U.S.-Luxembourg Social Security Agreement

Agreement and administrative arrangement, both signed at Luxembourg February 12, 1992.
Entered into force November 1, 1993.

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Contents

Principal Agreement
Part I - General Provisions
Part II - Provisions on Coverage
Part III - Provisions on Benefits
Part IV - Miscellaneous Provisions
Part V - Transitional and Final Provisions
Administrative Arrangement
 

AGREEMENT

BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

AND THE GRAND DUCHY OF LUXEMBOURG

ON SOCIAL SECURITY

 

 

The United States of America and

the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

BEING DESIROUS of regulating the relationship between their two countries in the field of Social Security, have agreed to conclude an Agreement for that purpose, as follows:

 

PART I

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1

  1. For the purposes of this Agreement:


    1. "National" means,


    as regards the United States, a national of the United States as defined in Section 101, Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended, and

    as regards Luxembourg, a person of Luxembourg nationality;

    1. "Laws" means the laws and regulations specified in Article 2;


    1. "Competent Authority" means,

      as regards the United States, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and

      as regards Luxembourg, the Minister for Social Security;

    2. "Agency" means,

    as regards the United States, the Social Security Administration, and

    as regards Luxembourg, any institution or authority responsible for applying all or part of the laws designated in Article 2, paragraph (1)(b);

    1. "Period of coverage" means a period of payment of contributions, or a period of earnings from employment or self-employment, as defined or recognized as a period of coverage by the laws under which such period was completed or any similar period insofar as it is recognized by such laws as equivalent to a period of coverage; and


    1. "Benefit" means any cash benefit, pension or allowance provided for in the laws specified in Article 2, including any increases, readjustment allowances or supplementary allowances, unless otherwise provided in this Agreement.


  2. Any term not defined in this Article shall have the meaning assigned to it in the applicable laws.

Article 2

  1. For the purpose of this Agreement, the applicable laws are:

    1. as regards the United States, the laws governing the Federal old-age, survivors, and disability insurance program:

      -- Title II of the Social Security Act and regulations pertaining thereto, except sections 226, 226A and 228 of that title and regulations pertaining to those sections,

      --Chapters 2 and 21 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 and regulations pertaining to those chapters;


    2. as regards Luxembourg,


    3. --the laws governing old-age, invalidity and survivors pensions insurance, and,


      --with regard to Part II only, the laws governing sickness insurance, accident and occupational disease insurance, unemployment insurance and family allowances.


  1. As regards Luxembourg, this Agreement shall not apply to legislation concerning social assistance, victims of war, or special schemes for civil servants.

  2. This Agreement shall also apply to future legislation amending or supplementing the laws specified in paragraph (1) of this Article.


  3. This Agreement shall also apply to any future legislation of a Contracting State which creates new categories of beneficiaries under the laws specified in paragraph (1) of this Article unless the Competent Authority of that Contracting State notifies the Competent Authority of the other Contracting State in writing within three months of the official publication of such legislation that no such extension of the Agreement is intended.


  4. Unless otherwise provided in this Agreement, the laws referred to in paragraph 1 shall not include Regulations on Social Security of the European Communities or any convention or other international agreement on Social Security which either Contracting State has concluded with a third State or any laws or regulations promulgated for their specific implementation; however, the Agreement shall not prevent either State from taking into account under its laws the provisions of any other convention or agreement which that State has concluded with a third State.

 

Article 3

Unless otherwise provided in this Agreement, it shall apply to all persons who are or who have been subject to the laws of one or both Contracting States and to persons deriving rights from any such persons.

 

Article 4

Unless otherwise provided in this Agreement, persons mentioned in Article 3 who reside in the territory of a Contracting State shall receive equal treatment with nationals of that Contracting State in the application of its laws regarding eligibility for and the payment of benefits.

 

Article 5

Unless otherwise provided in this Agreement, any provision of the laws of a Contracting State which restricts entitlement to or payment of cash benefits solely because the person resides outside or is absent from the territory of that Contracting State shall not be applicable to the persons who reside in the territory of the other Contracting State.

 

Article 6

Prorated benefits paid under the laws of a Contracting State in accordance with Articles 13 (3) or 16 (2) shall not be reduced, suspended or terminated to take account of benefits paid under the laws of the other Contracting State based on periods of coverage of the same person on whose record the prorated benefits are paid.

