Agreements on social security

Bilateral agreements

Austria has concluded social security agreements with a number of states. These are bilateral agreements under international law, which from the insured person’s point of view ensure that when staying on the territory of the respective other state, they shall be entitled to  the same or similar social insurance services provided by the local social insurance institution as those provided by the social insurance institution in their home country. Social security agreements aim in particular to safeguard the social insurance rights of persons who work in both states.

Social security agreements are based on the following principles:

  • Equal treatment of nationals of the contracting states in the field of “social security”;
  • Consideration of the insurance periods acquired in the respective other state with a view to the entitlement to and retention of the right to benefits;
  • Definition of the state in which the individual is entitled to benefits in case of cross-border professional activity;
  • Calculation of the pension amount in line with the insurance period completed in each of the contracting states;
  • Export of financial benefits to persons entitled to these benefits in the other contracting state;
  • Mutual insurance benefits assistance in the field of health and accident insurance provided by the insurance institution in the respective other contracting state.

Multilateral agreements and EU Law

In addition to the bilateral regulations, there are a number of multilateral agreements, especially the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA Agreement) which entered into force on 1 January 1994.

When Austria became a member of the European Union on 1 January 1995, the relevant EU provision in the field of social security also became applicable to Austria. Especially noteworthy in this context is Regulation (EC) No. 833/04, which replaced Regulation (EC) 1408/71 (“Migrant Workers’ Regulation”).