Skip to main content

Foreign State Pensions

Expat entitlements to Foreign State Pension or Social Security Payments

State and social security pensions - such as those provided by overseas Governments, including age pensions - are not available for transfer into Australian superannuation. However, they should not be neglected by expats returning home to Australia or migrants to Australia - both of whom may have built up entitlements while working abroad. These should be viewed as valuable potential annuities and maximised wherever possible.

Determining whether you have an entitlement can be complicated and dependent on a number of factors - including whether you have met minimum residency and social security participation requirements in the country in question and if the particular country, and Australia, have concluded a bilateral International Social Security Agreement. If you have a right to receive a pension then you may also be entitled to make additional payments to increase your entitlements. This applies particularly in respect of UK pension entitlements.

If you would like us to review your State pension entitlement in the UK, or US Social Security, please make an Inquiry and we will respond accordingly. Fees will apply for any work done in assessing your entitlements, and for advice in terms of how they can be optimised. As usual, you will receive a fee quotation in advance of any work being carried out.

In terms of other (non UK or US) State pensions and social security entitlements, we have experience with a range of nationalities and social security systems, but the sheer range of countries and individual situations means that we may not be able to assist in all circumstances.

We would just make a specific comment in relation to entitlements to US Social Security. Many Australian expats are under the impression that eligibility for US social security payments is dependent on having been resident and paying social security for 40 quarters (10 years) in the US. That is not correct; eligibility is available in relation to shorter periods of residency using the provisions of the US/Australia International Security Agreement. The payments are subject to an unusual tax treatment however.

If you would like to arrange professional advice please complete the Inquiry form below providing details and you will be contacted promptly.

IMPORTANT: The material contained in this website and other associated communications is only intended as general, background information and must not be relied upon. No warranty is provided in relation to any material or to the services that may be contracted through It is recommended that individuals seek the advice of qualified professionals before taking any action.