10.1.9.30 Working Life Residence for Agreement Payments

Working life residence

Working life residence is important in the calculation of agreement pensions that are paid outside Australia. For most agreements, their rate is calculated on a proportional basis with a maximum of 420 months (35 years).

Example: If a person has 180 months (15 years) of working life residence in Australia, they may receive 180/420th (15/35th) of the rate of Australian pension that would have been payable if they had accumulated 420 months or more.

Using a partner AWLR

From 1 July 2014, a person receiving an agreement Age, DSP, WP or CP pension (with the exception of New Zealand Agreement CP) will have their pension calculated on the basis of their own individual AWLR, rather than utilising their partner's or former partner's AWLR, which may be longer.

Pensioners already in receipt of an agreement pension and overseas at 1 July 2014 will not have their pension calculation changed from using a maximum AWLR of 25 years (300 months) unless they return to Australia for at least 26 weeks. A person already in receipt of WP or CP can move to the new assessment if it will result in a higher rate of payment.

A person who gets an agreement pension as a de jure widow or widower will continue to have the benefit of using their late partner's period of AWLR if it is longer than their AWLR.

There are savings provisions for existing pension recipients.

Act reference: SS(IntAgree)Act Part 3 Division 2 Australian working life residence

Policy reference: SS Guide 7.1.1.10 Overview of portability legislation

Last reviewed: 16 May 2016