Can I still receive an Australian Age Pension living overseas?

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It is possible to continue to receive 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.

To be eligible for the Age Pension you must meet certain criteria which is assessed by the Department of Human Services. This includes meeting age requirements, residency requirements and passing the income and assets test.

Qualification age

Date of Birth

Qualifying age at

1 July 1952 to 31 December 1953

65 years and 6 months

1 January 1954 to 30 June 1955

66 years

1 July 1955 to 31 December 1956

66 years and 6 months

From 1 January 1957

67 years


Residency requirements

When claiming the Age Pension, you must be resident in the country and must have lived in Australia as a citizen or permanent resident for a continuous period of 10 years, or for several periods which total over 10 years and include a continuous period of five years in total. There are certain exemptions and you can find out more at HumanServices.gov.au.

Claiming the Age Pension overseas
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.

International Social Security Agreements
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. The list of countries Australia currently has agreements with are:

Austria
Belgium
Canada
Chile
Croatia
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
Germany
Greece
Hungary
India
Ireland
Italy
Japan
Korea
Latvia
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
Malta
The Netherlands
New Zealand
Norway
Poland
Portugal
Slovak Republic
Slovenia
Spain
Switzerland
United States of America

What if you already live overseas?
You must be an Australian resident to make a claim for the Age Pension. If you are currently living overseas you have to return to Australia to claim the Age Pension. You should be aware that the process can take several months and you may not be granted an Age Pension depending on your income and assets.

Any income you earn will be subject to the income test to assess whether or not you will be granted an Age Pension. Currently you can earn $172 per fortnight for singles before your Age Pension is affected. If you chose to work past Age Pension age, the Work Bonus will be applied and $250 of income from wages will be excluded from assessment.

Your claim for an Age Pension will also be subject to an asset test and should you exceed the asset disqualification limit, you will not receive an Age Pension. There are certain exemptions from the asset test, such as your main residence if owned. The current asset disqualification limits for a single, full Age Pension applicant are $258,500 for a homeowner and $465,500 for a non-homeowner.

Should you be granted an Age Pension, you have to remain in Australia for two years, otherwise your Age Pension will be cancelled.

When you move overseas after the two years, your Age Pension will be paid at the ‘outside of Australia’ rate and will be subject to the work-life residency rule. This means that if you have lived in Australia for less than 35 years between the ages of 16 and 65, you will be paid a pro rata rate.

Case study 1
Trevor returned to Australia after residing in China. As there is no social security agreement between Australia and China, Trevor must return to Australia to make a claim for the Age Pension.

After submitting his claim in Australia, Trever returns to China to get his things in order in preparation for receiving the Age Pension overseas. As a result, Centrelink deemed him to be a non-resident as he had left Australia and his claim for the Age Pension was rejected.

Trevor returned to Australia and re-submitted his claim and was then granted an Age Pension.

Portability of the age pension requires an initial residence within Australia of at least two years while in receipt of the age pension. Therefore, if Trevor leaves Australia within two years of being granted the age pension, he will lose the eligibility for the payment and will then need to re-apply upon returning to Australia.

Two years later
After residing in Australia for two years, Trevor’s Age Pension payment is now deemed ‘portable’. Trevor’s Australian Working Life Residence (AWLR) is 27 years. A person is able to continue receiving the full amount overseas that they are eligible for within Australia if they have an AWLR of 35 years of more.

Trevor was receiving the maximum base rate of the Age Pension ($826.20 per fortnight for a single at September 2018) plus the pension supplement in Australia. When Trevor leaves to go and live back in China, his pension supplement will decrease to the basic amount.

After 26 weeks out of Australia, Trevor’s Age Pension amount is paid to him at a proportional rate based on an AWLR of 27 years. His 27 years equates to 324 months plus one month, meaning he will be paid 325/420ths of the full rate of the Age Pension ($639.32 at September 2018).

Case study 2
Olivia has been living in Australia for 45 years. Olivia is 69 and started receiving the Age Pension in Australia when she was 65.

Olivia has decided to travel overseas to Portugal to live with family for a few years. Because Olivia has an AWLR of more than 35 years, after 26 weeks overseas she will continue to receive the full amount of Age Pension that she is eligible for while she is living in Portugal.

