- If you immigrated to Australia, you may qualify for retirement pension.The Australian flag blowing in the wind image by Francois du Plessis from Fotolia.com
Australia, like many other countries, has a government-sponsored retirement program for persons who have lived and worked in the country. The program applies to citizens and immigrants as well, but immigrants have particular requirements that they must meet. The amount of “age pension” paid can vary with your income and assets. For blind persons, no income or asset requirements apply.
- Age requirements for natural born citizens and immigrants are the same, but differ between men and women up until 2017. As of 2010, men can retire at 65 and women at 63.5. The retirement age for women will increase incrementally up to 65 by 2017. Then, the retirement age for both men and women raises by half a year every two years until 2023, when both men and women must be 67 to retire. See the chart at centerlink.gov.au for specific ages for women between 2010 and 2017.
Resident Status Requirements
- The day that an immigrant lodges their claim for an “age pension,” he or she must be living in Australia as a citizen or as a permanent legal resident. Also, as a special provision for New Zealand residents, centerlink.gov.au states, "a New Zealand citizen who was in Australia on 26 February 2001, or for 12 months in the 2 years immediately before that date, or was assessed as "protected" before 26 February 2004” also qualifies.
- According to centerlink.gov.au, you must be “an Australian resident for a continuous period of at least 10 years" to be eligible for retirement. This could also be "a number of periods which total more than 10 years, with one of the periods being at least 5 years.” Some exceptions to this rule may apply for certain international social security agreements, refugees, widows and widowers.