Going overseas? Don't forget to tell Centrelink

22 Feb 2016

By Shadforth Financial Group

Many people look forward to the opportunity to enjoy their retirement by travelling overseas. For some, it means they plan to live overseas on a permanent basis so they can take advantage of lower living costs while for others it may mean reuniting with relatives who live overseas.

Whatever your plans are, it helps to know that travelling overseas beyond a certain length of time can have a negative impact on your Centrelink entitlements. As the rules can be complex, it’s important to be aware of them so you can plan your cash flow needs and avoid unpleasant surprises that may spoil your time away.

The table below shows how your Centrelink entitlements may be affected by temporary overseas travel.

If you retire permanently abroad, any social security cards you are entitled to will be cancelled when you leave and your payment rate will be reduced from the date that you are considered to no longer be a resident of Australia for social security purposes.

If you receive social security payments under an international social security agreement, the above rules may not apply. This is because each agreement details how the payment rate is calculated, which may be different to the general rules.

Once you are away for more than 12 months, your payment cycle will change from every two weeks to every four weeks, so it’s important to plan your cash flow accordingly.

If you are travelling abroad and need help to work out your cashflow, please speak to your Shadforth adviser.

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