 

PART II

Provisions on Coverage

Article 7

Unless otherwise provided in Articles 8 through 10, the laws to be applied to a person shall be determined in accordance with the following provisions:

  1. As regards employment, a person employed within the territory of one of the Contracting States shall, with respect to that employment, be subject to the laws of only that Contracting State.


  2. As regards self-employment, a person who would otherwise be compulsorily covered under the laws of both Contracting States shall, with respect to that self-employment, be subject only to the laws of the Contracting State of which he is a resident.


  3. A person who would otherwise be compulsorily covered under the laws of both Contracting States with respect to employment as an officer or member of a crew on a ship or aircraft shall be subject only to the laws of the Contracting State in whose territory the employer is headquartered.

Article 8

  1. A person who is normally employed in the territory of a Contracting State by his employer in that territory and who is sent by that employer to work for that employer in the territory of the other Contracting State shall remain subject to the laws of only the first Contracting State as if he were employed in its territory, provided that the employment in the territory of the other Contracting State is not expected to last for more than five years. For purposes of applying the preceding sentence, an employer and an affiliated company of the employer, as defined under the laws of the Contracting State from whose territory the person was sent, shall be considered one and the same, provided that the employment would have been covered under the laws of that Contracting State absent this Agreement.


  2. Paragraph 1 shall apply where a person who has been sent by his employer from the territory of a Contracting State to the territory of a third State is subsequently sent by that employer from the territory of the third State to the territory of the other Contracting State.

 

Article 9

  1. This Agreement shall not affect the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of April 18, 1961, or of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of April 24, 1963.


  2. Notwithstanding Article 7, nationals of one of the Contracting States who are employed by the Government of that Contracting State in the territory of the other Contracting State but who are not exempt from the laws of the other Contracting State by virtue of the Conventions mentioned in paragraph (1) shall be subject to the laws of only the first Contracting State. For purposes of this paragraph, employment by the Government of a Contracting State includes employment by an instrumentality thereof.

 

Article 10

The Competent Authorities of the two Contracting States may agree to grant exceptions to the provisions of Articles 7 through 9, with respect to any person or category of persons, provided that the affected person or persons shall be subject to the laws of one of the Contracting States.

 

Article 11

A person receiving a benefit under United States laws who transfers his residence to Luxembourg shall be entitled to optional continued sickness insurance under the provisions of Luxembourg laws.

 

PART III

PROVISIONS ON BENEFITS

Chapter 1

General Provisions

Article 12

Unless otherwise provided in this Agreement, where a person has completed periods of coverage under the laws of both Contracting States, the agency of a Contracting State which determines entitlement to benefits under its laws shall take account of periods of coverage which are creditable under the laws of the other Contracting State and which do not coincide with periods of coverage credited under its own laws.

 

Chapter 2

Special Provisions Applicable to the United States

Article 13

  1. The agency of the United States shall not apply the provisions of Article 12 if the person on whose account benefits are based has sufficient quarters of coverage to satisfy the requirements for entitlement to benefits under United States laws or has fewer than 6 quarters of coverage under United States laws.

  2. In determining eligibility for benefits under Article 12, the agency of the United States shall credit one quarter of coverage for every three months of coverage certified as creditable by the agency of Luxembourg; however, no quarter of coverage shall be credited for any calendar quarter already credited as a quarter of coverage under United States laws. The total number of quarters of coverage to be credited for a year shall not exceed four.

  3. Where entitlement to a benefit under United States laws is established according to the provisions of Article 12, the agency of the United States shall compute a pro rata Primary Insurance Amount in accordance with United States laws based on (a) the person's average earnings credited exclusively under United States laws and (b) the ratio of the duration of the person's periods of coverage completed under United States laws to the duration of a coverage lifetime as determined in accordance with United States laws. Benefits payable under United States laws shall be based on the pro rata Primary Insurance Amount.


  4. Entitlement to a benefit from the United States which results from Article 12 shall terminate with the acquisition of sufficient periods of coverage under United States laws to establish entitlement to an equal or higher benefit without the need to invoke the provisions of Article 12.
Chapter 3
Special Provisions Applicable to Luxembourg

Article 14

Periods which have the effect under Luxembourg laws of prolonging the reference period during which a certain duration of coverage must have been completed in order to establish entitlement to invalidity or survivors pensions shall also be taken into account if these periods have been completed in the territory of the United States.