If Olivia had an AWLR of less than 35 years she would be paid a proportion of her age pension after 26 weeks overseas.

How does Centrelink make payments to pensioners living overseas?
Payments outside Australia are normally made by direct deposit straight into your bank account. This can be a bank account held in or outside Australia. In exceptional circumstances you may be able to be paid by cheque.

If you don’t get your payment within 10 days of Centrelink issuing it, contact your local bank before notifying Centrelink. If you are being paid into an Australian bank account, Centrelink will pay you in Australian dollars.

Currency
If you are being paid in a bank account outside of Australia, Centrelink will make your payment in local currency or US dollars, depending upon the country in which you currently live. You just need to fill in the correct international bank account form for your country.

If you arrange to be paid by cheque, the cheques will be in local currency for most countries, or in US dollars. You should get it in the post 14 to 20 days after Centrelink issues it. Centrelink uses international and local mail systems to send your cheque and there can sometimes be delays.

If you don’t get your cheque within 20 days of Centrelink issuing it, Centrelink can cancel the cheque and send a new one. If a cheque arrives after it has been cancelled by Centrelink, don’t cash it or put it into your account as your bank may charge you a fee.

When you deposit your cheque into your bank account it will need to clear before you can access the funds. This could take around two weeks if the cheque is in local currency, or four weeks for cheques in US dollars.

If you are outside Australia on a long-term absence or live in another country, you will receive 13 regular four-weekly payments of your pension each year.

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Written by Ben

82 Comments

Total Comments: 82
  1. 0
    1

    If you can afford to live overseas then you should not get the OAP.

    • 0
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      Its about entitlement and its cheaper to live on the Australian pension in some other countries.

    • 0
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      ozrog …. You are correct … I spend a lot of time outside Australia and rent a home or unit for AU$250 X MONTH with sea water views …. not need to share with anybody and I am independent and make lots of new friends every time OS ….

      You are correct and if OG can prove to me that I can rent a unit with sea water views for 250 x Month in Australia I promise I will never go overseas again.

    • 0
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      no OG, we have no right to tell people how, when & where they can spend their money. Remember there are thousands of people in Australia being paid pensions from overseas.
      Many people move overseas for many reasons they should they not be entitled to their pension entitlement.
      You are such a miserable git sometimes.
      Aussie, totally agree with you. Anyone that wants to stop retirees from living overseas are just jealous,selfish, miserable old gits like Old Geezer.

    • 0
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      It may depend on the circumstances. There was a couple to wished to bring their Mother/Mother-in-Law out to Australia. Because she was almost blind the Aust. Govt. refused to let her migrate. They were able to proof that they could support her financially, pay for all her care etc., pay total cost of medication because she wouldn’t have Medicare Card. They were going to sell their house in an expensive area and buy one in a cheaper area. They ended up selling their house and moving overseas. They now pay no tax to the Aust. Govt. at all.

    • 0
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      “Lothario” – f/off you piece of shit and stop pretending to be me . A/hole

    • 0
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      “Lothario” – f/off you piece of shit and stop pretending to be me . A/hole

    • 0
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      sorry about the profanity, have increased my medication so should be ok for a while. I am also booked to check in to the special clinic to address my anger issues.

    • 0
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      Hey Lothario … the best remedy is sex … need to find some nice body to assist you … and relax you … try it ….I am Aussie doctor …..

    • 0
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      You have no idea why people go o/s to live. maybe they have been homeless due to luck to pay the high rent here.
      You are obviously a person with no life experience except of living here.
      So sorry 4 U, you live in a box with no knowledge.

  2. 0
    0

    Good info

  3. 0
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    INCORRECT INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THIS POST – PLEASE CHECK

    The information provided by YLC is totally incorrect …. if you spend OVER 6 WEEKS Not 26 WEEKS ….. That has been approved by the parliament long time ago ……. Please check here and ensure all this is correct

    Every time I am outside for more than 6 Weeks all I get is my basic pension and reduced supplement … no medicare or anything else that is it AU$858 x Fortnight and nothing else

    https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/enablers/pension-supplement-while-travelling-outside-australia/31061

    • 0
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      Years back my friend who came from the UK had applied for the Australian pension. When the Goverrnment noticed that she original came om the UK the Keating Government at the time made her to apply for the UK pension first and the Australian Gov deducted part of the prepayment of the Australian Government and she received the remainder amount. I am sure that UK has the International Social Security Agreements also.
      I also agree it is only 6 weeks one can be outside Australia and then the Pension amount changes.

