The Social Security Agreement between Australia and Croatia started on 1 July 2004. The Agreement provides enhanced access to certain Australian and Croatian social security benefits for people living in both countries who have lived and/or worked in the other country.
People who will benefit from the Agreement
Australian residents and former residents who have worked in Croatia may now be entitled to a Croatian or Australian benefit for the first time. These people will be able to add periods of working life residence in Australia and periods of insurance in the Croatian social security scheme for the purposes of meeting qualifying requirements for benefits from both countries.
Note: A person must have a minimum period of insurance of 12 months in the Croatian system before they can claim a Croatian benefit under the Agreement.
Residents of Croatia who have resided in Australia during their working life (between 16 years and Age Pension age) will now be able to claim an Australian pension for the first time.
Note: A person living in Croatia must have a minimum of 12 months working life residence in Australia to claim an Australian payment under the Agreement.
Case Study One (example of how the Agreement works)
John is 65 and currently lives in Australia. He has lived in Australia for 13 years during his working life (between 16 and Age Pension age). Prior to this he worked in Croatia for 10 years. He cannot claim a Croatian pension because he does not have the number of years of contributions required (currently 17 years) to qualify for payment.
The Agreement will allow John to add the 13 years he lived in Australia during working life to the 10 years of insurance he has in the Croatian system and qualify for payment.
Case Study Two (example of how the Agreement works)
Vesna lived in Australia for 20 years during her working life (between 16 and Age Pension age) and is now living in Croatia. She is already receiving a Croatian pension. Vesna left Australia before reaching Age Pension age and was unable to claim an Australian pension because she was not living in Australia. The Agreement will allow Vesna to claim an Australian pension even though she is living in Croatia.
Payments that are Covered by the Agreement
For Australia, the Agreement with Croatia covers Age Pension and Disability Support Pension for the severely disabled.
For Croatia, the Agreement covers old-age pension, anticipatory pension, disability pension, survivor pension and all other benefits under the Pension Insurance legislation.
How People Can Claim
People living in Australia can request and lodge claims for Australian and Croatian benefits at any Centrelink office or call Centrelink International Services on 13 1673.
People living in Croatia can obtain claims from the Croatian Pension Insurance Institute.
You can write to them at:
Hrvastski Zavod za Mirovinsko Osiguranje
Telephone 0011 385 1 45 95 500
Fax 0011 385 1 45 95 066
Double Coverage for Seconded Workers
The Agreement also means that contributions do not have to be made into both countries’ compulsory pension/superannuation systems for employees seconded to work temporarily in the other country. Australian and Croatian employees will generally remain subject only to the relevant laws of their home country. In Australia’s case this is the Superannuation Guarantee scheme. The Australian Taxation Office is responsible for the administration of double coverage provisions. If you require more information on this aspect of the Agreement you can contact the ATO on 131020. Their website address is www.ato.gov.au
Need more information?
More information about the new Agreement with Croatia, or Australia’s other social security Agreements, is available on the Australian Government Department of Family and Community Services website at www.facs.gov.au/international
You can write to the Department at PO Box 7788, Canberra Mail Centre ACT 2610.
Or you can email the Department at firstname.lastname@example.org
Information about how to claim a payment and claim forms for Australian pension or Croatian benefits are available from Centrelink International Services. You can call them on 131673, or write to them at GPO Box 273 Hobart Tasmania 7001, or email them at email@example.com
The Croatian Pension Insurance Institute website may also contain useful information.
The address is www.mirovinsko.hr