Applying for an Australian Age Pension in Portugal - Page 5

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Applying for an Australian Age Pension in Portugal - Page 5


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  #41 (permalink)  
Old 30th April 2017, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by cinderfella View Post
It's going to be the other way around ))
Cinderfella, be careful you don't jump from the frying pan into the fire!

I don't know how much experience you have with Thailand, but it seems to me that you are looking at the place through rose coloured glasses.

guesso, The advantage you have is that once the two years are up, you can take your pension anywhere you choose, so you are free to try different places.

Cinderfella's description of Portugal is only valid for people who are looking to work here. If you have an independent source of income then Portugal is a great place to live.

From what I've read Portugal is more expensive than Eastern Europe, but it is still possible to have a modest but comfortable life here on just an Australian pension, if you choose the right location. Many Brits live here on just their pensions.
Anyway, your pension would go twice as far in Portugal as it does in Australia!

I lived in Thailand for nearly 15 years, so there must be a lot that I liked about the country. The problem is that there is also a lot to not like, and that seems to grow in importance as you get older and more familiar with the place and people.

While Thailand may appear to be cheaper, standards are higher in Portugal, making Portugal a more comfortable place to live, and probably equal value.
Portuguese buses are more expensive than Thai songtows, but the buses are clean, comfortable and reliable - everything songtows aren't!
Also you need to consider hidden costs, such as health care.

After 18 months in Portugal I have no wish to ever live in Thailand again!

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  #42 (permalink)  
Old 30th April 2017, 11:26 AM
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My understanding and thoughts too. Appreciate your feedback.

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  #43 (permalink)  
Old 16th October 2018, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Naaling View Post
Thanks for the replies. I'm sorry for the delay in responding as I've been away from home for a few days.
I can understand the confusion my post may have caused. It doesn't seem to make any sense to come to Portugal to claim an Australian pension. However to get an Australian pension it is not sufficient to qualify for it, it is also resident based. I would need to be resident in Australia when I apply. The problem is that I've been living in Thailand for the past 14 years. If I return to Australia they will give me the pension, but insist that I remain in Australia for 2 years. If I leave before 2 years then the pension stops. The only way around this is to apply from a country that has a reciprocal SS agreement with Australia ie. Portugal.
On paper it seems to be a fairly straightforward since as a British citizen I can easily get Portuguese residency. I was just hoping to get feedback from someone who has actually been through the proocess
Hi Fred, I have just joined ex pat forum and am very interested in the process you have been through to obtain your Aussie pension in Portugal, itís been really helpful, as I find myself in similar circumstances. I lived in Australia for approx 25 years all up not including the few years between when I went back to look after my parents. Now Iíve been living back in England for the past couple of years, and Iím a mere 62 at present(!) but I feel I should go to Portugal asap before Brexit effects my chances of gaining residency, then when Iím 66 I can apply for my Aussie pension I hope. Do you, or does anyone else know, if I have to sell my house in UK to be eligible? Do I need to live in Portugal for 2 years before applying? And what is the 25 year rule? Also, do you know if I can spend almost half the year in UK as at the moment I still have part time work here? Also, you mention the only international office to contact in regard to the pension issues in Australia is Centrelink Hobart, I lived in Perth but do you mean that is the only Centrelink international office in Aus or the only one that is clear and helpful in such matters?
Iím sorry about all the questions, Iíve been finding the entire process a bit overwhelming, and your thread has been so very appreciated and helpful. Thank you, Mayaan

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  #44 (permalink)  
Old 16th October 2018, 12:22 PM
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Hi I have been living in PT for 9 months now and have dual citizenship AUS/GB.
I lived in Aus for 38 years with a 9 year stint in Czech Republic/Germany towards the end of that time.
I did look into the 'reciprocal agreement' stuff and from my reading of the papers, it seemed the agreements were more designed for people from OS who had lived and worked in Aus for some time who then went back home but wanted to apply for a part Aus pension rather than for an Australian wanting to go live in a European country, but don't hold me to that. My final decision not to try that was because the Czech bureaucracy was too corrupt and difficult to work with, so much so, I wasn't prepared to even attempt it. So, I did go back to Aus for the 2 years period before moving to Portugal.

Hobart is Australia's International Pensions location but deal with everyone, no matter what part of Aus you lived in. I also found them incredibly helpful & friendly and happy to explain all details required to understand (with my situation anyway) any given situation.

As you would in Aus, you would need to declare your asset (house in GB) which is obviously taken into account when determining exactly how much pension you will be eligible for.
The formula for both countries is fairly straightforward, each has a number of years they say is required to get a full pension so, for example: if Aus says 35 living and working there gets you the full pension and you had 25 years there, then you divide the amount of a full pension by 35 (years) then multiply the answer by your 25 (years) and that is how much you will get. When living in Aus,you also get small fortnightly amounts over & above the basic pension that are assistance toward your rent/utilities etc. If you spend the 2 years in Aus to get your pension then move to Europe, those extras will be permanently removed after 6 months.

