When you leave Australia you can be paid your Age Pension indefinitely, although your rate of payment may change after 26 weeks. Your rate of payment is based on the amount of time you have lived in Australia as an Australian resident between the age of 16 and Age Pension age.
From 1 July 2014, the way in which this calculation is made will change. Currently, if you have lived in Australia as an Australian resident for a full 25 years then you will receive your full rate of Age Pension. If you have lived in Australia for less than 25 years, then your pension will be pro rata after 26 weeks outside Australia. This will continue if you leave Australia before 1 July 2014 and if you are out of the country on this date. For those who leave Australia on or after 1 July 2015, you will need to have lived in Australia as an Australian resident for 35 years to receive a full Age Pension, If not, your pension will be paid pro rata after 26 weeks.
If you have lived in Australia as an Australian resident for 18 years after turning 16, meet all the Age Pension eligibility criteria and decide to move overseas, then you will receive 18/25ths of the full rate of Age Pension, or 72 per cent, after 26 weeks absence.
If you leave after 1 July 2014, you will receive 18/35ths of the full rate of Age Pension – 51.4 per cent, after 26 weeks.
Pensions paid under a social security agreement will be subject to rules covered by that agreement and under most, this means your payment will reduce.
If you are travelling to New Zealand there are specific rules which cover the rate of pension which will be paid.
For more information, you should contact Human Services on 13 2300, or visit Humanservices.gov.au.