Pension rates payable to people outside Australia

Pensions are paid differently if you live outside Australia permanently or are absent from Australia on a long term basis.

Outside Australia pension rates and thresholds

Outside Australia pension rates and thresholds are re-assessed in January, March, July and September each year.

These rates apply to customers who are permanently outside Australia or absent from Australia for longer than 6 weeks.

Rates and thresholds

These Australian dollar (A$) figures are a guide only and are effective from 20 September 2016 unless otherwise stated.

Outside Australia - Pension Rates and Thresholds
How much pension while outside Australia A$ amount per year single A$ amount per year couple both eligible A$ amount per year couple one eligible partner A$ amount per year couple separated due to ill health
Maximum basic rate 20,754.40 31,278.00 15,639.00 20,745.40
Basic Pension Supplement 590.20 972.40 486.20 590.20
Total 21,335.60 32,250.40 16,125.20 21,335.60
Allowable income while outside Australia A$ amount per year single A$ amount combined couple both eligible A$ amount combined couple one eligible partner A$ amount combined couple separated due to ill health
Full pension up to
4,264.00
up to
7,592.00
up to
7,592.00
up to
7,592.00
Part pension less than
46,935.20
less than
72,092.80
less than
72,092.80
less than
92,934.40
Allowable assets while outside Australia A$ amount per year single A$ amount combined couple both eligible A$ amount combined couple one eligible partner A$ amount combined couple separated due to ill health
Full pension - homeowner 209,000 296,500 296,500 296,500
Full pension - non-homeowner 360,500 448,000 448,000 448,000
Part pension - homeowner less than
756,250
less than
1,123,500
less than
1,123,500
less than
1,391,000
Part pension - non-homeowner less than
907,750.00
less than
1,275,000
less than
1,275,000
less than
1,542,500
Deeming rates and thresholds while outside Australia A$ amount single A$ amount combined couple both eligible A$ amount combined couple one eligible partner A$ amount combined couple separated due to ill health
Threshold 49,200 81,600 81,600 81,600
Rate below threshold 1.75% 1.75% 1.75% 1.75%
Rate above threshold 3.25% 3.25% 3.25% 3.25%

The rate of payment is calculated under both the income and assets tests. The test that results in the lower rate or nil rate is applied. Some assets are deemed to earn income and there are special rules for other types of income. There is no income or assets test for customers who are permanently blind. Read more about what is regarded as income and assets for the purpose of calculating the rate of pension payable to you.

Some customers may receive a transitional rate of pension based on the pre 20 September 2009 income test rules and payment rates.

Some customers may receive a reduced rate of pension based on how long they were an Australian resident.

Each 2 weeks, the Work Bonus disregards up to A$250 of employment income earned by eligible pensioners over age pension age unless you receive Parenting Payment single. If your employment income is less than A$250, the unused Work Bonus is banked up to a maximum amount of A$6,500. If you are eligible for a transitional rate, we will compare the transitional rate that has no Work Bonus to the new rate which has the Work Bonus. The transitional rate is paid whenever it pays the higher rate.

Single and combined couple rates are reduced by A$1.50 per 2 weeks for every A$1,000 of additional assets above the allowable assets limit. Certain assets are not included in the assets test.

Payment calendar

If you are outside Australia on a long term absence or live in another country, you will receive 13 regular 4 weekly payments each year.

Your 4 weekly pension payments schedule from November 2016 to May 2017.

Your payment will be issued on: Direct deposit customers should receive payment by: Cheque customers should receive payment by: Payment covers the period:
24 Nov 2016 30 Nov 2016 14 Dec 2016 27 Oct to 23 Nov 2016
15 Dec 2016 21 Dec 2016 4 Jan 2017 24 Nov to 21 Dec 2016
19 Jan 2017 25 Jan 2017 8 Feb 2017 22 Dec 2016 to 18 Jan 2017
16 Feb 2017 22 Feb 2017 8 Mar 2017 19 Jan to 15 Feb 2017
16 Mar 2017 22 Mar 2017 5 Apr 2017 16 Feb to 15 Mar 2017
11 Apr 2017 17 Apr 2017 1 May 2017 16 Mar to 12 Apr 2017
11 May 2017 17 May 2017 31 May 2017 13 Apr to 10 May 2017

Cheques may be delivered later over peak holiday periods due to delays in mail at this time.

Information about payments

Direct deposit payments

Direct deposit payments can be made into bank accounts held in or outside Australia. Amounts deposited will be available within 2 to 6 days after issue. If a payment hasn’t arrived within 10 days of being issued, your local bank should be contacted before notifying us. Payments are made in local currency or in US dollars.

Cheque payments

Cheque payments should arrive 14 to 20 days after issue. They are sent in local currency for most countries, or in US dollars.

Cheques are sent through the international and local mail systems and there are often delays. These delays are beyond our control.

If a cheque has not arrived within 20 days of being issued, we can cancel the cheque and send a new one. The new cheque can also take some time to be delivered.

Cheques deposited into bank accounts will need to be cleared before funds can be accessed. Clearance delays can be around 2 weeks if the cheque is in local currency, or 4 weeks for US dollar cheques.

If a cheque arrives after it has been cancelled, it should not be cashed, or penalty bank charges may be incurred.

In most countries we can pay pensions directly into bank accounts. We encourage this method of payment, as it is safe, quick and reliable.

Page last updated: 21 September 2016