Agreements to coordinate social protection across national borders have been commonplace in Western Europe for decades. This is followed by a list of the agreements reached by the United States and the effective date of each. Some of these agreements were then revised; The date indicated is the date on which the original agreement came into force. Under these agreements, Australia equates social security periods/stays in these countries with periods of Australian residence in order to meet minimum qualification periods for Australian pensions. In other countries, periods of Australian working life are generally counted as social security periods to meet their minimum payment periods. Typically, each country pays a partial pension to a person who has lived in both countries. Since the late 1970s, the United States has established a network of bilateral social security agreements that coordinate the U.S. social security program with similar programs in other countries. This article provides a brief overview of the agreements and should be of particular interest to multinationals and people who work abroad during their careers.
Any foreigner wishing to apply for an exemption from U.S. Social Security and Medicare taxes on the basis of a totalization agreement must obtain an insurance certificate from the social security authority of his country of origin and present such proof of insurance to his employer in the United States, in accordance with procedures 80-56, 84-54 and Ruling 92-9. An alternative procedure is provided in these revenue procedures for a foreigner who is unable to obtain a certificate of coverage from his country of origin. The agreement with Italy is a departure from other US agreements because it does not regulate the people cashed in. As in other agreements, the basic criterion of coverage is the territorial rule. However, the coverage of foreign workers is mainly based on the nationality of the worker. If an employed or self-employed U.S. citizen in Italy would be covered by U.S.
Social Security without the agreement, he will remain covered by the U.S. program and exempt from Italian coverage and contributions. However, under tax law in many countries, an employer`s payment of a worker`s share in a social security contribution is considered a taxable allowance for the worker, which increases the worker`s income tax obligation. The tax equalization system generally provides that the employer also pays this additional income tax, which serves to further increase the worker`s taxable income and tax debt. The employer pays the extra tax again, etc., etc. As a general rule, individuals should only take action on totalization benefits under an agreement when they are willing to apply for a pension, survival or disability. A person wishing to introduce a entitlement to benefits as part of a totalization agreement can do so with any social security agency in the United States or abroad. Under certain conditions, a worker may be exempt from coverage in a contracting country, even if he or she has not been transferred directly from the United States.