How you can claim your Age Pension from overseas

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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Written by Ben

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