How you can claim your Age Pension from overseas

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Jan has read that she can claim her pension while residing in Poland. Is this correct?

Q. Jan
I have read that you must be an Australian resident to make a claim for the Age Pension in Australia and that if you are currently living overseas you have to return to Australia to claim the Age Pension. Yet under the social security agreement between Australia and Poland it states that you can lodge a claim for the Australian Age Pension in either country. Which one is correct?

A. There are exceptions to claiming the pension while living overseas, depending on the various social security arrangements that Australia has with other countries.

International Social Security Agreements are in place to assist people who migrate between countries that have an agreement in place 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.

Currently, Australia has agreements with the following countries:

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

You can find all the relevant detail on those social security agreements on the Services Australia website.

Under the social security arrangement between Australia and Poland, Australia will treat someone who is resident in Poland as being a resident of Australia and present in Australia, so that the person can lodge a claim for the Australian Age Pension.

Australia will also add a claimant’s periods of insurance in Poland to his or her Australian residence so that the person can meet the minimum residence qualifications to get an Australian Age Pension and guarantees to pay the Age Pension indefinitely in Poland, provided that the person remains otherwise entitled to receive it.

If you get an Australian pension and you reside permanently in Poland, the Department of Human Services will pay it into your nominated Polish bank account every four weeks. Payments to customers in Poland are in Polish zloty.

Would you retire to another country if you were able to continue to receive the Age Pension? Which country would you retire to?

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Total Comments: 16
  1. 0

    I note that the list of countries does not include the Philippines, does that mean I will NOT get my pension if I move there to live permanently. A.B.Bruce—[email protected].

    • 0

      It means you must be in Australia to make the initial claim unlike those in the listed countries. Then you would be subject to any other rules that apply when living overseas e.g. maximum amount of time allowed out of Australia, no entitlement to claim ‘extras’, etc. You need to get some proper advice from Centrelink before making any moves

    • 0

      You lose the medication allowance I think it is plus the energy allowance. If you have a girlfriend you live with or wife then you must advise them because of the extra income assuming she is working. I contacted them and when I marry my girlfriend (or live with her) I have to advise them and actually lose a bit more of the pension which seems a bit backward to me. The biggest problem is to contact them. You can only phone them which is expensive when you spend up to an hour on hold and then when they finally answer they will phone you back. Speak to them before leaving is a must.

    • 0

      just done 2years ago. step 1 you must be a permenet resident in australia 2 years prier to applying at the required age 65 to 70. cannot leave until 1 day after you get pension. you will get the basic pension NO EXTRAS . i live in thailand and get $1769 per month.

    • 0

      DO NOT TELL CL that you have a live in girl fiend , they will class her as a spouse, and you will loose $200 a month. all overseas pensions are run from tassie.

    • 0

      look for a app called REBTEL i pay $5.00 us a month to call austraila unlimited hours, well worth the money

  2. 1

    Not a very informative reply at all. Ok maybe if you are in one of the countries that Australia has an agreement with but what about all the other 160 plus countries. Notice that the UK isn’t on the list, the agreement ended in 2001.
    But totally uninformative to people who are maybe living in any of the other 160 plus counties.
    The title should also be updated to “How do I claim my pension when living in Poland”

  3. 0

    Anthony, I live in Thailand and I receive the aged pension paid every 4 weeks into my Thai bank account. The only thing is that you must reside in Australia at the time of application and then notify them before you leave Australia to live in the Phillipines or you will be limited to the 4 weeks overseas rule.

    • 0

      Interesting Russell as I was just told by them that they will not pay into an overseas bank account because of the exchange rates and the fees to transfer to an overseas account. I wonder what others have been told??

  4. 0

    While the UK does not have a current agreement with Australia if you worked in the UK
    you will have to claim your English pension before you can claim an Australian pension.
    Good luck with that as you have to have an English residential address to claim your
    UK pension or try calling them Hahaha,same as here after a couple of hours holding on
    you might get through and possibly get some assistance.

    • 1

      Actually I have found them really quite efficient at responding. I have communiated with tthem both by phone and by email and been able to get answers quickly. The biggest issue is the time difference as you need to work out what the day and time is there then time your contact accordingly. I am still contributing to the UK pension scheme and will be for at least another 2 years and there is no problem with that either.

    • 0

      You DO NOT need a UK address to claim your UK pension. It helps if you know your NI number so they can find you in the system. I had no problems claiming a UK pension, albeit very small, as I did not live and work in the UK for very long. But the process was quick and easy and a million times easier to deal with than Centrelink for my Australian pension.

  5. 0

    Make sure you understand how Centrelink will calculate your pension to be paid overseas. You may get a reduced rate depending on how long you have lived in Australia. Centrelink’s overseas service (available to you once your pension has been granted and you are living overseas) is very helpful, efficient and fast.

  6. 0

    As normal the goverment the LNP will make it hard for a blue collard worker I can remember when these laws got passed and it was the cross benchers got it passed and idiots still vote these A,,holes in

  7. 0

    I was just wondering if I became a member of the Liberal or National party would I get preference if I moved into an area where they hold the seat I would think so

  8. 0

    For Country John How we’ll pay you
    If your payments can continue while you’re outside Australia and you intend to be away for:

    less than 12 months, we’ll continue to pay your payment into your Australian bank account every 2 weeks
    more than 12 months, we’ll pay you every 4 weeks into your Australian or overseas bank account.



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