International social security agreements

Arrangements between Australia and other countries for social security payments.

Eligibility basics

  • meet the minimum time periods
  • lived and worked in both countries

How agreements help you

Agreements may help you to:

  • claim payments in Australia or the other country, and
  • meet the minimum periods you need to get paid

Claiming payments

You usually need to be living in Australia to claim an Australian payment.

Agreements may let you claim Australian payments when you are living in the other country. Agreements may also help you to claim payments from the other country when you live in Australia.

Minimum periods

Most payments have a minimum period to qualify, for example 10 years Australian residence for Age Pension. If you don’t have 10 years, agreements may let you use insurance periods in the other country to still get paid.

For example, if you have lived in Australia for 7 years, agreements may let you add 3 years of insurance in the other country and get Age Pension.

Insurance usually means money you paid into the social security scheme when working in the other country (like superannuation in Australia). It may also mean periods when you were living in that country.

What payments are covered

Agreements cover some payments from Australia and the other country. Read more about our agreement countries and what they cover.

Australian payments

Agreements may cover some Australian payments, including:

Payments from other countries

Agreements may cover some payments from other countries, including:

  • old age or retirement pensions
  • invalidity or disability pensions
  • survivor pensions for widows, widowers or orphans

How much you can get

You usually get a part pension from each country. The amount you get from each country depends on where you are living and how long you have lived or worked in each country.

If you get an Australian payment, your income and assets affect the amount you get. Read more about pension rates payable to people outside Australia.

How you can claim

Claiming Australian payments

In Australia

If you are in Australia, you can claim online.

Start your claim online

To make a claim online you need a Centrelink online account linked to myGov.

I have a myGov account linked to Centrelink

Sign in to myGov to start your claim.

Sign in with myGov

I have a myGov account, but it’s not linked to Centrelink

Sign in to myGov and select Services. For help, read our online guides to link Centrelink to your myGov account.

I don’t have a Centrelink online account or a myGov account

If you’ve received a payment or service from us, you can use your Customer Reference Number (CRN) to get an online account. Find your CRN on a letter we’ve sent you or your Health Care Card, if you have one. Then, go to myGov to create a myGov account and use your CRN to link Centrelink.

If you don’t know your CRN or you haven't got a payment from us, go to a service centre with photo ID. Tell us you want to register for an online account.

You can then create a myGov account and link Centrelink.

In an agreement country

If you are in an agreement country, you can claim an Australian payment by:

Claiming payments from other countries

In Australia

If you are in Australia, you can claim a payment from another country by:

In another country

If you are in another country, you should call the social security authorities in that country.

Information in your language

Find information about agreements in your language.

Page last updated: 13 April 2019