    • 0
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      Years back my friend who came from the UK had applied for the Australian pension. When the Goverrnment noticed that she original came om the UK the Keating Government at the time made her to apply for the UK pension first and the Australian Gov deducted part of the prepayment of the Australian Government and she received the remainder amount. I am sure that UK has the International Social Security Agreements also.
      I also agree it is only 6 weeks one can be outside Australia and then the Pension amount changes.

  4. 0
    0

    You are entitled to your pension, where you spend it is entirely your own business and yes it is much cheaper to live overseas in quite a number of countries, so why not? This government is an appalling tight arse with their restrictions.

  5. 0
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    Just read the above article about OAP and living overseas. It seems to have some conflicting information and three sentences got my attention.

    1# If you reside in Australia and are granted an OAP within the last two years your pension will be stopped when you go overseas.
    2# If you are granted an OAP, you have to remain in Australia for two years otherwise your OAP will be cancelled.
    3# You must be a Australian resident for 35 years to be granted a full OAP.

    • 0
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      The two year restriction only applies to Non Residents who have been living overseas ,,and have returned to Australia to claim an OAP.
      Then , the 2 year wait starts before they can return to live in the overseas country WITH the pension.
      They can leave Australia for short holidays during that time,,but the pension will stop when the pass thru Immigration, and restart when the come back.
      It’s a confusing situation, since all applicants are considered on a case by case basis.

    • 0
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      Keith, If it only applies to Non Residents, how can they even apply for and be granted an Age Pension? You do have to be an Australian resident to get it.

    • 0
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      Justsane …. you can also be Australian foreign resident means that you where living OS for a long time and possibly be tax as foreign resident …. I thing that is what Keith means

      So if you come back to Australia and apply for the pension after been out for a long time you must be in the country for 2 years before is granted

    • 0
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      Yeah..the 2 years wait, apply to the portability of the pension being paid outside Australia.

      If you return to Australia after an extended period away and get the OAP, it’s granted & paid straight away. BUT , depending on your circumstances it can be 2 years before you can receive it back in the country you returned from.

      You can still have short holidays OS, but the payments stop when you leave & start when you return.

      It’s a case by case situation though, no two people the same.

    • 0
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      Yes Keith …. small changes to your statement.
      These apply (2 Years issue) if you apply for a pension. If you already have the pension then only the time you live in Australia counts and you get either full or proportional amounts.

      But But But … in any case if you are out of Australia in holidays or whatever after 6 weeks you pension is cut to minimum and all other services stop until you return …

      For example I have been living and working in Australia continuously for over 40 years and and I receive full pension paid every fortnight ($916.30) and I decide to travel to England to stay with my kids for 3 month ……. then after 6 weeks my pension gets reduced to the basic $834.40 plus $23.60 supplement = $858 x fortnight. this will change proportionally to the number of years you live and work in Australia after your 16 Birthday.

      Also other considerations are if the country you come from has pension agreements with Australia see below

      Justsane I suggest you read all this to get familiar with our complicated pension scheme …

      https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/enablers/pension-rates-payable-people-outside-australia/29791

      https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/international-social-security-agreements

      That is it ….. to bloody complex that is why Centrelink people has so many problems to deal with us … I now do all myself and ensure I read all the new arrangements then I just tell them where to look if they give me incorrect advice which already has hapen many times

