International Services

We can help you receive Australian social security payments while you’re overseas, and can help you claim a foreign pension.

How we can help

We can:

  • tell you if you may be able to get an Australian pension under an agreement we have with another country
  • help you claim a pension from another country while you live in Australia


We have:

  • staff you can speak to in a range of languages
  • interpreters you can use

Contact us

If you’re in Australia, call our International Services line.

If you’re outside Australia:

Social security agreements

We have these agreements with many countries. They help people who would be eligible for a pension:

  • in another country but now live here, or
  • here but now live in another country

Read about international agreements.

Australian pensions

You may be able to claim a pension from us if you’ve:

  • lived in Australia but now live in an agreement country
  • worked in an agreement country but now live in Australia, even if you aren’t eligible under the normal rules

Overseas pensions

We can help you claim a pension from any agreement country while you’re living in Australia.

We can:

  • send claim forms to you
  • tell you how the claim process works in that country
  • tell you which documents you’ll need
  • help you give all the details you need to make your claim go through as quickly as possible

We can also advise on how to claim a pension from a country that doesn’t have an agreement with Australia.

Exchange rates

Your income and assets can change the amount of payment you get from us.

If you have assets in or get income from another country, we work out their value in Australian dollars for our income test and assets test.

Rates we use

Normally the exchange rate we use is:

  • a buying rate from the Commonwealth Bank
  • available 5 working days before the 1st of each month

For some currencies we get the rates from other banks.

We update the exchange rates we use on the 1st working day of each month.

For family assistance payments we treat overseas income differently.

Read about foreign income if you get family assistance.

Check your exchange rate

To check the rate we’re using for your income or assets, call our foreign exchange line:

  • at any time for self service to find out about major currencies for the current and previous month
  • from 8 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday to ask about less common currencies or rates not available via self service - you can speak to us in your choice of language

In February each year we send you a letter that shows the exchange rates we used for the past 12 months. This letter is for your information only - you don’t need to respond to us.

Asking us to reassess

You can ask us to review an exchange rate if there’s more than 5% difference between:

  • the rate we used, and
  • the actual rate an organisation or bank used to change your income or assets into Australian dollars

You need to show us proof of that rate.

If your income or assets change because of exchange rates

You need to tell us if your income or assets change. You don’t need to do this if they change in value just because of a change in the exchange rate.

Travel overseas

If you travel outside Australia it may affect your payment from us.

Read about payments from us if you go overseas.

Page last updated: 12 May 2018

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