Calling all Australians living in France!

Hi - Australians living in France may or may not be aware that, even though you lived and worked in Oz for the 35 years normally requisite to receive your state pension, this doesn’t count in France. While Australia has social security agreements with many other European countries (Spain, Greece, Latvia, Estonia, Belgium and so on and on), it doesn’t yet have one with France. So, we don’t get our pension when it’s due. In order to get back your eligibility, you would have to return to Oz and wait out two years before claiming both eligibility and your pension, or pack up all your goods and chattels and head across the border to some other country with an actual agreement. I don’t know whether there is a two-year wait in this case as well.

I don’t know about you, but this is going to cause me some hardship, as it will cause friends who, for example, are married to French people not keen on being exiled to Oz.

All undaunted by elections and previous lack of government interest, I intend to renew my campaign on this and write to the new relevant Ministers in Australia. Anyone who like to further chat on this and would like to take part in such a campaign either as a group or one by one is very welcome to contact me at … love to hear from you, Judy Crozier


Good luck with that.
This is an injustice and I wish you well.

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thanks. We’ll need some luck!

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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.

Very interesting and surprising about Australian pension status.
From what I understand in relation to UK pensioners who emigrate to Australia to live with family is that they receive their UK state pension as long as they have accumulated sufficient credits to qualify but the pension is frozen without the annual index linked increases and this has been the case for years.

In relation to UK & France; the one big thing that I’ve learnt from Brexit is to only deal with the facts rather than waste time & energy concerning myself over speculation when many previous “ifs, buts & maybes”, never actually transpired.
The UK government have already made it clear that after 2020 there may be a case pensions in the future may be frozen unless EU countries agree reciprocal arrangements which of course would also affect EU nationals living in the UK.
So for me, it’s wait & see, then act accordingly

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Sorry, only trying to address the question you raised, so I am a little surprised that ‘for you, it’s wait and see, then act accordingly’. Rather raises the question of why have you raised the issue in the first place?

I hoped that this would have helped others who could be thinking of buying, when maybe the circumstances I discovered could have been a major mistake - i.e; relying on a pension which may not appear. Obviously that was a mistaken assumption on my part.

Sorry I wasted so much time, when you had already made your decision.

Note to self: Don’t waste own time on these subjects.

I thought that it was Judith who started this post Norman.

Can’t make out why you are replying in this fashion to Jantyb’s post …

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Yes. I am not ‘waiting and seeing’ - I am starting a campaign, as I know very well that not doing anything will positively lose me my pension unless I undertake a choice of life-disturbing actions. All of which I regard as costly and unfair.

Anyway, any Australians affected by this or who believe they will be affected can join in. I have a letter all written for the social security and aged persons Ministers, which I will email off on Wednesday. Of course, you can always write off yourselves - or both! The more the merrier.

quite correct and I apologise.

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It’s called having a ‘senior moment’, I get a lot of those too … :wink::innocent:

I have to watch what my fingers do on keyboards nowadays. It can be disastrous… btw, article coming out soon on the Australian dilemma in The Local

HI Judith, I am an Australian living in France, I am aware of the situation with pensions in Australia. I moved here 8 years ago. Unfortunately my husband here is on invalidity and he can’t live in Australia. I am currently working like mad here trying to get some hours up to get a pension here in France. Being 56 it can be difficult getting employment. But I now have a part time CDI contract. Plus I am a micro entrenpreneur. It certainly isn’t a fair system Australia has. I just figure it’s best to enjoy each day as it is, retirement age keeps going up and up so maybe I won’t live long enough to ever enjoy retirement. :wink:

Yes indeed. the world we thought we were building back in the 70s and 80s got stolen, I think. But I’ll carry on this campaign regardless! Do you have the primary criterion - 35 years of your working life in Australia? if so, I could add you to the signatory list for the next letter. I’ve sent one already to the Ministers for social security and aged services, but I’ve no doubt there will be more. All the best to you xx

I moved over here when I was 48. I worked since I was 16 in Australia. I was born and raised in Oz. I only hold and Australian passport. :slight_smile:

if you like, email me on and I’ll include you on the growing list of signatories as this progresses. Will start to tackle the French end next, while awaiting a response from Oz xx

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Ok Judith I will send an email. We need all the support we can get as there isn’t that many of us over here to have much of a voice. :slight_smile:

No need to apologise as it wasn’t me who “raised the question” i.e. I wasn’t the original poster.

I will also miss out on 20 years worth of Aussie state pension. Just got my super paid out and am using it to buy a property (will be stung by the French taxman on that). I will earn (depending on what happens with Brexit) a very meagre and basic UK one and may be able to get something out of the American system (I was there 6 years) because they have a totalisation agreement with AUS but it certainly won’t come anywhere close.
Happy to sign any petition or be involved with proceedings.

excellent. I’ve sent a letter off to the Ministers of Social Security and Ages Services, but haven’t heard back yet. I’m happy to put you on as signatory for the next one (there’s bound to be another one or three), and also when I write to someone in the French government. Possibly the Foreign Affairs Minister? Anyway, I can cc you, if you could drop me your email address at . Also, I can send you a copy of the letter I sent.