Centrelink Q&A: Does work overseas affect Age Pension?

Lynn’s partner has left Australia but can he still receive an Age Pension?

Does tutoring work affect pension?

Lynn is seeking to clarify her partner’s Age Pension entitlement now that he is working in South Africa.



Q. Lynn
My partner came to Australia at the age of 55 in 1998. He worked in part-time positions until January 2016, when he returned permanently to South Africa. He had acquired Australian citizenship and was receiving an Australian Age Pension when he left. He has returned to Australia only once since then, in June 2016. I believe he is currently working five days a week as a tutor in South Africa. Is he still entitled to an Australian pension or part-pension?

A: If your partner received an Age Pension while he was in Australia, he would be entitled to be paid this when he returned to South Africa on a pro-rata basis, depending on the number of working years he had spent in Australia. However, as the Age Pension is means-tested, the assets he holds, or the income he receives in South Africa, may mean he is no longer eligible.

It’s possible to get the Age Pension for the whole time you’re overseas, whether you have left Australia on a temporary or on a 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 a Centrelink question, send it to newsletters@yourlifechoices.com.au and we’ll do our best to answer it, or find someone who can.


    Financial disclaimer: All content on YourLifeChoices website is of a general nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It has been prepared with due care but no guarantees are provided for the ongoing accuracy or relevance. Before making a decision based on this information, you should consider its appropriateness in regard to your own circumstances. You should seek professional advice from a financial planner, lawyer or tax agent in relation to any aspects that affect your financial and legal circumstances.


    To make a comment, please register or login
    2nd Jul 2018
    One point to remember if you go overseas and stay over 6 weeks .... your pension get reduced to the basic minimum including the supplement and if you are getting the energy supplement that will stop completed.

    That will continue until you return to Australia and of course deepens on your eligibility on number of years resident in Australia and do not worry Centrelink is link to immigration's so they know within seconds when you arrive and when you leave so be aware of your rights before you made a decision to go overseas

    So if you go overseas you need to consult Centrelink to ensure what are your rights and the payment entitlements that way you can stay overseas in peace knowing all details.

    you can find all details here ... and very clear .... the values are x year so if you divide by 26 will give you the fortnight payments.


    Also note that that is all you get .... all other goodies will stop after 6 weeks like medicare and many other free services have a look here the services that will stop after 6 weeks .....

    Here is the main site but from there they are many pages of info ..... there are so many services you will not get if go overseas .....those services need to be pay by yourself in overseas medical centers or other places .....

    2nd Jul 2018
    I'll put money on the fact this person is probably NOT telling Centrelink he is working at all!

    And if he did, it probably would (or should) affect his receipt of the age pension - which is probably why he hasn't 'fessed-up already!
    2nd Jul 2018
    Do not worry KSS if he/she declare their earnings centrelink will act immediately also by been overseas all pension is cut to minimum anyway working or not working.

    Also after 6 weeks the pension will stop if the person do not have live in AU for required years .... they may get away for small time but CL will find what they doing ...... there are international network links all over the world and immigration's and centrelink are linked .... so they will not escape the penalties ..... is Ok KSS no worries.

    For example Bali, Thailand and Vietnam are linked with AU immigration's so they know where UR and what U doing anyway .... these are the countries I know but I am sure that many other in the world are also linked to Australia
    2nd Jul 2018
    Differs from place to place, Aussie. Come off the phone with a former neighbor of mine here in Oz who lives in the US permanently now. He never even had to sign a life certificate from here like I have to for Europe, once a year, to show I am still above ground. He never had a means test either but he's too old to work anyway. He is a dual citizen and they have a social security agreement with the US but that seems to be OK. He gets more from the Oz pension than I get and I live here. But I do get by and do quite alright.
    2nd Jul 2018
    How pleasant it is to read your last sentence Cowboy Jim. A refreshing change from others doldrums. I wish you well.
    3rd Jul 2018
    Yes agree MD it was a nice comment. So long as we have food on the table, can pay our bills, we are okay. Good on Cowboy Jim and you as well to praise it. Overall, it is a lucky country and we should be happy. So many people in the world have nothing and are suffering terribly!

    2nd Jul 2018
    Sounds like an angry vindictive ex wanting to dob him in
    3rd Jul 2018
    i notice your mysogeny trumped your pension opposition LOL
    It must have been a hard choice for you.
    3rd Jul 2018
    Top up your pommie one they don't care what money you've got
    3rd Jul 2018
    Nope wont affect me

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