Hope that is clear and helps. Contact me if you have any further questions.

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  #45 (permalink)  
Old 16th October 2018, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Mayaan View Post
Hi Fred, I have just joined ex pat forum and am very interested in the process you have been through to obtain your Aussie pension in Portugal, itís been really helpful, as I find myself in similar circumstances. I lived in Australia for approx 25 years all up not including the few years between when I went back to look after my parents. Now Iíve been living back in England for the past couple of years, and Iím a mere 62 at present(!) but I feel I should go to Portugal asap before Brexit effects my chances of gaining residency, then when Iím 66 I can apply for my Aussie pension I hope. Do you, or does anyone else know, if I have to sell my house in UK to be eligible? Do I need to live in Portugal for 2 years before applying? And what is the 25 year rule? Also, do you know if I can spend almost half the year in UK as at the moment I still have part time work here? Also, you mention the only international office to contact in regard to the pension issues in Australia is Centrelink Hobart, I lived in Perth but do you mean that is the only Centrelink international office in Aus or the only one that is clear and helpful in such matters?
Iím sorry about all the questions, Iíve been finding the entire process a bit overwhelming, and your thread has been so very appreciated and helpful. Thank you, Mayaan
Hi Mayaan

guesso has answered many of your questions. However, I would like to add a few points.

1. The reciprocal agreement is in fact relevant to people like us, and everything is as straightforward as it seems.

2. Dealing with Portuguese Social Security is a pain, but not impossible. They are not corrupt, just overworked. No one will try to make your life more difficult - they just won't go out of their way to be helpful. Be prepared to line up outside your local SS office at 8:30am, collect you number at 9:00am and then wait for a few hours to see someone.

3. The 2 year waiting period is Australian law, and therefore only applies to people in Australia. Under the reciprocal agreement people in Portugal are subject to Portuguese law. Therefore, as an EU citizen you can apply for a pension, under the agreement, as soon as you register for residency with your local Camera (Town Hall), and the pension is transportable as soon as it is approved.

4. Centerlink's ONLY international office is in Hobart. Don't even think about talking to anyone else! They prefer to be contacted by phone, and have a freecall number from Portugal (and other countries). Both guesso and I have found them to be easy to deal with and helpful.

5. You can start the application process 3 months before you turn 66, so that you can start receiving payments as soon as you become eligible. Ideally you should be in Portugal 6 months before you become eligible. (3 months to get residency and 3 months to apply). However residency can usually be obtained in less than 3 months, and provided you start the application process before you turn 66, then you will be back paid to the date you became eligible.

6. The 25 year rule has been changed to 35 years and refers to Australian Working Life (AWL). To receive a full pension outside Australia a person needs an AWL of 35 years.
AWL is the number of years a person was resident in Australia after the age of 16. People who have an AWL of less than 35 years are paid on a "pro rata" basis. If you were in Australia for 25 years, then you would be entitled to 25/35, or about 70%, of a full pension.

7. You don't have to sell your house in the UK. Once approved under the reciprocal agreement the pension is fully transportable. You don't have to remain resident in Portugal to keep it. You can move back to the UK and have your pension paid into a UK account. If you are then resident in the UK, you should be able to claim your house as your principal residence, which means it would be exempt from the pension assets test.
However, this of course assumes that you are coming to Portugal just to get your Australian pension. If you are planning to live/retire in Portugal Then the situation regarding your house is more complex. It could be included in the pension assets test. You probably need to discuss this with the people in Hobart.

Hope this helps.

Cheers
Fred

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  #46 (permalink)  
Old 16th October 2018, 10:56 PM
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Hi Fred and Guesso,

THANK YOU SO MUCH for the very helpful information..really appreciated.
Yes, until Brexit, I would have waited to go to Portugal for another few years when I turn 66 but it seems like I need to establish residency there before we leave the EU...if that happens..so Ive been advised to get there before March next year.
I was under the impression Centrelink would insist I had property in Portugal rather than renting. So its a relief I don't have to sell my house here and that the pension is even transportable to a UK bank account. Though I guess initially I'd need a Portuguese bank account.
Im very glad you have found the Hobart office so helpful and clarified that point.
Now Im planning to spend time between Portugal and UK until Im 66.
Many thanks again, Mayaan

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  #47 (permalink)  
Old 28th July 2019, 01:57 PM
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Hi Everyone, time has moved on and because of Brexit I'm moving to Portugal from UK (I hold UK and Aus passports) in early October. I intend to apply for residency asap but I think I can only apply for temporary residence for up to one year which is normally renewable. In about 2.5 yrs I can retire, until then I shall either live on my rental income from my UK home, and savings, or get a job. It would be nice to spend some time looking around first tho. I'm hoping my temporary residence status will be renewed after one year if we are out of the EU by that time which as I write seems very likely. I think during that year I need to spend a minimum of 183 days in Portugal, which would allow me to top up my income in UK from my work as a live in carer. If anyone else has any more advice on visas etc it would be really appreciated. Thank you

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