It is possible to get the Age Pension for the whole time you’re overseas, whether you have left Australia on a temporary or permanent basis. If you remain outside Australia for longer than 26 weeks, your pension will be reduced to a proportional rate based on your ‘Australian working life residence’. This is the number of years you have resided in Australia since age 16 to Age Pension age.
If you have lived in Australia for 35 years (420 months), then you are paid the full rate of Age Pension to which you are entitled. If, for example, you have only resided in Australia for 20 years, then you will be paid 241/420 of the Age Pension (20 x12 plus an extra month). If you leave Australia permanently, the rate of Pension Supplement you receive will reduce on departure or, if leaving on a temporary basis, it will be reduced six weeks after departure. the Energy Supplement will cease when you leave Australia to live in another country.
For those who were granted an Age Pension and left Australia prior to 1 July 2014, the 25-year Australian working life residence will be applied. Should you return to Australia and then depart (after 1 July 2014), the new 35-year rule will be applied.
As long as you remain eligible, your Age Pension will continue to be paid fortnightly. If you are moving long term (over 12 months) or permanently, your Age Pension will be paid every four weeks.
However, if you returned to reside in Australia within the last two years and were transferred to or granted an Age Pension within that time, your pension will be stopped when you go overseas.
Certain countries have International Social Security Agreements in place to assist people who migrate between countries to more easily claim social security benefits listed in the agreement. Under these agreements responsibility for social security may be shared between the countries where you have lived and in some instances, you may be able to receive pensions from both countries, with each agreement country paying a part pension to you. This can also help should you decide to reside in such a country once you have been granted an Age Pension. You can view the countries with which Australia currently has agreements here.
You can find out more about claiming your pension overseas by viewing our articles below.