Senate debates

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Questions without Notice

Pensions and Benefits

2:39 pm

Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (Victoria, Liberal Party, Special Minister of State) Share this | Hansard source

I thank Senator Leyonhjelm for the question and for his provision of some notice of it to me, shortly before question time. The government is committed to ensuring Australia's strong welfare system is affordable and sustainable for the future, while providing targeted support to Australians most in need. The government has also committed to ensuring the residency based nature of the welfare system. As part of the budget brought down last night, the government will strengthen the residency requirement for pensioners.

From 1 July next year, to qualify for the age pension or disability support pension a person will be required to have 10 years continuous residence in Australia, with five years of this residence during either their working life or time not receiving an activity-tested income support payment. In circumstances where the person does not meet these requirements, they will be required to have 15 years continuous Australian residence before being eligible to receive the age pension or DSP. This measure ensures pensions are better targeted to those who have resided in Australia for an extended period, including during their working life, or who have been self-reliant.


Stephen Caddaye
Posted on 17 Jan 2018 6:31 pm

There is a serious flaw in this new legislation. Some people including my partner(an Australian citizen since the 1980's) will have lived for many years in Australia (in this case estimated 24 years before pension age) but still not be entitled to any aged pension. My partner will have worked for around 15 years and would have been more if had not been forced out of the workforce due to illness. The other years will have been spending our savings into the economy.
At no time was she on any kind of welfare or benefits when not working.
Because we both spent time overseas for work reasons (due to lack of opportunity here in the late 1990's) and more recently she had to spend most of the last 2 years in the UK due to serious family issues she will never have completed a full 10 year continuous time frame.
Before spending any time overseas we both made ourselves aware of our future status and complied with everything as it was.
This legislation has been backdated for many people.. Does any politician voting on this realise this?
This is patently unfair and many people who have contributed much less will be able to claim the full pension.
If this legislation is confirmed then both myself (an Australian by birth) will have to live in virtual exile in another country.
thankyou for reading