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.

If you live overseas or travel outside Australia there may be changes that can affect your Pension Supplement. Read more about Updates - Stopping the Pension Supplement (2016-17 Budget) on the Department of Social Services website.

These Australian dollar (A$) figures are a guide only. They are effective from 20 September 2018 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 21,694.40 32,708.00 16,354.00 21,694.40
Basic Pension Supplement 613.60 1,008.80 504.40 613.60
Total 22,308.00 33,716.80 16,858.40 22,308.00

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
4,472.00
up to
7,904.00
up to
7,904.00
up to
7,904.00
Part pension less than
49,088.00
less than
75,337.60
less than
75,337.60
less than
97,136.00

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 258,500 387,500 387,500 387,500
Full pension - non-homeowner 465,500 594,500 594,500 594,500
Part pension - homeowner less than
544,500.00
less than
820,000.00
less than
820,000.00
less than
959,500.00
Part pension - non-homeowner less than
751,500.00
less than
1,027,000.00
less than
1,027,000.00
less than
1,166,500.00

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 51,200 85,000 85,000 85,000
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.

July to December 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:
5 July 2018 11 July 2018 25 July 2018 7 June to 4 July 2018
1 August 2018* 7 August 2018 21 August 2018 5 July to 1 August 2018
30 August 2018 5 September 2018 19 September 2018 2 August to 29 August 2018
26 September 2018* 2 October 2018 17 October 2018 30 August to 26 September 2018
25 October 2018 31 October 2018 14 November 2018 27 September to 24 October 2018
22 November 2018 28 November 2018 12 December 2018 25 October to 21 November 2018
13 December 2018* 19 December 2018 2 January 2019 22 November to 19 December 2018

*Payment has been brought forward due to an Australian Public holiday.

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: 20 September 2018