 

Article 15

The provisions of Article 12 shall apply by analogy for the purpose of crediting in accordance with Luxembourg laws a period of coverage after the birth of a child for the parent who is responsible for raising the child. Application of this provision shall be subject to the condition that the person concerned last completed periods of coverage under Luxembourg laws.

 

Article 16

  1. Where a person is entitled to a pension under Luxembourg laws without application of the provisions of Articles 12 and 14, the Luxembourg agency shall, in accordance with the provisions of the laws which it administers, determine the amount of the pension corresponding to the total length of the periods of coverage to be taken into account pursuant to those laws.

  2. This agency shall also calculate the amount of the pension which would be obtained by applying the rules laid down in paragraph (2).

    Only the higher of these amounts shall be paid.


  3. Where a person is entitled to a pension under Luxembourg laws and the conditions for entitlement are not satisfied unless account is taken of the provisions of Articles 12 and 14, the following rules shall apply:


    1. the Luxembourg agency shall calculate the theoretical amount of the pension that the person concerned could claim if all the periods of coverage completed under the laws of the two Contracting States had been completed under its own laws;


    2. the Luxembourg agency shall then establish the actual amount of the pension by multiplying the theoretical amount referred to above by the ratio that the length of the periods of coverage completed under the laws which it administers bears to the total length of the periods of coverage completed under the laws of the two Contracting States;


    3. for the calculation of the theoretical amount referred to in subparagraph a), the Luxembourg agency shall credit for the periods of coverage completed under United States laws:


      1. as far as the calculation of proportional and special proportional increases is concerned, the average earnings recorded for periods of coverage completed under Luxembourg laws;


      2. as far as the calculation of fixed increases and special fixed increases is concerned, a fixed amount equal to the fixed amount which would have been used if the periods of coverage had been completed under Luxembourg laws.

 

Article 17

If the total length of the periods of coverage completed by a person under Luxembourg laws does not amount to one year and if under those laws no right to pension is acquired by virtue only of those periods, the Luxembourg agency shall not be required to award a pension with respect to such periods. If a right to pension is not acquired, the contributions paid on account of the person shall be reimbursed to him pursuant to Luxembourg laws upon attainment of age sixty-five.

 


PART IV


MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

Article 18

The Competent Authorities of the two Contracting States shall:

    1. Make all necessary administrative arrangements for the application of this Agreement;

    2. Communicate to each other information concerning the measures taken for the application of this Agreement;

    3. Communicate to each other information concerning all changes in their respective laws which may affect the application of this Agreement; and


    4. Designate liaison agencies to facilitate the application of this Agreement.

 

Article 19

The Competent Authorities and the agencies of the Contracting States, within the scope of their respective authorities, shall assist each other in implementing this Agreement. The administrative assistance furnished by the Competent Authorities and agencies shall, as a rule, be free of charge. However, the Competent Authorities of the Contracting States may agree that certain expenses be reimbursed.

 

Article 20

  1. Any exemption from or reduction of taxes, stamp duty, notarial or registration fees provided for in the laws of one Contracting State with respect to certificates or documents required to be produced for the purposes of the laws of that Contracting State shall be extended to similar documents produced for the purposes of the laws of the other Contracting State or of this Agreement.


  2. All declarations, documents and certificates required to be produced for the purposes of this Agreement shall be exempt from authentication by diplomatic or consular authorities.

 

Article 21

  1. The Competent Authorities and agencies of the Contracting States may correspond directly with each other and with any person wherever the person may reside whenever it is necessary for the administration of this Agreement. The correspondence may be in an official language of either Contracting State.


  2. An application or document may not be rejected because it is in an official language of the other Contracting State.

 

Article 22

  1. A written application for benefits filed with the agency of one Contracting State shall protect the rights of the claimants under the laws of the other Contracting State if the applicant requests that it be considered an application under the laws of the other Contracting State.

  2. If an applicant has filed a written application for benefits with the agency of one Contracting State and has not explicitly requested that the application be restricted to benefits under the laws of that Contracting State, the application shall also protect the rights of the claimants under the laws of the other Contracting State if the applicant provides information at the time of filing indicating that the person on whose record benefits are claimed has completed periods of coverage under the laws of the other Contracting State.


  3. The provisions of this Agreement shall apply only to an application for benefits which is filed on or after the date this Agreement enters into force.

