centrelink international out of Hobart. The local branches have nothing to do with you. Call them and have a chat as to what’s up.

    • Roland Bischof July 25, 2016 at 2:22 pm #

      Thaks for your Interest. .have called International. .spent 1 hr on the phone. Explain. Transfer and explain again.
      They are loking into it..Who are they?
      Was told I be informed in 7 Days. Nothing do far..
      Centre link does not understand the Pension Agreement with other Coutries. ..
      To cancel my Residence when I returned to live in Australia 2 Years before pension Age! Must have out of order. I have 2 Citizen 2 Passport. They don’t like it very much..

      Kind Regards Roland

      • Erik July 27, 2016 at 5:47 pm #

        Aussies and gov… have no idea about other places… the stupid STUPID HR people they hire also most likely never been out od aus.. how they get these jobs is unbelievable… its not just about this, its everywhere… I live TH and took my 9 years to find a decent accountant that knows stuff…. most AU accountants have no idea… AVOID them…

        yes so regarding this, sure the kids employed in centrelink have no idea…. they just follow some book and think they done their job
        no brain no pain…..

        power to all u vets that add to this forum!!!

  71. JACK FROST July 17, 2016 at 7:21 pm #


    • Erik July 19, 2016 at 2:47 pm #

      @ Jack Frost – Can you give more info on what you mean please, thanks.

  72. Gerald Young July 27, 2016 at 1:04 pm #

    I’m a very smart man, many of you either never paid attention to the rules as they change regularly or too lazy. I’m a dual citizen. International has a very personal connection with me and take excellent care and honor all dual treaty agreements. I have a private number to call to speak to my personal reply. and her email to support me. I’ve been living overseas while on a DSP, converted to an OAK and only a resident of Australia for 25 years and getting 100% of the pension because I made sure to READ THE F–KING RULES. I’M Grandfathered in and get paid as if I am a resident of 35 years.

    I am completely compliant with the rules and make sure of it at every step.

    So, get your heads out of your ass and get Smart. It an easy to understand system, but you can’t just wander in and cry like a baby wanting your bottle.

    • Roland September 3, 2016 at 11:20 am #

      I like that contact you have with centre link international! I ran against a brick wall. .its about the 2 Years!
      I get 2 pensions. .i am dual C…
      AAT is loking at my case. That my take some time. .
      Have 35 year work hystory in Australia 8 Overseas. .
      On option is to move to a Country with Pension Agreement…but i may gave to reapply for Aussie pension? ??

  73. Hua Hin Mike July 31, 2016 at 5:17 pm #

    Hi All,

    Further to my couple of notes to the site in June 2015 I returned to Oz last February and reapplied for an OAP.

    Finally got it after 12 weeks but admittedly my first payment was back-dated to the date I had applied.

    Since arriving it seems quite clear there is no way around the two year having to stay here because of the Oz government proviso which from what I’ve read IS actually government legislation and I haven’t found any evidence of anybody ever having it overturned, so don’t hold your breath on that one.

    One thing that surprised me and it has been mentioned before on this site is if you had the OAP and moved to Thailand (where I’ved lived for the last 10 years) it’s not enough to meet the Thai requirements of 60,000 baht a month income. I think that might bugger a few people up. Thankfully I’ve got some savings to make up the difference.

    At the moment I’m arguing with C/L about the length of my AWLR. Still waiting on reply after five weeks. I think this is going to be very important as I fear as they do in the UK the Oz government will look at stopping yearly indexation for pensions overseas. Hope I’m wrong but they change the goalposts to suit their budgets and hitting OAP’s is an easy option.

    Anyway that’s where I’m at the moment.

    If anybody want’s to know about requirements in Thailand I can give you pretty good information. That’s what the site is all about.

    Hey Gerald Young, we don’t want to know how smart or good your life is. Only lived in Oz for 20 years and on DSP?? How you have everything. I don’t think that’s what people want to hear.on this site. Either contribute or get off the site.

