Well Judith I have intense knowledge of this and sorry to say there was no satisfactory finish to it.
The Agreement you refer to is actually called ‘a Protocol’ and as you correctly say one does not exist between Australia and France. Surprisingly perhaps lat time I checked it also doesn’t exist between Australia and the UK. Yet it did at that time eist between Italy and Greece (and Chile!)
My wife and I paid into all our taes for twenty years in Australia with the clear understanding that this included State pension payments. When we left in 1989 I had some 16 years to go before making a claim/notifaction on it. The office had changed to vecome Centrepoint and based in Tasmania and I have to say the staff there went out of their way to help, but to no avail.
Th eHoward Government changed it all at the stroke of a pen, and unless you were physically Resident In Australia you could not even register for the claim. You had you be IN Australia. Plus you couldn’t just have an address (friend, family) in a country where the protocol existed - we tried through Italy, and it was where we found out about the UK non-status as well. I don’t think we tried Belgium even though we lived on and off there for some 5 years, and we get a small annual pension payment from our time there.
I won’t bore you with the letter that went up to the PM"s Office in Canberra to which a return confirmed all the above. Always referring to the possibility of other Protocols which never arrived. We kept trying each year and the goalposts kept moving including then being notified that no records were being kept of people before the year 2000 (despite the fact that we had them all, they were no longer relevant) So we would no longer qualify anyway as our/their documentation was no longer ‘legal’ - hard to believe but we still have the letters on file from Centreproint confirming this.
I now understand that shifting back even for six months of the year wouldmake no differece as now the State Pension is no longer a ‘Right’ even if you have paid in all your life, as it is now Means Tested and only paybable under certain cicumstances and only (tbc) for those living full-time in Oz. If you have assets over a certain amount apparently this counts as does cash, savings, shares and possessions. At what Date Point this kicked in I am not sure as I DO have friends in Australia of my own age bracket - say +70’s, who do get their pensions, but they live there full-time. I think this also now applies in New Zealand.
This is one reason why I have pointed out to others that if Australia could cut one lose like this - at just about the most financially difficult moment in a life (get a job at 65?) then there is no reason at all why this could not apply to English pensioners here (and I also get a small part one from the UK s o it still would affect me).
Sorry to say but this does not and could apply to the EU state as cancellation of pensions is against the Human Rights provisions of the Charter, which will no longer apply when the UK leaves the EU.
Whether this would happen has already been officially mooted by Iain Duncan-Slime, who as you know think we all live the life of Reilly with our ‘swimming pools’!
Sorry to be so negative, but to rely on a hardline Brexit for continued pensions for expats. could be optimistic, notably if the UK does hit the financially hard times many are predicting. Our pensions could be a perfect, even popular target for those who hate Europe in the UK - and there seem to be plenty of those still.
I now have French Nationality which I hope will protect me in some way, but I am not sure about this, as I think existing assets here would count aginst me getting financial support. I think from recent exposure that support is for the destitute and not for those with still a few bob in the bank and/or properties. Again, if the enti-Immigration wave hit via Le Pen and her ilk, well the expression ebing ‘between a rock and a hard place’ will take on a new personal meaning.
Oh and a final point to finish this litany of Jeremiah, I have heard it mooted that ‘returning expats’ to the UK from Europe could also be denied pensions. This being an blatant way of getting people of the age more likely t use NHS and other services to think again. I am not saying this is certain policy, but I have seen if mentioned (again by Slime).
Unemotionally, if this is possible, and just on economic grounds the thought of up to 2,000,000 expats with legitimate passports etc suddenly returning and making claims, would dwarf concerns about legitimate working foreigners. It could seem logical to some to say ‘you made your choices not to live in your home country, so live with the consequences’
Couldn’t happen in the lovely country with at lovely Boris and his cohorts in charge could it? Could it?
I never thought of Oz as being a hardline country, but if they could do it easily, then less amiable ones would have even fewer concerns.