Post departure reviews of portable payments


This topic includes the following reviews:

  • temporary increase in income or assets (1.1.A.290)
  • AWLR review on each anniversary of departure, and
  • review for cessation of Australian resident status.

Act reference: SSAct section 8(1)-'income'

General provisions

Payments paid overseas are subject to the same review requirements as payments paid in Australia. Reviews may include:

  • income and asset reviews
  • medical reviews
  • 13 week reviews for SpB, SA etc.

Reviews for NSA and YA will generally not be required because the recipient will be exempt from the activity test (for the same reasons as they were allowed to be overseas) while absent. For short-term absences reviews due are to be either completed before departure or postponed if possible until return to Australia.

Policy reference: SS Guide Part 6 Reviews, debts & payment recovery

Temporary increase in income or assets

If a recipient receiving a portable payment experiences an increase in income or assets which is sufficient to stop their payment entitlement, payments may be SUSPENDED, rather than cancelled, until the circumstances of the increase have been investigated fully. If the increase in income or assets is expected to be temporary, it is appropriate to keep a suspension determination in place for up to 12 months if the recipient cannot be regranted the payment while outside Australia.

Explanation: In Australia, a pension is usually cancelled if a recipient's income or assets exceeds the upper limit for payability under the income or assets tests. If the recipient's income or assets subsequently fall below the allowable limit, this will allow for reclaim and the pension can be granted again. An overseas recipient cannot be regranted an Australian pension until they:

  • return to Australia and become an Australian resident, or
  • take up permanent residence in a country where an agreement allows claim lodgement.

Act reference: SSAct section 7(2) An Australian resident is a person who …

AWLR review on each anniversary of departure

If the recipient is still regarded as an Australian resident during the absence and has not yet reached age pension age, their AWLR will continue to accumulate during their absence. In such cases, the proportional portability rate must be reviewed on successive anniversaries of the date of departure, unless and until the person has 420 months AWLR (excluding under a social security agreement with Greece and New Zealand where the period is as specified in the respective agreements). Reviews will result in rate increases.

Act reference: SSAct section 23(5A) to section 23(5D) Pension age

Review for cessation of Australian resident status

If a person departed temporarily, 3 years after their departure a review should be conducted to determine if they should still be considered an Australian resident.

Act reference: SSAct section 7(1) Australian residence definitions, section 7(3) In deciding for the purposes of this Act whether or not …

Last reviewed: 12 August 2019