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Tuesday, 19 June 2012
Page: 7138


Ms MACKLIN (JagajagaMinister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Minister for Disability Reform) (19:03): In response to the member for Mackellar, this is the consideration of the appropriation bill in relation to the Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. Each of the three questions she first asked in relation to the mature-age tax offsets, the tax-free threshold and issues in relation to self-funded retirees and the tax-free threshold are all in the Treasury portfolio, so are not relevant to this consideration. On the final issue that you raised—

Mrs Bronwyn Bishop interjecting

Ms MACKLIN: Correct. And all of the policy measures are dealt with by the Treasurer. In relation to the working life residency rules for age pensioners, the member for Mackellar asks what the rationale was. I draw her attention to the fact that the change we are putting in place to 35 years in fact brings Australia in line with other developed or OECD countries, which generally require 35 to 45 years working life residency to receive a full pension overseas. For the member's information, France, Denmark, Japan and Canada require 40 years of pension contributions. New Zealand requires 45 years residence. So the government's view is that it is a reasonable expectation that people who receive an Australian pension have lived in Australia during their working lives and contributed to the Australian economy and community. The change that was announced in the budget does not start until 1 January 2014, and this is to make sure we give pensioners plenty of time to make the plans for overseas travel or retirement that they may be considering.

The other parts of the member's question asked what the impact would be. Obviously the numbers depend on the length of time that people already have, and I can provide that to her in a table if she would like that. I am happy to do that after this session.