How will working overseas affect your Age Pension?

Gozitano wants to know if working overseas will affect his Age Pension.

working in malta

Gozitano lives in Malta with his Maltese wife. He receives an Australian Age Pension, but wants to know if he can work part-time over there. Will it affect his pension?

Q. Gozitano
I am married and living overseas (Malta). My wife gets no pension, being non Australian. I get half the married rate and am considering doing some part-time work with a local non-government organisation here.

What is the process of managing this change? I pay no tax in Malta because the Australian pension income is below the local married tax rate. It is unlikely that the total annual work income will exceed the income limit of $7800.

Thank you for any assistance.

A. Any income you earn needs to be declared to Centrelink. This includes income from investments, overseas pensions and money earned from working. Therefore, while your income from working may not exceed the annual limit of $7800, when added to any investment income and deemed income, you may actually exceed this limit.

It is, however, worth noting that income earned from working can have the Work Bonus applied. This means that the first $250 of fortnightly income will be exempt from assessment.

If your employment is seasonal or sporadic, you can ‘bank’ your Work Bonus allowance to a maximum of $6500, which can then be applied when required. This also means that if you have not worked for the whole previous year, you can earn $6500 before your Age Pension is affected.

You do not need to apply for the Work Bonus. Centrelink will automatically apply it when you report your income.

You can find out more about the Work Bonus at



    To make a comment, please register or login
    11th Sep 2017
    Australia has a pretty dumb system. It appears to be there to pay lot's of tax dollars to Centrelink workers. In all those overseas jaunts to fact find you'd think our government would cotton on to how all the rest of the countries manage their retirement income pensions. Rum Corp Logic.
    11th Sep 2017
    I am having trouble getting my head around this scenario. I thought you could only receive an Australian pension if you were not overseas more than a certain amount of time. Then I thought you needed a special working permit to work in a foreign country - or am I missing something here?
    If he is working in Malta because he has dual citizenship then doesn't that exclude him from the Australian pension if he has chosen to live in Malta?
    PS I am not making a statement here - I am asking a question...or two.
    11th Sep 2017
    Mu understanding is that you can receive an Australian pension while living overseas however you cannot receive the extra payments like rental allowance etc. I am unsure of the taxation implications ie being tax free on the first $18000

    11th Sep 2017
    Malta is a beautiful country
    Cost of living lot lower than Oz
    Good on Gozitano
    Wish you all the best

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