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.

Changes have been proposed to the amount of time Pension Supplement is paid to recipients living or travelling outside of Australia. These changes are subject to the passage of legislation. Read more about how changes to the Pension Supplement may affect you.

What are the pension rates and thresholds while outside Australia

We assess the rates and thresholds in January, March, July and September each year.

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

These Australian dollar (A$) figures are a guide only. They are effective from 20 September 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 21,164.00 31,907.20 15,953.60 21,164.00
Basic Pension Supplement 600.60 988.00 494.00 600.60
Total 21,764.60 32,895.20 16,447.60 21,764.60

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
47,897.20
less than
73,590.40
less than
73,590.40
less than
94,858.40

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
533,000
less than
802,500
less than
802,500
less than
939,000
Part pension - non-homeowner less than
736,000
less than
1,005,500
less than
1,005,500
less than
1,142,000

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 your rate of payment

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

You can earn A$250 from work every 2 weeks if you’re over age pension age without reducing your pension, unless you get Parenting Payment Single.

If you earn less than A$250 in 2 weeks, we will reduce your employment income to zero and add any remaining money to your unused Work Bonus balance. We’ll stop adding money to this balance once it reaches 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.

Read more about Work Bonus.

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. If you are being paid into an Australian bank account, we will pay in Australian dollars.

If you are being paid in a bank account outside of Australia, we will make your payment in local currency or US dollars, depending on what country you are living in. Find the right International bank account form for your country.

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 out of 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 we cancel it, don’t cash it or put it into your account. If you do, your bank may charge you a fee.

Banking 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.

September 2017 to May 2018 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:
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
18 Jan 2018 24 Jan 2018 7 Feb 2018 21 Dec to 17 Jan 2018
15 Feb 2018 21 Feb 2018 7 Mar 2018 18 Jan to 14 Feb 2018
15 Mar 2018 21 Mar 2018 4 Apr 2018 15 Feb to 14 Mar 2018
12 Apr 2018 18 Apr 2018 4 May 2018 15 Mar to 11 Apr 2018
10 May 2018 16 May 2018 30 May 2018 12 Apr to 9 May 2018

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

Page last updated: 21 November 2017