Apr 15

What Does A Totalization Agreement Allow

The provisions to eliminate dual coverage for workers are similar in all U.S. agreements. Each of them establishes a basic rule regarding the location of the employment of a workforce. Under this basic “territorial rule,” a worker who would otherwise be covered by both the United States and a foreign regime is subject exclusively to the coverage laws of the country in which he or she works. In order to provide the tax authorities of a host country with proof that a worker is exempt from paying that country`s social security taxes, he (or his employer) must keep and, if necessary, present a certificate of coverage. The certificate is a document issued by the country whose laws continue to apply to that person in accordance with the rules of the agreement. The agreements designate the agencies of each country responsible for issuing these certificates. The single-family home rule in U.S. agreements generally applies to workers whose interventions in the host country are expected to last 5 years or less.

The 5-year limit for leave for exempt workers is much longer than the limit normally set by agreements in other countries. To qualify for benefits under the U.S. Social Security program, a worker must have earned enough work credits, known as insurance quarters, to meet the “insurance status requirements” specified. For example, a worker who turns 62 in 1991 or later generally needs 40 calendar terms to be insured for old age pensions. As part of a totalization agreement, SSA accounts for periods of coverage acquired by the worker under the social security program of a contracting country when a worker has some U.S. insurance coverage but is not sufficient to qualify for benefits. Similarly, a country that is a party to an agreement with the United States takes into account a worker`s coverage under the U.S. program when it is required for that country`s social security benefits. If the combined credits in the two countries allow the worker to meet the eligibility requirements, a partial benefit may be paid depending on the proportion of the worker`s total career in the paying country. 10 Although most agreements remove payment restrictions applicable to all residents of both countries, agreements with Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland remove payment restrictions only for nationals of both countries or stateless persons and refugees residing in both countries.

Additional special provisions generally apply to seafarers, cabin crew, diplomats, government employees and persons whose employers are not directly transferred from one total country to another, but from one country of totalization to a third country before moving on to the other totalization country. If necessary, totality partner countries may also agree on specific exceptions for individual workers or entire workers.