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3.7.4 Claiming a Foreign Pension


Last amended: 3 August 2010

How does a person claim a comparable foreign pension

Some foreign countries have a reciprocal agreement with [glossary:Fa:] — [glossary:H:] — [glossary:CSIA:] and for these countries a claim for a comparable foreign pension can be lodged with and processed by Centrelink. For any other country, a claim for a comparable foreign pension must be lodged directly with the country involved.

In all cases eligibility for any overseas pension will depend on the requirements of that particular country, such as residency or employment.

Agreement between FaHCSIA and DVA

A memorandum of understanding between [glossary:Fa:] — [glossary:H:] — [glossary:CSIA:] and DVA recognises Centrelink as the only 'Competent Authority' to certify the validity of documentation submitted with claims, under the terms of Australia's international social security agreements.

Why does DVA use FaHCSIA agreements ?

DVA is using the FaHCSIA arrangements with the agreement countries because:

  • DVA does not have any income support reciprocal agreements with overseas countries;
  • they are shared-responsibility agreements that should be utilised to the maximum extent;
  • the FaHCSIA agreements may assist some pensioners to meet minimum residency or contribution requirements to qualify for pensions from the agreement countries;
  • administrative cooperation between Centrelink and the social security authorities in the other countries has advantages for Australian residents; and
  • in some cases a pension from a country with an agreement can be claimed through Centrelink.
Lodging a pension claim for an agreement country

Centrelink provides DVA with comparable foreign pension claim packages for the agreement countries, for distribution to DVA claimants and pensioners.

Claims must be lodged at Centrelink, as only Centrelink can:

  • process claims;
  • certify documentation; and
  • verify the validity of original documents.
Date of claim where pension claimed through Centrelink

The date on which a claim is received by Centrelink is accepted by most of the agreement countries as the official date of lodgement of a claim for a pension from that country.

Lodging a CFP Claim for Other Countries

Where a claimant or pensioner is required to claim a pension from a country, other than a FaHCSIA agreement country, this must be done by that person, in writing, directly to the relevant authorities in the country involved.

The Department of Veterans' Affairs.

The countries that have a comparable foreign pension agreement with FaHCSIA are listed at