The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia.

1.1.A.340 Australian working life residence (AWLR)


This definition applies to the following payments:

  • age pension
  • wife pension
  • widow B pension
  • parenting payment (single)
  • disability support pension, and
  • carer payment.

Note: From 20 March 2020, JSP was introduced. WP and WidB ceased and eligible recipients were transferred to an alternative payment (such as Age or CP), depending on their circumstances. A person's payment rate is not affected by the changes.


AWLR refers to any and all periods from the age of 16 to age pension age when a person was an Australian resident.

It is a measure of a person's potential working life and does not mean that a person had to have worked or paid taxes.

Act reference: SSAct section 7(2) An Australian resident is …, section 1221-B2 Australian working life residence (general)

Calculating AWLR

A person's AWLR is used to calculate the rate of proportional pension. The AWLR used in a proportional portability (1.1.P.310) rate calculation is the number of whole months of working life residence, PLUS 1. The extra month is added once only, after totalling all working life residence including broken periods of months and days. When adding days, 30 days are equal to 1 whole month.

Example: Female born 4 June 1922.

Periods of Residence Age AWLR
4.6.22 - 3.6.42 16 years on 4.6.38 4 years
2.5.65 - 8.4.72   6 years, 11 months, 6 days
5.2.81 - 17.8.91 60 years on 4.6.82 1 year, 3 months, 30 days
Total working life residence = 11 years, 14 months, 36 days
= 11 years, 15 months, 6 days
= 147 months + 1 month
= 148 months

Last reviewed: