The Guides to Social Policy Law is a collection of publications designed to assist decision makers administering social policy law. The 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. Totalisation Process

The process

The totalisation process has 3 steps:

Step Action
1 The minimum period for totalisation of Australian working life residence must be met. It can only be met with actual residence. The minimum requirement can be NIL in some cases.

If the minimum is not met, the process stops here.


The periods of contributions in an agreement country are converted into periods as an Australian resident.

Example: A person who has 8 years contributions to the Spanish scheme could convert these to 8 years as an Australian resident.

3 The converted periods of contributions in the agreement country are added to the actual periods as an Australian resident, usually allowing the claimant to qualify for payment.

Example: A person who has accumulated 8 years of contributions under the Spanish pension scheme and 9 years as an Australian resident, can convert the 8 years of contributions to Australian residence providing a total of 17 years of Australian residence.

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