Bilateral Superannuation Agreements Australia

Bilateral Superannuation Agreements in Australia: Understanding the Basics

Superannuation is a critical component of retirement planning in Australia. It is a system that ensures Australian workers save enough money for their retirement. The Australian government introduced the Superannuation Guarantee (SG) in 1992, which requires employers to provide their employees with superannuation contributions. The current SG rate is 9.5% of an employee`s ordinary time earnings.

But what happens when an Australian citizen or a permanent resident works overseas? Are they still entitled to superannuation contributions? The answer is yes, but it depends on whether Australia has a bilateral superannuation agreement with the country where the employee is working.

What are Bilateral Superannuation Agreements?

Bilateral superannuation agreements are agreements between the Australian government and foreign governments that coordinate the social security systems of both countries. These agreements ensure that the superannuation contributions made by an Australian employer for an Australian employee working overseas are not taxed twice.

When an Australian employee works in a country with which Australia has a bilateral superannuation agreement, the employee and employer are exempt from making contributions to that country`s social security system. Instead, the Australian employer continues to make superannuation contributions as per the SG requirements, and the employee`s superannuation fund can claim a refund for any tax paid in the foreign country.

Which Countries have Bilateral Superannuation Agreements with Australia?

Australia has bilateral superannuation agreements with several countries, including the United States, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and many countries in Europe. These agreements apply to people who are either Australian citizens or permanent residents and are living and working temporarily or permanently in a foreign country.

The Benefits of Bilateral Superannuation Agreements for Employees

The main benefit of bilateral superannuation agreements for employees is that they receive the same superannuation benefits when working overseas as they would if they were working in Australia. This ensures that they are not disadvantaged in terms of their retirement income. Additionally, these agreements reduce the administrative burden on Australian employers, as they do not need to set up a foreign superannuation account for the employee.


Bilateral superannuation agreements are essential for Australian workers who work overseas. These agreements ensure that Australian employees receive the same superannuation benefits as if they were working in Australia. They also reduce the administrative burden on employers and avoid double taxation for employees. If you are an Australian employee planning to work overseas, make sure you check if the country you are going to has a bilateral superannuation agreement with Australia.