    Best luck to all.
    Hua Hin Mike

    • David Thomson-Harry August 22, 2016 at 10:02 am #

      To add some current information pertinent to this ongoing discussion, I recently returned to Australia from Thailand, where I have been living for the past three years. After completing the on-line Pension application form and receiving completing contradictory information from the local Centrelink office in Rockingham WA and the International office in Tasmania I finally concluded the following: Yes, I was eligible to receive the OA Pension, but once granted it would terminate the moment I left Australia and returned to Thailand. The only option if I wished to obtain the Pension was to remain in Australia for two years, which at this stage I have chosen not to do. I was informed by Centrelink that the new rules were in place to stop those returning to Australia temporarily just to obtain the pension. Additionally, I was informed that Centrelink would be pursuing existing long-term residents of other countries with the view to terminating their Pensions, so there is no long-term security when living OS even if the Pension has been granted. Bloody mindedness at its worst and with no logical benefits to the Australian government. So I am now back in Thailand seeking employment, not something I relish, but the only option I have as I have no family/connections in Australia to return to long-term.

      • Roland August 30, 2016 at 8:38 am #

        Hi David,
        I don’t know if you have read my input to this on going unfair stuff we gave to put up with.
        Back in Australia since April and it’s been going on and on..
        Now AAT INDEPENDENT TRIBUNAL. .Is looking at it. another 28 Days of waiting. .i have Case manager. ..?
        Why do say ask us to come back and stay for 2 Years in Australia prior Pension Age. ? I did go back and the they canceled my Residence!
        i stayed to pension age spent my own Money in Asia where it’s much cheaper to live.

        I waited 7 weeks to be granted my Pension. 35 year work in Australia 8 years Overseas.

        Australian for 36 Years! and paid Tax! !!!

    • Gerald September 7, 2016 at 8:23 pm #

      Sir, I’ve contributed a lot to this site and off site helping many. You can stick it where the sun don’t shine. The truth is I meet way too many that can’t he bothered doing the work. They come on sites like this only when they finally start to realize they didn’t do anything themselves and want someone else like me who’s taken the time to be “smart”.

      That put to bed, wishing you the very best.

  74. Gerald Young September 2, 2016 at 5:17 pm #

    Has there been s ny discussion about stopping the OAP for pensioners living for any extended periods overseas?

    • Roland Bischof September 11, 2016 at 10:13 am #

      15 August a new Reliseased:social security including the Pensioner just returning toAustralia the get Age pension and then going back overseas. .the 2 year, they are Stubbornly sticking to it..no consideration.

      The Recorded Message if you understand it. That is somthing! !!

      • Gerald Young September 21, 2016 at 1:42 pm #

        That’s why, after keeping up to date on the rules and how they could apply to me. I’ve stayed a resident of Australia by repeatedly going back and maintaining the required residency guidelines. Never a second thought about what would happen. My USA pension detracts about a third of my Ozzie pension but, I end up 50% higher overall. Its the way it is supposed to work. I can’t say enough that the rules are clear and its our responsibility to know how they apply to you. If you do it by the book, you can have a good fair outcome.

  75. Glen September 19, 2016 at 4:44 pm #

    Any one heard if the Over seas pension will be cut???

  76. Gerald October 16, 2016 at 8:18 pm #

    This discussion seems to have died? Is everyone happy or just given up, lol? Is there anything new?

    • Roland October 26, 2016 at 11:20 am #

      I have not yet given up. will have to travel to Brisbane from Cairns gir a 1 Hr hearing. .independent Appeals Tribunal .
      May Pension has been suspended from the day I left Australia for 1 month..
      YES nothing new! !

  77. Mike Lennie June 21, 2017 at 8:59 am #

    Hi , I am an Australian citizen turning 63 in November 2017. I lived in Australia until moving to Thailand three years ago. I paid taxes all my life. My Thai wife and I were married in Australia in 1984. She is also an Australian citizen. I feel that I should be entitled to an Old Age Pension (other countries don’t seem to have a problem granting pensions to expats) but I am now concerned that this may not be possible. I have heard many conflicting stories about this . Can anyone advise me of the best course of action based on the current legislation? I earn a modest income in Thailand , but can’t work forever. Thanks Mike

Leave a Reply