Pension payable in Australia due to Irish records
Q&A:I have lived in Australia since 1989 and am in my mid-sixties. For about 20 years prior to that I worked as an employee in Ireland. Am I entitled to anything from the Irish pension system and if so, can you give me an idea of how to start the process?
Mr B O’Connor
The good news is that you are. Apart from arrangements within the European Union to ensure that people secure credit for working in any of the member states, there are also a series of bilateral agreements in place between Ireland and a number of non-EU states. These include Australia.
Essentially, you can get credit in Australia for PRSI payments made in Ireland – at least in terms of assessing your entitlement to a pension on the basis of age, a pension as a widow(er) and disability support.
The agreement was signed in 1992 but there is nothing in the information that I have seen to indicate that service before that date would not be taken into account. On that basis, I would assume you are entitled to claim for the years worked in Ireland.
The first thing you need to do, given that you are based in Australia, is to contact Centrelink. You can do this by phone on +61 3 6222 3455 (you will even be able to reverse the charges if calling in Australian Eastern Standard time), by email to email@example.com or by mail to: Centrelink International Services, GPO Box 273, Hobart TAS 7001, Australia.
Centrelink also operates a website at centrelink.gov.au.
You will need your Centrelink Customer Reference Number – which I gather corresponds with our PPS number and is a unique identifier allocated to each person at birth or arrival into the state. You will also need to give your name and a phone number, complete with area code. Once you have notified Centrelink of your claim, you will need to download Form AUS140IE.1007.
This form, which includes guidance notes, is a claim for Australian pension under the social security agreement between Australia and Ireland.
Investment gift for children
If I sign over an investment property to my children what tax liabilities will they and I have. I do not want the asset transfer to affect their threshold under Capital Acquisition Tax.
Mr O L, email
If you sign property over to your children, it will certainly have an impact on them under capital acquisitions tax . . . but it may not bring them close to a threshold where they will actually pay tax.
You will also face a liability yourself, but under capital gains tax.
Let’s take it in reverse order. You are exempt from capital gains only on your principal private residence. Any other property is seen as an investment and you are liable to tax on the increase in its value from the point of purchase until disposal – allowing for certain costs incurred.
Any disposal counts; it doesn’t have to be a sale, so giving it to your children would trigger a taxable event for you.
As for your children, you are effectively gifting them the property and it therefore will count against their capital acquisitions tax threshold. However, it is worth remembering that the threshold for gifts between parents and children, though cumulative, is still reasonably generous at €250,000.