Pension rates payable outside Australia

We’ll pay your pension differently if you live outside Australia permanently or are outside Australia on a long term basis.

The deeming rates we use to assess your income are being lowered. Read more about changes to the deeming rates.

These figures are a guide only and are effective from 1 July 2019 unless otherwise stated.

Pension rates while outside Australia

Rates 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 21,933.60 33,066.80 16,533.40 21,933.60
Basic Pension Supplement rate 618.80 1,019.20 509.60 618.80
Total 22,552.40 34,086.00 17,043.00 22,552.40

Allowable income while outside Australia

Allowable income for A$ amount per year single A$ amount per year combined couple both eligible A$ amount per year combined couple one eligible partner A$ amount per year combined couple separated due to ill health
Full pension up to
4,524
up to
8,008
up to
8,008
up to
8,008
Part pension less than
49,628
less than
76,180
less than
76,180
less than
98,217.60

Allowable assets while outside Australia

Allowable assets for A$ amount per year single A$ amount per year combined couple both eligible A$ amount per year  combined couple one eligible partner A$ amount per year  combined couple separated due to ill health
Full pension - homeowner 263,250 up to
394,500
up to
394,500
up to
394,500
Full pension - non-homeowner up to
473,750
up to
605,000
up to
605,000
up to
605,000
Part pension - homeowner less than
552,500
less than
831,500
less than
831,500
less than
973,000
Part pension - non-homeowner less than
763,000
less than
1,042,000
less than
1,042,000
less than
1,183,500

Deeming rates and thresholds while outside Australia

Deeming is a set of rules used to work out the income created from your financial assets. It assumes these assets earn a set rate of income, no matter what they really earn.

Deeming rates and thresholds A$ amount 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
Threshold 51,800 86,200 86,200 86,200
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. There are special rules for other types of income. Read more about what we regard as income and assets for the purpose of calculating your rate of pension.

There’s no income or assets test if you’re permanently blind.

Reduced rate

You may get a reduced rate of pension based on how long you were an Australian resident.

Transitional rate

Transitional rules ensured pensioners weren’t worse off after the introduction of the 20 September 2009 pension Income Test. People getting a pension on 19 September 2009 will get the transitional rate until it’s no longer higher that the current income tested rate.

You’re not eligible for the Work Bonus if you get the transitional rate.

Work Bonus

The Work Bonus applies if you’re Age Pension age. It allows you to earn up to $250 every 2 weeks without it affecting your pension.

If you earn less than $250, you can build up an employment income bank with unused amounts. We then offset these credits in future fortnights if you earn more than $250. The maximum Work Bonus you can accrue is currently $6,500.

You can’t get Work Bonus if you get Parenting Payment single.

Read more about Work Bonus.

How we make payments

We make payments to you outside Australia by direct deposit. In exceptional circumstances we may pay you 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. Your payment will be available within 6 days of issue.

If you don’t get your payment within 10 days, contact your bank. If your bank can’t help you, contact us.

If we’re paying into an Australian bank account, we’ll pay you in Australian dollars.

If we’re paying into a bank account outside Australia, we’ll pay you in local currency or US dollars. This will depend on what country you’re living in.

You'll need to complete an International bank account form for any banks outside Australia.

Cheque payments

Cheques will be in local currency or in US dollars. This will depend on the country you’re living in.

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, we can cancel it 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, it’ll need to clear before you can access the funds.

This could take:

  • around 2 weeks if the cheque is in local currency
  • up to 4 weeks for US dollar cheques.

In most countries we can pay pensions directly into bank accounts. We prefer this method of payment, as it is safe, quick and reliable.

Payment calendar

If you live or travel outside Australia long term you’ll get regular payments every 4 weeks.

March 2019 to March 2020 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:
14 March 2019 20 March 2019 3 April 2019 14 February to 13 March 2019
11 April 2019 17 April 2019 1 May 2019 14 March to 10 April 2019
9 May 2019 15 May 2019 29 May 2019 11 April to 8 May 2019
5 June 2019* 11 June 2019 25 June 2019 9 May to 5 June 2019
4 July 2019 10 July 2019 24 July 2019 6 June to 3 July 2019
1 August 2019 7 August 2019 21 August 2019 4 July to 31 July 2019
29 August 2019 4 September 2019 18 September 2019 1 August to 28 August 2019
26 September 2019 2 October 2019 16 October 2019 29 August to 25 September 2019
24 October 2019 30 October 2019 13 November 2019 26 September to 23 October 2019
21 November 2019 27 November 2019 11 December 2019 24 October to 20 November 2019
12 December 2019* 18 December 2019 1 January 2020 21 November to 18 December 2019
16 January 2020 22 January 2020 5 February 2020 19 December 2019 to 15 January 2020
13 February 2020 19 February 2020 4 March 2020 16 January to 12 February 2020

*We've brought forward the payment date due to an Australian Public holiday.

Keep in mind, if you’re paid by cheque, there may be mail delays over peak holiday periods.

Page last updated: 15 July 2019

Was this page useful?
Why?
Why not?

Thank you for your feedback.