  6. 0
    0

    I’m currently living O/S in a far better & more interesting lifestyle than I had in Australia.
    However,,I’m a self funded retiree, no need for the Pension yet unless the Super Fund “tanks”.
    I know a lot of Aussies here on the OAP living well, and can afford health care here, as well as a carer in a lot of cases.
    If some of these people went back to Australia, they’d probably end up in Government/ taxpayer funded aged care centres that are EXPENSIVE plus there Medicare card would be ticking over every few days, PBS schemes etc etc etc.
    From what I’ve seen,,you’d think the Aussie Govt would encourage people to retire to more affordable overseas destinations.
    Has anyone bothered to check the cost of govt. funded aged care……it’s a hell of a lot more expensive than the reduced OAP.
    It always amuses me to hear the talk about pensioners spending their pensions in another country. They should look at what’s parked on their driveway, what labels on their shirt, shoes & appliances. Just about everyone went for the cheap Asian imports.
    And now…..as the sun sets on our lives…we are looking at jumping the fence and joining them in their lifestyle and spending our nest eggs there.
    I’ve been doing exactly that for 8 years now……and wouldn’t change a thing.

    • 0
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      Totally agreed … well done mate … sounds that UR in Vietnam or Bali or maybe Thailand ??? he he he he have lots of fun

    • 0
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      Exactly Keith. Just ignore any comments from jealous,selfish, miserable old gits, if they had their way they’d probably stop you moving interstate for a better life. miserable sods they are

    • 0
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      Most can only afford the cheap imports, especially in the are in “high” care in an aged care facility. The Aged Care Facility charge is higher than the Aged Pension, if you still have a small income on a bank account you pay even more. In some cases family buy clothing and other needs. I never minded doing that but it all adds up. The food isn’t that good at some of them especially if you are on a special needs diet.
      There is the very rare one that has a small menu that you can choose from and order the previous day.

    • 0
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      Yes agree Keith, I also live overseas with my wife in South East Asia. Much cheaper to live, local health insurance, Not reliant in any Australian Services apart from a pension. Must be saving the government a fortune. Don’t worry about the naysayers, enjoy.

    • 0
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      Pity our Aussie dollar is going south, see what happens to it after the election, hopefully it will get a bit stronger

    • 0
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      Yes SFR is going south … but I will love to live permanently in Australia and stop jumping from country to country ever 6 month … I am to old now and I can not stay in my own country to live a happy life ….. Overseas is giving me a lot of hapiness and very very relax living without any worries … so I will keep jumping until someone burn me and that is it …. but at the end I live a great life i retirement …. and able to see my family and friend from ime to time during the year …..

    • 0
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      I agree Aussie, life is to short not to be happy, make everyday yours, one life we need to enjoy it.

  7. 0
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    BS OG…ANYONE WHO GETS THE AGE PENSION (AND IT IS AN ENTITLEMENT) SHOULD BE ABLE TO SPEND IT WHEREVER THEY ARE…WHY IS IT THAT THE AP IS REGARDED AS WELFARE FOR OLDER AUSTRALIANS… GETTING THE AP IS DEMEANING AND BELITTLING AND CAUSES GREAT ANXIETY. ITS JUST LIKE GIVING DOLE RECIPIENTS WELFARE CARDS INSTEAD OF CASH.
    THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR CENTRELINK TO BE SO STINGY AND RULE AUTOCRATIC AND TO BE MICRO MANAGING SENIOR CITIZENS…THEY REGRET IT AND THEY ARE NOW STARTING TO REALISE HOW BADLEY THEY ARE BEING TREATED BY CENTRELINK AND OUR GOVT AND THEY WILL DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT STARTING WITH THE COMING ELECTION…THEY WILL BOOT THIS LNP GOVT OUT…..

    • 1
      0

      So True !!
      I worked in Oz for over 35 years and moved o/s when I was 59.
      Centrelink have told me I have to move back to Oz for 2 years to get the pension. Why?
      I meet the criteria apart from the CURRENT residency.
      I am an Australian citizen (by birth).
      I cant afford to live in Oz now……its financially impossible.
      I met a chap lat year who was scrounging for a living in Asia. Australian. Told the same as me and he simply couldn’t afford the ticket back let alone rent or food in Oz.
      Is this how a country treats is citizens?
      This rule doesn’t apply to politicians….of course.
      Its a disgraceful state of affairs and I’m angry.

