Travel concern

Hi, I am very happy to have found this forum and already read a few very interesting topics. 

Wondering if I can get any info on our concerns.

We are 57 and 61 and saving up for extended traveling from 2023 to 2026, yes I know we are greedy, but we just love travelling and want in those three years travel slowly and very lowkey, backpacker, budget friendly the world. We might occasional come back to Australia to visit our children but not sure about that, as they might visit us wherever we are in the world.

However, I am concerned how things work when we come back in regards with my husbands pension. Once we are back he is 67 and has lived and worked in Australia since 1995 (except those three years we are on the road). 

We own a little house but do not have much other assets and after reading Centrelinks criteria he should be eligble for the full amount of pension. BUT??? will the three years abroad have an effect on this? Will he still qualify without problems?

Has anyone ever done something similiar?

Thank you in advance for any comments.


I think you have a problem. 

Hi OZROG, what would that problem be?

Residency used to be 25 years and now is 35 years for living overseas. Coming back when hubby is 67 there should be no problem getting the pension. Partner being 4 years younger will get nothing or the New Start allowance. We did a similar thing, living on our own money till I was 65. I was given a partner part pension and the wife lived on Super till she was 65 herself.

Good plan of yours if you have the funds now, let's just hope you both stay healthy as we weren't that lucky. Just keep that in mind.

You need to get specific centrelink advice. Best to try the centrelink phone line first. If cannot get an anwer try going to a centrelink office with your question.

When you would return, you would have to wait about three years to claim for pension and it would not be for the full amount. You need to check with Centrelink. Their rules are continually changing and heaven knows what they will be in 2026. 

Who told you that.

a client recently returned from Malaysia after nearly 6 years away & received the Pension straight up.    There's plenty of information about this on this site .


Wrong Jackie


Youare "Travelling" for three years & maybe a few visits back to Australia.  All your assets are in Australia, you still maintain bank accounts, licenses etc.       You are NOT considered as Residing in another country because you will be on Tourist Visa Status.   You may also have TRAVEL insurance , however when you come back you can still use your Medicare card for a checkup. 

it's all about "Continuity of Association"  with your life in Australia and Domicile .   

Many early retirees ive dealt with have " lived"in Asia for more than 5 years at least,,then returned home & got the Pension straight up.   The only issues would be if you wanted to travel again ,  there MAY be a 2 year restriction,,but since you've been just Travelling as a Tourist & not as a resident in those countries it shouldn't affect you.    Tourist visa status is important.   

You have to have worked in Australia for 35years to recieve full pension. So they won't get full pension. 

The 35 yr business only relates to moving overseas after being granted a pension. If you’re living here you get the full rate depending on assets and income 

Hi Keith

All those things you wrote is what I am thinking too. I will certainly double check with CL but feel better when I don't have to purely rely on their answers.

Thank you

Check out the Australian Govt Services Australia website (can't cut and paste link for some reason). As long as you conform to the resident eligibility rules, your prior travel plans shouldn't be a problem. You must be resident in Australia when you apply and you have to have lived here for a certain number of years.

Once you've successfully claimed, you won't be able to take the pension with you if you travel overseas in the following two years.


The second part of your statement is incorrect. You must live in Australia for 2 years immediately BEFORE you can lodge your application for the pension and if you travel overseas or move and live overseas for more than 6 weeks then you must notify Services Australia and your pension rate depending on time you resided full time in Australia will stay the same but your supplement will be reduced plus you will loose your allowances for power and things like that plus you will loose your medicare card and you will have to re-apply for it again when you return to Australia

Thank you MickeyMac.


You need to talk to Centrelink.

However, as your husband will not have worked in Australia for 35 years he is unlikely to receive a full pension in any case. On what you say, he may be able to receive a max 28/35 of the age pension provided he can meet all other criteria including where you have lived for the two years immediately prior to application.

I suggest you get clear advice from Centrelink because it may mean you will need more cash to live on before he can apply for the pension. You don't mention  whether your husband could be entitled to any overseas pension, but if he is, this would also reduce any potential amount from the age pension. Nor do you mention your own status which may have an influence on either your own or a joint pension.

He’ll get the full rate while living in Australia.  The 35 yr proportioning of payments only relates to travel outside the country after the pension has been granted 


I think the proportional rate only comes into effect when we would go travelling again longer than 26 weeks AFTER he qualified for the pendion. When we stay in Australia he would get the full amount. 



That 2 year residence period BEFORE you get the pension allows you to travel with "portability" of the pension straight away.  The 6 week & 26 week "away" is actually loaded by Immigration when you leave,,so it's automatically adjusted.  You can advise them, but big brother will know anyway.

If someone has actually been "Residing" overseas for a lengthy period of time ...after they return a claim the pension,,they still get it straight up..BUT if they want to leave again within 2 years it will stop.

However,  Centrelink will still allow short trips away, ( how short is up to them) and that still counts into the 2 year wait...but don't expect the payts while your away.



Not so Keith. If you live in a country with which Australia has an International Agreementyou can continue to receive the Age Pension, with some minor adjustments mentioned in another reply here.

You need to  get proper advice from Centrelink not rely on forums

You need to  get proper advice from Centrelink not rely on forums

I don't rely on forums KB and would always go and see CL about that anyway, but it is nice to know what might await us, as it is afterall 3 years to go til we go.


Go to Centrelink and get the correct advice.  It’s the only way. 


There appears to be changes to the qualifying rules for the Aged Pension so as KB has said you need to talk to Australian Services about this.

If you like you can also have a look at these websites for some idea of the requirements.

One big change that I have noticed here is the change from 2 years residence before to an unbroken 5 years residence before you can apply and if this is correct and as you will not be returning to Australia until 2026 then you will not be eligible to claim for the age pension until 2031 which is the unbroken 5 years residence.

You really do need to check the websites of the government departments and talk to the people that work for the departments.

This is so wrong, you don’t need the 5 yrs continuous immediately before claiming the pension.

he has been here since 1995 so has 10 yrs qualifying residence.  


Things change every monday with this goverment and it is not to benifit the normal person i would wait untill you are nearer the time

Thanks for all the feedback peeps.


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