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. Agreement Pensioner Returning to Australia

Returning to Australia

When an agreement pensioner returns to Australia on a temporary basis, they are paid the inside Australia rate (the direct deduction rate) under the relevant agreement. Some agreements have a provision that allows agreement pensioners who return to Australia for a period up to 26 weeks to continue to be paid the rate they were receiving outside Australia. Once these pensioners have been in Australia for 26 weeks they are paid the inside Australia rate.

When an agreement pensioner returns to Australia permanently, and they qualify for an Australian pension autonomously, they can transfer to the autonomous rate, however, former residence rules may apply if they leave again within 24 months.

The rate payable for any subsequent departure from Australia will be determined by the relevant agreement where the pensioner needs to use an agreement to retain their pension. This may be particularly relevant for autonomous disability support pensioners who may not meet the domestic indefinite portability requirements but qualify under an agreement for longer term portability (

Note: Former residence rules will not apply if the person was still an Australian resident during their payment of agreement pension overseas. For example, a DSP recipient who went overseas temporarily for 6 months, who transferred to an agreement pension after 4 weeks and then transferred back to an autonomous pension upon returning to Australia.

Policy reference: SS Guide Application of portability rules (portability table), Payability of DSP

Last reviewed: