10.1.10.10 Principles of Paying Agreement Pensions Overseas

Overseas payments

It is essential to consult individual agreement chapters for details about how each agreement affects the portability of the Australian payments covered by that agreement.

Portability of autonomous payments is covered in 7.1.

If an autonomous pension ceases to be payable after a certain period of time, the pensioner may be able to maintain qualification and portability of payment by transferring to an agreement pension. The pension then becomes subject to the rate calculation rules set down in the relevant agreement.

Although no claim form is required, the claim requirements under the relevant agreement must be met for a transfer to take effect. Most agreements require a person to be resident and present in either Australia or the agreement country. Claimants must certify their location in an agreement country and a residence determination also needs to be made.

Note: Where a person loses qualification for their autonomous pension, they may also need to qualify under the relevant agreement including totalisation. For example, refugees departing Australia permanently who lose their qualifying residence exemption.

Generally, when an agreement covers a particular Australian payment that payment will usually be portable indefinitely to that agreement country. If the person leaves the agreement country for a third country, payments may stop or time restrictions may apply similar to those that apply when a person leaves Australia.

Last reviewed: 2 January 2019