International Social Security Agreements

Is your pension covered by an International Social Security Agreement?

International Social Security Agreements

International Social Security Agreements are in place to assist people who migrate between countries which have an agreement in place to more easily claim social security benefits listed in the agreement. 

Under these agreements responsibility for social security may be shared between the countries where you have lived and in some instances, you may be able to receive pensions from both countries, with each agreement country paying a part pension to you.

Currently, Australia has agreements with the following countries:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • Latvia
  • The former Yugoslavia Republic of Macedonia
  • Malta
  • The Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • United States of America

For further information on specific International Social Security Agreements, visit  

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    To make a comment, please register or login
    28th Jul 2015
    I am a bit stunned at the limited countries on the list of countries we have agreements with.
    We keep being told that we are part of Asia, that our main focus is on Asia, that they are our major trading partners. But I only see 2 Asian countries in the listing Japan and Korea (and I guess that is South Korea and NOT all of Korea). What about other countries in the region, including, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, and Indonesia to name but a few.
    4th Jan 2016
    Fairly obvious I would think.

    The countries probably don't have pensions. Out of the list provided I guessed that Singapore would be the most likely, based on my limited knowledge of Singapore.

    I then Googled the following (I'm interested in Nobby's view about the 36%):

    In 1984, then-Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew redesigned his country’s retirement system to, as he later wrote, “avoid placing the burden of the present generation’s welfare costs onto the next generation.” Singapore makes no promises but instead requires all citizens to save up to 36 percent of their income for their own retirement and health care. The government invests the savings in stocks and bonds; the money is not used for current expenditures.

    The result? Singaporeans have comfortable retirements. Their health-care system delivers better outcomes while costing 80 percent less than ours (USA), according to 2010 findings from the World Health Organization, and all of it is financed without imposing debt on the next generation. Singapore even reported an uptick in medical tourism last year.
    1st Feb 2016
    Nobby, what do these agreements involve? I know some Asian countries may have income level requirements for long stays as an example. Is it only the relaxation of these rules or is it more involved?
    2nd Jan 2016
    What has happened to the United Kingdom from that list? Is it only those with dual citizenship that can claim, what's the story? hells bells, for 40-50 years Australia played every card under the sun to get Brits to migrate here, now we are all aged the Aussie Gov doesn't want to know us, be it Centrelink or Medicare.
    1st Feb 2016
    Gypsiefeet, is that list current or is it the same age as the article? 16th Apr 2013?
    1st Feb 2016
    The reason why the UK is not on the list is that they refuse to negotiate with the Australian Government. There are over 25,000 recipients of British age pensions in Australia who have their pensions frozen when they first become entitled to it or arrive in Australia. In other words they receive no cost-of-living increases whereas if they lived in USA or any of the Europen Union countries do so. This totally unfair and unjustifiable policy by the UK costs the Australin taxpayer 1billion dollars over 4 years in supplementing the income of these recipients of the British aged pension. And these recipients include many born and bred ozzies who have worked in the UK or are married to someone who receives a pension. The Australian Government seems reluctant to press their UK counterparts on this subject. They should take the Brits to the International Court in The Hague.
    1st Feb 2016
    Sorry that should read "250,000 recipients" .

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