I have a relative who is an Australian citizen. They moved to the US at age 25, became a US permanent resident, worked and paid federal US taxes for ~30 years. At no point did they pay Australian taxes since all income was in US. (I don't know why they didn't pursue citizenship.)

It looks like they are eligible to receive US social security retirement benefits.

If they live in the US until end of life and start receiving US social security retirement benefits does this impact any benefit they might otherwise receive from Australia?

If they decided to move back to Australia and live there until end of life would they be eligible for either Australian or US benefits?


1 Answer 1


If they live in the US until end-of-life, they're not going to receive any benefit from Australia. For instance, Australia's not going to pay a pension. To receive a government benefit, they have to be living in Australia.

If they worked prior to moving to the US, they may have a bit of money sitting in a Superannuation fund (similar to 401k) and eligible to be paid to them when they hit retirement age if they're back in Australia at that time. I think if they get citizenship in the US, they are eligible to withdraw those funds.

Benefits are only available in each country for the time they're there. If they come back to Australia, they're not going to get any benefits from the US, because they're back in Australia.

  • 2
    See this document, page 5, #4. The USA has a SS agreement with Australia and will pay SS there, to US citizen or if you have eligible for SS based on your earnings.
    – mkennedy
    Commented Jan 20, 2019 at 16:47
  • They can re-apply for Medicare upon arrival, Seniors cards depending upon state, and their income may entitle them to a Health Care Card, the odd bus fare, fuel allowance. They should also apply for the Age Pension, even if they don't get it.
    – mckenzm
    Commented Mar 8, 2019 at 0:00

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