Social Security Agreement with the Czech Republic Frequently Asked Questions
When was the Agreement signed?
The Agreement was signed on 16 September 2009.
When did the Agreement start?
The Agreement started 1 July 2011.
What benefits are covered by the Agreement?
For Australia, the Agreement covers Age Pension. For the Czech Republic, the Agreement covers age, invalidity and survivors' benefits.
How does the Agreement help people?
Under the Agreement, Australia and the Czech Republic broadly share responsibility for social security coverage of people who would not otherwise be entitled to a pension because they do not have enough residence in Australia or sufficient insurance periods in the Czech Republic. It also helps people who could not otherwise claim because they are living abroad.
The Agreement also reduces costs for businesses operating in both countries by regulating compulsory contributions for seconded workers. Under the Agreement, seconded employees and/or their employer are generally subject only to the legislation of their home country and therefore exempt from making contributions for the same work under the law of the other country.
What does Australia do under the Agreement?
To qualify for an Australian Age Pension people usually need to be an Australian resident and in Australia on the day they lodge a claim, and they usually must have at least 10 years Australian residence.
The Agreement modifies these rules so that:
- Australia will treat someone who resides in the Czech Republic as being a resident of Australia, so that the person can lodge a claim for an Australian Age Pension;
- Australia will add the person's insurance periods accumulated in the Czech Republic to his or her Australian residence to help the person meet the minimum residence requirement to get an Australian Age Pension;
- Australia guarantees to pay Age Pension indefinitely into the Czech Republic, provided the person remains otherwise qualified to receive it.
What does the Czech Republic do under the Agreement?
Normally a person must have a minimum of 15 years of contributions to qualify for an old-age pension from the Czech Republic. Under the Agreement:
- for old-age pension, applicants in either country will be able to add periods of Australian Working Life Residence to insurance periods accumulated in the Czech Republic in order to satisfy this requirement;
- for invalidity and survivors' pension, applicants in the Czech Republic will be able to add periods of Australian Working Life Residence to insurance periods accumulated in the Czech Republic to satisfy this requirement;
- people may also be able to include insurance periods accumulated in a third country which has an agreement with the Czech Republic;
- the Czech Republic guarantees to pay its pensions (other than the guaranteed minimum pension) into Australia indefinitely, provided the person remains otherwise qualified to receive it.
Do I need to claim a pension from the Czech Republic?
If you are receiving an Australian pension and may also be entitled to a foreign pension, Australian social security law requires that you take reasonable action to apply for it. This is because the Australian pension system is not based on contributions but is funded from general taxation revenue and the Government believes that all pensioners should maximise their private income before calling on taxpayer funded support.
How much Australian pension will I get if I am paid under the Agreement?
The income and assets tests operate in the same way for residents of both Australia and the Czech Republic. However until an Australian resident has lived in Australia for 10 years, their means-tested pension is reduced by the amount of pension paid by the Czech Republic.
Australian residents who return to live in the Czech Republic can claim a means-tested Australian Age Pension based on their Australian Working Life Residence over a denominator of 25 years.
For example, a resident of the Czech Republic with 20 years of Australian Working Life Residence may receive 20/25 (80%) of a means-tested Australian pension.
How do I claim?
Claim forms are available from, and can be lodged with, Centrelink or the Czech Social Security Administration
Who should I contact for more information?
More information on claim procedures and payments can be obtained by phoning Centrelink International Services on:
13 1673 (for the cost of a local call from within Australia)
+61 3 6222 3455 (from overseas)
or write to:
Centrelink International Services
PO Box 7809
Canberra BC ACT 2610
For more information on how the Agreement will assist seconded workers, contact the Australian Taxation Office or the Czech Social Security Administration