Social Security Agreement between Australia and Chile
The Social Security Agreement between Australia and Chile started on 1 July 2004. The Agreement provides enhanced access to certain Australian and Chilean social security benefits for people living in both countries who have lived and/or worked in the other ountry.
People who will Benefit from the Agreement
Australian residents and former Australian residents who have worked in Chile may now be entitled to a Chilean benefit for the first time. These people will be able to use periods of working life residence in Australia to count as periods of insurance in the Chilean social security scheme for the purposes of meeting minimum qualifying requirements. The Agreement also allows an Australian resident to be considered a ‘current contributor’ to the Chilean system, if required, and qualify for payment.
Note: A person must have a minimum of 12 months in insurance periods in the Chilean system before they can claim a Chilean benefit under the Agreement.
Case Study One (example of how the Agreement works) Marco is 67 and currently lives in Australia. He has lived in Australia for 15 years during working life (between 16 years and age pension age). Prior to this he worked in Chile for 10 years. He cannot claim a Chilean pension because he does not have the minimum 20 years of insurance required to qualify for payment nor is he a current contributor. The Agreement allows Marco to add the 15 years he lived in Australia during working life to the 10 years of insurance he has in the Chilean system and to be considered a current contributor and qualify for payment.
Residents of Chile who have lived 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 Chile must have a minimum of 12 months working life residence in Australia to claim an Australian payment under the Agreement.
Case Study Two (example of how the Agreement works) Georgina lived in Australia for 20 years during her working life (between 16 years and age pension age) and is now living in Chile. She is already receiving a Chilean pension. Georgina 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 Georgina to claim an Australian pension even though she is living in Chile.
Payments that are Covered by the Agreement
For Australia, the new Agreement with Chile covers Age Pension and Disability Support Pension for the severely disabled.
For Chile, the Agreement covers old-age pension, invalidity pension and survivor pension.
How People Can Claim
People living in Australia can request and lodge claims for Australian and Chilean benefits at any Centrelink office. There are over 400 Centrelink offices in Australia. The Centrelink website at www.centrelink.gov.au has a list of these offices. Or you can telephone Centrelink International Services on 13 1673.
Chilean Pensions of Mercy (Pensiones de Gracia)
From the date the Agreement starts, Chilean Pensions of Mercy (Pensiones de Gracia) are exempt from the income test that is applied to Australian payments. This includes:
monthly payments made under Chilean Law number 19.123, and
periodical monthly mercy payments made under Chilean law number 19.234.
These payments are not counted as income for any Australian social security payments.
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 Chilean 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, or visit the ATO website at www.ato.gov.au.
Need more information?
More information about the new Agreement with Chile, or Australia’s other social security Agreements, is available on the Australian Government Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs website. You can write to the Department at PO Box 7788, Canberra Mail Centre ACT 2610. Or you can email International Branch at the Department (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Information about claiming an Australian pension or Chilean benefit is available from Centrelink International Services. You can telephone them on 131673 or you can write to them at GPO Box 273 Hobart Tasmania 7001, or email Centrelink International Services at email@example.com.
For more information on Chilean benefits, you can contact:
Superintendencia de Seguridad Social for people who have contributed to the social insurance schemes administered by the Instituto de Normalición Previsional. You can write to them at Huérfanos 1376, Piso 6, Santiago, Chile. Telephone 0011 562 6204500, fax 0011 562 6960422.
Superintendencia de Administradoras de Fondos de Pensiones for people who are or were members of the Sistema de Capitalización Individual. You can write to them at Huérfanos 1273, Piso 2, Santiago Chile. Telephone 0011 562 7530100, fax 0011 562 7530286.
Or you can obtain more information from the Instituto de Normalización Previsional website at www.inp.cl and the Sistema Previsional Superintendencia de AFP website at www.safp.cl.