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. Working life residence for agreement payments


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

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

Using a partner's AWLR

From 1 July 2014, a person receiving an agreement Age, DSP 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 CP can move to the new assessment if it will result in a higher rate of payment.

An agreement pensioner in receipt of PPS will continue to have the benefit of using their late partner's period of AWLR if it is longer than their AWLR. This also applied to WP and WidB. These payments ceased from 20 March 2020. Those agreement pensioners previously in receipt of WP or WidB who transitioned to another payment on 20 March 2020 retain this exemption.

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 Overview of portability legislation

Last reviewed: