International Services

Helps you claim foreign pensions and receive your Australian social security payments while outside Australia.

About International Services

International Services can:

  • tell you whether an international social security agreement between Australia and another country may be able to help you get an Australian pension, and
  • assist with non-Australian pension claims submitted in Australia - if we can't help you claim your pension from another country, we can tell you who can

International Services has staff available who can speak a range of languages, but you may wish to use our Interpreter Services.

If you are in Australia you can call International Services on 131 673. If you are outside Australia, you can call one of our International phone numbers or write, email or fax us.

Customers travelling outside Australia

Travelling outside Australia may affect your payment from us. Read more about Australians Overseas.

Claiming Australian pensions

If you have lived in Australia but now live in an agreement country, you can still claim an Australian pension. Equally, if you used to live or work in an agreement country but have since moved to Australia, you can claim an Australian pension even if you haven't lived here long enough to qualify under Australian laws.

Under an international social security agreement, each country generally contributes an amount to your retirement income. For most countries this is measured by the period for which you have contributed to that country's social security scheme. For Australia, it is based on your residence in Australia and your income and assets.

Australia has social security agreements with many countries. Read more about our International Social Security Agreements.

Claiming non-Australian pensions

If you are in Australia, International Services can help you with claims for pensions from all agreement countries. International Services can provide claim forms and tell you how the claim process works for each country and what documents will be required. For many pension claims, International Services will help you make sure that all the required information has been provided so that your claim can be processed as quickly as possible.

Australia has social security agreements with many countries. Read more about our International Social Security Agreements.

International Services can also give you advice and information about claiming a pension from a country that does not have an agreement with Australia.

Non-Australian income exchange rates

Your income and assets can affect how much payment you receive from us. We convert the value of your non-Australian income and assets into Australian dollars to apply the income and assets test. This is required under social security law and ensures all customers are treated consistently whether located in or out of Australia.

The exchange rate we use is generally one of the Commonwealth Bank’s buying rates available on the fifth business day before the first of each month. The exchange rates for some currencies are obtained from other banks.

The exchange rates we use to convert your non-Australian income and assets into Australian dollars are updated on the first business day of each month.

If you want to find out what exchange rate we are using to convert your non-Australian income and assets into Australian dollars, you can call our 24 hour information service on Freecall 1800 050 041. Follow the prompts to find out the exchange rates we have used for the major currencies for the current and previous month.

You can speak with a Service Officer between 8 am and 5 pm, Monday to Friday, to find out about exchange rates for other currencies that are not available through the automated service, or to find out what exchange rate was used to pay your Australian pension to a bank account outside Australia. You can speak to us in English or in your preferred language.

If you have non-Australian income and assets, you will be sent a letter in February each year showing the exchange rates used for the previous 12 months. This letter is for your information only - you do not need to respond to us.

You may ask for a reassessment

If there is more than a 5% difference between the exchange rate we used, and the rate actually used to convert your non-Australian income and assets into Australian dollars, you can ask for a reassessment. To do this, you need to show us evidence of the actual exchange rate used.

If the amount of non-Australian income you receive has changed due to the exchange rate, you do not need to tell us. You only need to tell us if your non-Australian amount changes.

Page last updated: 5 February 2016