Migrants to wait up to 15 years for aged pension

Who will be affected by the 2017 Budget? Source: AAP

Older migrants will have to wait longer to access aged or disability pension if they have not spent five years of their working life in Australia.

Under the proposed changes to Australia’s welfare system, migrants will have to wait up to 15 years before they can access aged or disability pensions.  

Under the new welfare measured introduced in parliament, pension applicants will have to have 10 years of continuous residence, including five years of a person’s working life before they can be eligible for a pension.

Alternatively, migrants will be eligible for a pension after 15 years of continuous residence.

“This will ensure that people have some reasonable connection to the Australian economy and society before being granted a permanent pension payment,” Social Services Minister Christian Porter said.

an elderly couple
Pensioners to pocket small increase

Under the current law, a person becomes eligible for a pension after having been an Australian resident for ten years- five of which must be continuous. The government wants these changes to take effect from July 2018.

The government wants these changes to take effect from July 2018.

The new law also proposes to cease the payment of pension Supplement after a recipient spends six weeks overseas and immediately for permanent departures. This measure will take effect from 1 January 2018.

Existing exemptions to Age Pension and DSP residency requirements will be maintained for Humanitarian entrants and for those whose inability to work happened while they were an Australian.

The government hopes the measures will save roughly $119 million. A raft of other welfare reforms bundled together in the law is expected to net almost $900 million in budget savings.

The proposed law also includes the following changes to welfare

Increasing the maximum income test taper of Family Tax Benefit A from 20 cents to 30 cents per dollar once a family's income exceeds a threshold of $94,316

Doubling the maximum wait time for Newstart, study, sickness or youth allowance if they have liquid assets above certain thresholds, from 13 to 26 weeks

Pegging pensioner education supplements and education entry payment rates to student loans and time spent studying 

Restricting student relocation scholarships to people studying in Australia and whose parental family home or usual place of residence is also in Australia. This means that students relocating from or studying overseas will no longer be eligible for the scholarship.

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