• Bilateral social security agreement with Austria

    If you send an Australian employee to work temporarily in Austria, you must continue to pay superannuation guarantee contributions in Australia for them.

    Before you send the employee, apply to us for a certificate of coverage:

    We'll issue a certificate to you on the basis that you'll continue to make super guarantee contributions in Australia for the employee. You or your employee then show the certificate to the Austrian authorities to be exempted from super payments in Austria. The certificate can cover a period of up to five years.

    When completing the request for a certificate of coverage, you'll need to provide an Australian contact name and their phone, fax and e-mail details.

    When you receive the certificate, keep a copy for your records and give the original to your employee to take with them to Austria.

    On this page:

    About the agreement

    Our bilateral social security agreement with Austria applies when double super coverage occurs – that is, when you or your employee would otherwise have to make super guarantee contributions (or equivalent) in both countries for the same work by your employee. It applies to Australian super guarantee law and Austrian social security laws.

    For information about:

    The agreement started on 1 January 2012 and applies to super guarantee contributions (or equivalent) made on or after that date. Any compulsory contributions under Austrian law for the period before 1 January 2012 must still be made.

    Effect for different types of employees

    Employees working temporarily overseas

    If you send your employee to work in Austria for less than five years – for your business or a related entity – and double super coverage occurs, only the super laws of your home country will apply. This means super guarantee contributions (or equivalent) are required only under the law of the country that your employee is most likely to retire in.

    Example

    Rachel is sent by her Australian employer to work in Austria for two years. Rachel's employer must make contributions in Australia under super guarantee legislation. Rachel and her employer must also make social security contributions under the relevant Austrian law.

    As double super coverage occurs, the agreement takes effect and exempts Rachel and her employer from making contributions under the Austrian law. Rachel's employer will continue to make super guarantee contributions as required in Australia.

    End of example

    This rule also applies if the employee is sent to work for a related company and double super coverage occurs.

    Government employees working temporarily overseas

    If a government employee is sent to work temporarily in Austria and double super coverage occurs, only the super laws of Australia will apply.

    Self-employed people

    The agreement doesn’t apply to self-employed Australian residents working in Austria. They’re not subject to super guarantee law in Australia, so double super coverage doesn’t occur.

    Diplomats

    The agreement doesn’t affect the treatment of diplomats and consulate officials under the relevant Vienna Conventions on diplomatic and consular relations.

    Extension beyond five years

    Generally, a certificate of coverage will cover Australian employees for up to five years employment in Austria. If you need coverage for longer than five years, you'll need to write to us explaining the reasons for the extension.

    Approval to extend a certificate of coverage is determined on a case-by-case basis. We can grant an extension only with the mutual agreement of the relevant agency in Austria, and only in certain circumstances.

    An extension may be granted when:

    • an individual who was scheduled to replace the employee is unable to do so because of death, serious illness or resignation
    • the employee must remain in the country of secondment due to an unexpected personal situation – this includes medical reasons (self, spouse or children) or if the employee's children must stay to complete the school year
    • the employee has been under one country's social security system throughout their career and is planning to retire in the immediate future
    • the extension is for a short period
    • the employee returned to the country of origin for a short period during the period of secondment for unexpected personal reasons – this includes medical reasons (self, spouse or children)
    • the extension for work purposes would be in the national interest of either country
    • cessation will cause undue hardship to the employer or employee
    • there has been a reorganisation of a company and the employee maintains an important role in the reorganisation
    • the employee has special skills or background, and the employer makes a strong case for needing the employee to complete a special assignment or project that will be finished within one to four years following the five-year secondment period.

    An extension may also be granted in other special circumstances.

    Your request for an extension must be in writing and should include the:

    • employer's name, ABN and contact details
    • employee's name
    • certificate number
    • reason for the extension.

    Send your request to:

    Superannuation – Bilateral agreements
    Australian Taxation Office
    GPO Box 9977
    ADELAIDE SA 5001
    AUSTRALIA

    See also:

      Last modified: 27 Jul 2016QC 25263