We’ll pay your pension differently if you live outside Australia permanently or are absent from Australia on a long term basis.
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|
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
|Part pension||less than
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
|Part pension - non-homeowner||less than
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|
|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.
You may get a transitional rate of pension based on the pre 20 September 2009 income test rules and payment rates.
You may get a reduced rate of pension based on how long you were an Australian resident.
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.
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.
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.