The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. TheĀ information contained in this publication is intended only as a guide to relevant legislation/policy. The information is accurate as at the date listed at the bottom of the page, but may be subject to change. To discuss individual circumstances please contact Services Australia.

1.1.T.110 Totalisation


Totalisation relates to the operation of international social security agreements and applies to the following payments with a qualifying residence period where covered by an agreement:

  • age pension
  • parenting payment (single), and
  • disability support pension.

Note: It also previously applied to WP and WidB where covered by an agreement. These payments ceased from 20 March 2020 and existing recipients were transferred to other payments, such as Age, where eligible.


The totalisation process helps people meet the minimum residence (1.1.R.200) and/or contribution periods needed to qualify for a pension under an international social security agreement (1.1.A.120). It generally works by adding together a personā€™s period of Australian residence with their periods of insurance contributions under the system of an agreement country.

A person may also have to have a minimum period of AWLR (1.1.A.340) before they can use the totalisation provisions to qualify for an Australian pension.

Note: The totalisation rules are specific to each social security agreement and may differ between agreements. Totalisation rules for each individual agreement are outlined in Part 10 of the SS Guide.

Example: A person has 2 years of contributions to an Italian social security scheme covered by the Social Security Agreement with Italy and has been an Australian resident for 8 years. Under the Agreement, they can add together these 2 periods to meet the 10-year qualifying residence period for the Age (

Note: They must have at least 12 months of AWLR, of which 6 months is continuous, in order to do so.

Policy reference: SS Guide 10.1.5 Totalisation

Last reviewed: