Response from Department of Human Services to claiming pensions in Australia and the UK.
Is it possible for a UK citizen to claim the pension in both their country, and Australia?
Yes, it is a requirement of Australian Social Security Law that a person must test their eligibility to receive a foreign pension.
Provided a UK citizen meets the Australian residence requirements they may qualify for a pension from Australia. A person may also claim a pension from the United Kingdom provided they are eligible for that pension.
Is it possible to do claim both at the same time, legally?
It is legal for a person to 'claim' both a pension from the Australia and the UK. It is then up to the respective pension authorities to determine appropriate qualification and entitlement.
The UK pension system is contributive, meaning that if its customers are receiving an Australian pension (or a pension from any country) it doesn't, as a matter of course, affect UK entitlements.
The Australian pension is means tested which means any income from a foreign pension, such as a UK pension, may affect the amount of Australian pension a person receives.
The Department of Human Services has a data exchange with the UK where changes to the foreign pension are automatically applied to ensure the correct payment of Australian pension.
UK pensions paid to customers living in Australia are not indexed, meaning they do not benefit from the annual UK CPI increases.
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