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


This definition applies to the following payments:

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

Note: This definition also previously applied to WP and WidB. These payments ceased from 20 March 2020 and existing recipients were transferred to another payment, such as Age, where eligible.


Totalisation is a process used to help people qualify for a pension under an international social security agreement (1.1.A.120) if they do not have enough residence (1.1.R.200), or contributions in the case of most agreement partners, to meet minimum conditions for payment. The process works by adding together the qualifying Australian residence a person has with qualifying social security periods under the system of the agreement country. Depending on the agreement, qualification could be met by adding periods of:

  • residence, and/or
  • contributions.

Example: Under the Agreement with Italy, a former Italian resident who has resided in Australia for 8 years, and has reached the qualifying age for Age, could meet the 10 year qualifying residence period for Age if they also had at least 2 years of contributions to any one of the Italian social security schemes covered by the Agreement.

Similarly, a claimant for the Italian age pension could meet the 15 year minimum contribution requirement by adding 8 years Australian residence (1.1.A.340) to 7 years of Italian contributions.

Note: For Australian benefits paid outside Australia there may also be a minimum period of AWLR required before a person can use the totalisation provisions, depending on the agreement.

Act reference: SSAct section 7(2) An Australian resident is a person ā€¦

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