By Hank Jongen
Department of Human Services
WITH the Christmas bills paid off, now might be the perfect time to plan your next holiday.
But it is important people receiving the Age Pension tell the Department of Human Services first.
The Age Pension can usually be paid for the whole time seniors are outside Australia, but there may be some changes to additional supplements they receive with their pension.
This can depend on how long someone decides to stay outside Australia, how long they have lived in Australia and whether their destination has a social security agreement with Australia.
Prospective travellers will need to log their travel plans with the department if they are:
Going to live in another country.
Travelling for more than six-weeks.
Get social security payments from another country.
If they have come back to live in Australia within the past two-years and have started receiving the Age Pension.
People can still receive the Age Pension even if they are going to live in another country.
However, travellers who leave Australia for more than six-weeks will see their Pension Supplement drop to the lowest rate and their Energy Supplement stop.
If people are gone for more than 26-weeks, their rate of payment will adjust depending on how long they were an Australian resident between the age of 16 and Age Pension age.
Commonwealth Seniors Health Card holders are able to travel overseas for up to 19-weeks before their card is cancelled but other concession cards, including the Pensioner Concession Card and the Low Income Health Care Card, will be invalid after six-weeks away.
Age Pensioners are encouraged to tell Centrelink if they plan to travel outside of Australia for more than six-weeks, live in another country or claim a social security payment from another country.
They can update their details on their Centrelink account through myGov by selecting ‘Personal Details’ from the side menu and then ‘Travelling Outside of Australia’ or by calling 132 300.
For more information about the Age Pension if you travel outside Australia, visit humanservices.gov.au and search ‘Age Pension overseas.’