Pension rates payable to people outside Australia

We’ll pay your pension differently if you live outside Australia permanently or are absent from Australia on a long term basis.

Outside Australia pension rates and thresholds

We assess outside Australia pension rates and thresholds in January, March, July and September each year.

These rates apply, if you’re permanently outside Australia or absent from Australia for longer than 6 weeks.

These Australian dollar (A$) figures are a guide only and are effective from 1 July 2017 unless otherwise stated.

Pension rates and thresholds while outside Australia

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 21,015.80 31,683.60 15,841.80 21,015.80
Basic Pension Supplement 598.00 982.80 491.40 598.00
Total 21,613.80 32,666.40 16,333.20 21,613.80

Allowable income while outside Australia

Allowable income for 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
4,368.00
up to
7,800.00
up to
7,800.00
up to
7,800.00
Part pension less than
47,595.60
less than
73,132.80
less than
73,132.80
less than
94,255.20

Allowable assets while outside Australia

Allowable assets for 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 253,750 380,500 380,500
 
380,500
 
Full pension - non-homeowner 456,750 583,500 583,500 583,500
Part pension - homeowner less than
531,000
less than
799,500
less than
799,500
less than
935,000
Part pension - non-homeowner less than
734,000
less than
1,002,500
less than
1,002,500
less than
1,138,000

Deeming rates and thresholds while outside Australia

Deeming rates and thresholds 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 50,200 83,400 83,400 83,400
Rate below threshold 1.75% 1.75% 1.75% 1.75%
Rate above threshold 3.25% 3.25% 3.25% 3.25%

How we calculate

We calculate the rate of payment under both the income and assets tests. We apply the test that results in the lower rate or nil rate. We deem some assets to earn income and there are special rules for other types of income. There is no income or assets test if you’re permanently blind. Read more about what we regard as income and assets for the purpose of calculating the rate of pension payable to you.

We reduce the single and couple combined rates by A$3 per 2 weeks for every A$1,000 of additional assets above the allowable assets limit. We don’t include certain assets in the assets test.

Transitional rate

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

Reduced rate

You may get a reduced rate of pension based on how long you were an Australian resident.

Work Bonus

Each 2 weeks, the Work Bonus disregards up to A$250 of employment income earned by eligible pensioners over age pension age unless you get 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. We’ll pay the transitional rate whenever it pays the higher rate.

How we make payments

Payments outside Australia are normally made by direct deposit. In exceptional circumstances you may be able to be paid by cheque.

Direct deposit payments

We can put your payment straight into your bank account. This can be a bank account held in or outside Australia. Amounts deposited will be available within 2 to 6 days after issue. If you don’t get your payment within 10 days of us issuing it, contact your local bank before notifying us. We’ll make your payment in local currency or in US dollars depending on the country you are living in.

Cheque payments

Cheques will be in local currency for most countries, or in US dollars. You should get it in the post 14 to 20 days after we issue it. We use international and local mail systems to send your cheque. Delays due to the mail system are beyond our control.

If you don’t get your cheque within 20 days of us issuing it, we can cancel the cheque and send a new one. You’ll need to allow time for the new cheque to arrive.

If a cheque arrives after it has been cancelled, don’t cash it or put it into your account. If you do your bank may charge you a fee.

When you bank your cheque

When you deposit your cheque into your bank account it’ll need to clear before you can access the funds. This could take around 2 weeks if the cheque is in local currency, or 4 weeks for US dollar cheques.

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

Payment calendar

If you are outside Australia on a long term absence or live in another country, you’ll get 13 regular 4 weekly payments of your pension each year.

March 2017 to December 2017 payments schedule

We'll issue your payment on: You'll get your direct deposit payment by: You'll get your cheque payment by: Payment covers the period:
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 April 2017
11 May 2017 17 May 2017 31 May 2017 13 Apr to 10 May 2017
7 Jun 2017 13 Jun 2017 27 Jun 2017 11 May to 7 Jun 2017
6 Jul 2017 12 Jul 2017 26 Jul 2017 8 Jun to 5 Jul 2017
2 Aug 2017 8 Aug 2017 22 Aug 2017 6 Jul to 2 Aug 2017
31 Aug 2017 6 Sep 2017 20 Sep 2017 3 Aug to 30 Aug 2017
27 Sep 2017 3 Oct 2017 17 Oct 2017 31 Aug to 27 Sep 2017
26 Oct 2017 1 Nov 2017 15 Nov 2017 28 Sep to 25 Oct 2017
23 Nov 2017 29 Nov 2017 13 Dec 2017 26 Oct to 22 Nov 2017
14 Dec 2017 20 Dec 2017 3 Jan 2018 23 Nov to 20 Dec 2017

If you get your payment by cheque, delivery may be later over peak holiday periods due to delays in mail at this time.

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Page last updated: 5 July 2017