Going overseas? Don't forget to tell Centrelink

Retired couple exploring Spain

Many people look forward to the opportunity to enjoy their retirement by travelling overseas. For some, it means they plan to live overseas on a permanent basis so they can take advantage of lower living costs while for others it may mean reuniting with relatives who live overseas.

Whatever your plans, it helps to know that travelling overseas beyond a certain length of time can have a negative impact on your Centrelink entitlements. As the rules can be complex, it’s important to be aware of them so you can plan your cash flow needs and avoid unpleasant surprises that may spoil your time away.

Pension

Pension+

Energy supplement

CSHC

Age pension

Pension supplement

Energy supplement

Pensioner concession card

Low income health care card

Commonwealth Seniors Health Card

After six weeks, maximum payment is reduced to overseas rates.

After 26 weeks, your age pension may be reduced by more if the time you have lived in Australia between age 16 and age pension age is less than 35 years.

After six weeks of a temporary departure from Australia, your age pension supplement will also be reduced.

If you depart Australia permanently the Pension supplement is stopped.

After six weeks, you will no longer qualify for these benefits

After 19 weeks your card will be cancelled

 

If you retire permanently abroad, any social security cards you are entitled to will be cancelled when you leave and your payment rate will be reduced from the date that you are considered to no longer be a resident of Australia for social security purposes.

If you receive social security payments under an international social security agreement, the above rules may not apply. This is because each agreement details how the payment rate is calculated, which may be different to the general rules.