Age Pensioners of the Greek community have not been affected by the new six week rule which reduces payments to people overseas for longer than that time. This new rule only applies to people receiving payments who are of working age.

This means you can go overseas indefinitely without having your Age Pension affected (subject to the Australian Life Working Residence Rules).

However, if age pensioners go overseas for more than six weeks and get the Pension Supplement in Australia, after six weeks this is reduced to Pension Supplement Basic Amount, but is reinstated as soon as you get back to Australia. This is because the supplement is specifically designed to help with Australian living costs.

Jenny Macklin, Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, said that if you are an Age Pensioner you need to advise Centrelink of your travel dates to make sure you get the right amounts and so that you don’t get extra money that you would then need to pay back later on.

She also said that every Age Pensioner got an increase on 20 March 2013. The most recent increase was $35.80 per fortnight for singles and $54 per fortnight for couples combined.

“Under the increases, which have been brought in by Labor to help pensioners with the cost of living, single pensioners now get up to $5390 more per year ($207/week) and couples combined get up to $6129 more per year ($236/week) compared to when the Liberal party was in government. We think it is really important to help pensioners and that’s why we keep raising pensions. There will be another increase on 20 September 2013,” she said.

There is also a permanent extra payment of $351 per year for singles or $530 per year for couples combined which is the Clean Energy Supplement.