10.25.4.20 Where People can Lodge Claims under the Agreement with Finland
Where claims can be lodged
Claims for Australian benefits covered by the Agreement can be lodged:
- in Australia, at any Centrelink office, or
- in Finland, with any of the Finnish pension institutions, and
- requests on certificate of coverage matters can only be made at the ATO or any of the Finnish pension institutions in Finland.
Under Article 17, paragraph 2 of the Agreement, the date on which a claim is lodged with either of the above-mentioned authorities is the official date of lodgement for all purposes. This ensures that people outside Australia and Finland are not disadvantaged as a result of mailing delays.
Article 17, paragraph 4 allows a claim for benefit under the legislation of a party to also be considered as a claim for the 'corresponding' benefit from the other party provided that:
- the claim is received by the other party within 12 months of the original claim being lodged, and
- the applicant stated on the original claim an affiliation with the other country.
Finnish domestic legislation states that the Finnish pension institutions have to pay a penalty (an interest rate calculation) if a claim for Finnish pension is not processed within 3 months. Article 17, paragraph 5 ensures that this 3 month period does not commence until the claim reaches the Finnish pension institution.
Act reference: SS(IntAgree)Act Schedule 24 Finland