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Pension Agreement Concluded Between Austria And Australia

Monday, February 22, 2010

A supplementary social security agreement to eliminate double superannuation coverage between Australia and Austria has been concluded by Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Stephen Smith, and the Austrian Minister for Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection, Rudolf Hundstorfer.

It was explained that double coverage arises where an employee is sent from one country to work temporarily in another country and the employer and the employee are required to pay superannuation or social security contributions for the employee in both countries.

This will no longer be the case between Australia and Austria. As Australia and Austria already have an existing Social Security Agreement dealing with pensions, the new agreement will be supplementary to it, removing the doubling up on superannuation payments. It is expected to be effective from mid-2011.

"The supplementary agreement will improve economic links by reducing costs for businesses operating in Australia and Austria," Chris Bowen, Australia’s Minister for Financial Services, Superannuation and Corporate Law, said. "Generally, seconded workers from Austria will continue to contribute to and be covered by the Austrian social security system and will not be subject to Australia's superannuation guarantee.”

"Similarly, Australian workers seconded to Austria will remain subject to Australia's superannuation guarantee and contributions will not be required to be made to the Austrian social security system.”

He added that the agreement incorporates the same principles of avoiding double coverage included in many of Australia's other social security agreements, including those recently signed with Poland and the Czech Republic.