Bills Digest No. 2 1999-2000 Social Security (International Agreements) Bill 1999

Numerical Index | Alphabetical Index

This Digest was prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments. This Digest does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be consulted to determine the subsequent official status of the Bill.


Passage History
Main Provisions
Contact Officer & Copyright Details

Passage History

Social Security (International Agreements) Bill 1999

Date Introduced: 3 June 1999

House: House of Representatives

Portfolio: Family and Community Services

Commencement: 20 March 2000


The Bill is largely administrative in nature and consolidates existing social security international agreements into a separate Act. It also provides for new social security international agreements to be added and variations to be made by way of regulation.


This Bill is part of a legislative package and accompanies the Social Security (Administration) Bill and the Social Security (Administration and International Agreements) (Consequential Amendments) Bill 1999. For further background see the Bills Digest on the Social Security (Administration) Bill 1999. The explanatory memorandum asserts that the Bills will result in a 'major reduction in the length and complexity of the social security laws'.(1)

Main Provisions

As the proposed legislation largely involves a regrouping and minor rewrite of provisions of the 1991 legislation, without any major policy alterations, this Digest will not extensively examine the individual clauses of the Bill. The provisions regarding international agreements are presently found in Chapter 4 of the Social Security Act 1991 - 'International Agreements and Portability'.

Proposed section 4 defines the proposed Act as part of the 'social security law' - this will be a package of legislation composed of the two primary pieces of legislation created by the Social Security (Administration) Bill and the Social Security (International Agreements) Bill 1999, as well as the provisions of the Social Security Act 1991 which remain after the Act has been modified by the Social Security (Administration and International Agreements) (Consequential Amendments) Bill 1999.

Proposed section 5 gives a particular place in social security law to the international social security agreements which are scheduled to the Act. These schedules are to have effect despite any inconsistent provisions in the social security law, a principle which is enshrined in proposed section 6.

Proposed sections 7, 8 and 9 allow for the addition, deletion and modification of schedules to the Act. These schedules currently have a similar effect as they are attached to the Social Security Act 1991.

Proposed section 10 deals with parenting payments, which are currently dealt with in section 1208A of the Social Security Act 1991, while proposed section 11 and proposed section 12 are presently dealt with by sections 1209 and 1210 respectively and allow payment of only some social security payments while someone is overseas and allow the rate of payment to be set in Australia and overseas payments to be made.

Proposed Part 3 duplicates other provisions of the Social Security Act 1991 dealing with the calculation of international agreement portability rate', 'working life residence' and 'residence factor', as well as the overall rate calculation process.

There are 11 schedules to the Bill, comprising agreements between Australia and:

The United Kingdom; Italy; New Zealand; Canada; Spain; Malta; Netherlands; Ireland; Portugal; Austria; and Cyprus.


  • Explanatory Memorandum, p. i.

Contact Officer and Copyright Details

Kirsty Magarey
15 August 1999
Bills Digest Service
Information and Research Services

This paper has been prepared for general distribution to Senators and Members of the Australian Parliament. While great care is taken to ensure that the paper is accurate and balanced, the paper is written using information publicly available at the time of production. The views expressed are those of the author and should not be attributed to the Information and Research Services (IRS). Advice on legislation or legal policy issues contained in this paper is provided for use in parliamentary debate and for related parliamentary purposes. This paper is not professional legal opinion. Readers are reminded that the paper is not an official parliamentary or Australian government document.

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ISSN 1328-8091
© Commonwealth of Australia 1999

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Published by the Department of the Parliamentary Library, 2001.

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