  8. 1
    0

    BS OG…ANYONE WHO GETS THE AGE PENSION (AND IT IS AN ENTITLEMENT) SHOULD BE ABLE TO SPEND IT WHEREVER THEY ARE…WHY IS IT THAT THE AP IS REGARDED AS WELFARE FOR OLDER AUSTRALIANS… GETTING THE AP IS DEMEANING AND BELITTLING AND CAUSES GREAT ANXIETY. ITS JUST LIKE GIVING DOLE RECIPIENTS WELFARE CARDS INSTEAD OF CASH.
    THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR CENTRELINK TO BE SO STINGY AND RULE AUTOCRATIC AND TO BE MICRO MANAGING SENIOR CITIZENS…THEY REGRET IT AND THEY ARE NOW STARTING TO REALISE HOW BADLEY THEY ARE BEING TREATED BY CENTRELINK AND OUR GOVT AND THEY WILL DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT STARTING WITH THE COMING ELECTION…THEY WILL BOOT THIS LNP GOVT OUT…..

  9. 1
    0

    BS OG…ANYONE WHO GETS THE AGE PENSION (AND IT IS AN ENTITLEMENT) SHOULD BE ABLE TO SPEND IT WHEREVER THEY ARE…WHY IS IT THAT THE AP IS REGARDED AS WELFARE FOR OLDER AUSTRALIANS… GETTING THE AP IS DEMEANING AND BELITTLING AND CAUSES GREAT ANXIETY. ITS JUST LIKE GIVING DOLE RECIPIENTS WELFARE CARDS INSTEAD OF CASH.
    THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR CENTRELINK TO BE SO STINGY AND RULE AUTOCRATIC AND TO BE MICRO MANAGING SENIOR CITIZENS…THEY REGRET IT AND THEY ARE NOW STARTING TO REALISE HOW BADLEY THEY ARE BEING TREATED BY CENTRELINK AND OUR GOVT AND THEY WILL DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT STARTING WITH THE COMING ELECTION…THEY WILL BOOT THIS LNP GOVT OUT…..

    • 0
      1

      OP is welfare and should only be paid to those who live in Australia.

    • 1
      0

      Ok OG lets say that I do agreed with you for a moment …please tell me how in hell we can live in a unit or home with sea water views for AU$250 x MONTH ????? have a fresh vegetables, good steak and a full fridge with everything we like and want for an average of about AU$500 X MONTH ?????

      Please give me a detail answer (What town or city, How much x Unit or Home Rent with Water views and food X MONTH) and do not change the requirements of your answer by saying that AU is clean and overseas is dirty and so and so …Keep it simple and to the point with proper details

      So if you can prove to us these then I just “SHUT MYSELF UP” …. Else please you do the same

    • 1
      0

      You’re a total idiot OG about time for your medication isn’t it.
      So anyone receiving their pension from overseas but living in Australia ahould do what. Come on answer the question you half witted twit

    • 0
      0

      Lothario …. OG knows very well that this is impossible to live the same in Australia and he will not answer at all because there is no answer.

      The only way to answer my question is to agree with me and say Yes Aussie you are correct

      But I will be dreaming he will never ever will agree with me on this subject ….. is Ok I will continue been happy and assist anybody that will like to do the same as I do ….. no worries

      OG is happy with his ways and is ok if he is happy no problems but he needs to respect our ways as we respect his

    • 0
      0

      As I told you Lothario OG only talk because he have a Mouth …. he can not give us a constructive answer.

      Just like that no thinking on the consequences of his words and how may affect other peoples feelings and believes …. well that is OG I respect his ways but I hope one day he/she ?? (OG) will respect ours.

      Ok CU …

    • 0
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      Sorry guys, don’t mean to upset. Aussie you’re correct. It’s impossible to live on the pension in Australia. I feel there should be a pension increase.

    • 0
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      actually the pension system as it is now should be completely scraped, it’s not fair on those that have gone without for years & saved for retirement & are now punished by the current LNP government.
      Even their own ministers are abandoning ship like a bunch of rats.

    • 1
      0

      It seems U R to old and no a geezer

    • 1
      0

      I…T, I……e

  10. 0
    0

    Great article and comments. I’m currently doing my 2 years of OAP “rehab”….thanks for your views!

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