How will working overseas affect your Age Pension?

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Gozitano lives in Malta with his Maltese wife. He receives an Australian Age Pension, but wants to know if he can work part-time over there. Will it affect his pension?

Q. Gozitano
I am married and living overseas (Malta). My wife gets no pension, being non Australian. I get half the married rate and am considering doing some part-time work with a local non-government organisation here.

What is the process of managing this change? I pay no tax in Malta because the Australian pension income is below the local married tax rate. It is unlikely that the total annual work income will exceed the income limit of $7800.

Thank you for any assistance.

A. Any income you earn needs to be declared to Centrelink. This includes income from investments, overseas pensions and money earned from working. Therefore, while your income from working may not exceed the annual limit of $7800, when added to any investment income and deemed income, you may actually exceed this limit.

It is, however, worth noting that income earned from working can have the Work Bonus applied. This means that the first $250 of fortnightly income will be exempt from assessment.

If your employment is seasonal or sporadic, you can ‘bank’ your Work Bonus allowance to a maximum of $6500, which can then be applied when required. This also means that if you have not worked for the whole previous year, you can earn $6500 before your Age Pension is affected.

You do not need to apply for the Work Bonus. Centrelink will automatically apply it when you report your income.

You can find out more about the Work Bonus at


Age Pension: assessed under an international agreement

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How the Work Bonus can make working part time worthwhile

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Age Pension and the Work Bonus: how does it work?

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Written by Debbie McTaggart


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