General Principles of the Agreement with Spain

General principles

The Agreement with Spain is a shared responsibility agreement that helps people to qualify for benefits they might not otherwise get and conforms to the principles of Australia's shared responsibility agreements by:

  • allowing people to lodge claims for benefits in Australia and Spain,
  • allowing people to totalise to meet minimum residence qualifications for Australian benefits and minimum contribution requirements for Spanish benefits,
  • allowing Agreement benefits to be paid in Australia and Spain,
  • offering income test concessions,
  • prescribing the calculation of Australian benefits inside and outside Australia, and
  • arranging for administrative cooperation between Australia and Spain.

In addition, Article 5 of the Agreement ensures that a Spanish contributor who works in Australia on a temporary basis and who continues to be an employee of an employer based in Spain (or is self-employed) can continue to be covered by the Spanish system. The out-posted worker will generally only be covered for 5 years, but Spain has the discretion to extend the period. A person in this situation will generally only have a visa to stay in Australia temporarily and is unlikely to be an Australian resident.

Act reference: SS(IntAgree)Act Schedule 5 Spain

Last reviewed: 9 November 2015