Social Security Agreement between Australia and the Republic of Serbia – Frequently Asked Questions
Note: The following information is provided as a guide only.
- When was the Agreement signed?
- When will the Agreement start?
- What will the Agreement do?
- What benefits will be covered by the Agreement?
- When can I make a claim for a benefit under the Agreement?
- What are the most important things to know about Australia’s Age Pension?
- How do I find out more?
When was the Agreement signed?
The Agreement was signed on 20 January 2023.
When will the Agreement start?
The Agreement will start once all relevant treaty, legislative and administrative processes have been completed by both countries.
The department’s website, including this FAQ, will be updated when the Agreement starts.
What will the Agreement do?
The Agreement will assist people who have moved between Australia and Serbia to claim and qualify for benefits from both countries that they may not otherwise be able to access.
Under the Agreement, individuals may be eligible for a benefit from both countries if they meet certain criteria and have resided in Australia and/or made insurance contributions in Serbia.
- People in either country will be able to combine periods of residence in Australia with periods of insurance contributions in Serbia to meet minimum residence or contribution requirements for a pension. This will enable them to access these benefits earlier than they would otherwise be able to. For example, people will be able to add periods of Serbian insurance contributions to their periods of Australia residence in order to meet the minimum 10-year residence requirement for the Australian Age Pension.
- People will also be able to lodge a claim for a pension from either country, regardless of whether they are residing in Australia or Serbia at the time of claim. This will mean former Australian residents living in Serbia will not need to return to Australia to live if they wish to claim the Australian Age Pension.
The Agreement will also reduce costs for businesses operating in both countries through provisions regulating compulsory contributions for seconded workers. Under the Agreement, seconded employees and/or their employer will generally only be subject to the legislation of their home country and will be exempt from making contributions for the same work under the law of the other country. In Australia, this will apply to compulsory contributions under the Superannuation Guarantee.
What benefits will be covered by the Agreement?
For Australia, the Agreement will cover Age Pension. For the Republic of Serbia, the Agreement will cover both pension and disability insurance.
When can I make a claim for a benefit under the Agreement?
You can only make a claim for the Age Pension or a Serbian pension under the Agreement once the Agreement starts. The Agreement has not started yet. The Agreement will start once all relevant treaty, legislative and administrative processes have been completed by both countries. The department’s website, including this FAQ, will be updated when the Agreement starts.
If you would like to test your eligibility for the Age Pension under normal rules, Services Australia can be contacted on 132 300 or visit the Services Australia website.
What are the most important things to know about Australia’s Age Pension?
All claimants for the Australian Age Pension need to meet minimum age and residence requirements under Australia’s social security laws. They must also be residing in Australia and present in Australia at the time of claim, unless they are covered by a social security agreement.
The Age Pension is also means tested – that is, an income test and an assets test is applied and whichever results in the lower rate of pension is used for assessment purposes.
The Services Australia website has information about the Age Pension, including the current income and assets limits.
How do I find out more?
The department’s website, including this FAQ, will be updated with more information when the Agreement starts.
For more information on current claim procedures and payments:
- Contact Services Australia International Services.
- Visit your local Services Australia Customer Service Centre.
- Services Australia website – Which countries have agreements with Australia.
For policy information about the Agreement, contact the Department of Social Services.
For more information on how the Agreement will assist seconded workers, please contact the Australian Taxation Office.