 

Article 23

Any claim, declaration or appeal which must be submitted within a specified period to the Competent Authority or an agency of one Contracting State in order to comply with the laws of that Contracting State shall be considered to have been submitted on time if it is submitted within the same period to the Competent Authority or an agency of the other Contracting State.

 

Article 24

  1. Payments under this Agreement may be made in the currency of the Contracting State making the payment.


  2. In case provisions designed to restrict the exchange or exportation of currencies are introduced by either Contracting State, the Governments of both Contracting States shall immediately decide on the measures necessary to ensure the transfer of sums owed by either Contracting State under this Agreement.


 

Article 25

Disagreements between the two Contracting States regarding the interpretation or implementation of this Agreement shall be the subject of negotiations between the Competent Authorities of the Contracting States.

 

 

Article 26

Unless otherwise required by the national statutes of a Contracting State, information about an individual which is transmitted in accordance with the Agreement to that Contracting State by the other Contracting State shall be used exclusively for purposes of implementing the Agreement. Such information received by a Contracting State shall be governed by the national statutes of that Contracting State for the protection of privacy and confidentiality of personal data.

 

PART V


TRANSITIONAL AND FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 27

  1. This Agreement shall not establish any claim to payment of a benefit for any period before its entry into force, or to a lump-sum death benefit if the person died before the entry into force of the Agreement.

  2. All periods of coverage completed under the laws of a Contracting State before the entry into force of this Agreement shall be taken into consideration for the determination of rights acquired under the provisions of this Agreement, except that the United States shall not take into account periods of coverage which occurred prior to 1937.


  3. Subject to the provisions of paragraph (1), a right may be acquired under this Agreement even though it relates to a contingency which arose before its entry into force.

  4. Any benefit which was denied or suspended in accordance with the domestic laws of a Contracting State on account of the nationality of the person concerned or of his residence in the territory of the other Contracting State but which is payable by virtue of this Agreement shall, at the request of the person concerned, be awarded or resumed effective with the date on which this Agreement enters into force, unless the right to such benefit was previously settled by payment of a lump sum.



  5. Benefit rights which persons may have acquired before the entry into force of this Agreement shall be reviewed at their request, taking into account the provisions of this Agreement. These rights may also be revised ex officio. In no circumstances shall this Agreement result in a reduction of any cash benefit to which entitlement existed prior to its entry into force.


  6. In applying Article 8(1) in the case of persons who were sent to the territory of a Contracting State prior to the date of entry into force of this Agreement, the period of employment referred to in that paragraph shall be considered to begin on that date.




Article 28

This Agreement may be amended in the future by supplementary agreements which from their entry into force shall be considered an integral part of this Agreement. Such agreements may be given retroactive effect if they so specify.

 

Article 29

Both Contracting States shall notify each other in writing of the completion of their respective constitutional and statutory procedures required for the entry into force of this Agreement. This Agreement shall enter into force on the first day of the third month following the date of the last notification.

 

Article 30

This Agreement shall remain in force and effect until the expiration of one calendar year following the year in which written notice of its termination is given by one of the Contracting States to the other Contracting State

 

Article 31

In the event this Agreement is terminated, all rights regarding entitlement to or payment of benefits acquired under its provisions shall be retained; the Contracting States shall make arrangements dealing with rights in the process of being acquired.

 

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the undersigned, being duly authorized thereto, have signed the present Agreement.

 

Done at Luxembourg on February 12, 1992 in duplicate, in the English and French languages, the two texts being equally authentic.

 

FOR THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

Edward M. Rowell

 

FOR THE GRAND DUCHY OF LUXEMBOURG:

Jacques F. Poos

 

 

 

ADMINISTRATIVE ARRANGEMENT

FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE AGREEMENT

BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

AND THE GRAND DUCHY OF LUXEMBOURG

ON SOCIAL SECURITY

 


In conformity with Article 18, paragraph (a), of the Agreement between the United States of America and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg on Social Security of this date, hereinafter referred to as the "Agreement", the Competent Authorities have agreed as follows:

 

Chapter I

General Provisions

Article 1


The terms used in this Administrative Arrangement shall have the same meaning as in the Agreement.

 

Article 2

  1. The liaison agencies referred to in Article 18, paragraph (d), of the Agreement shall be:

    1. for the United States, the Social Security Administration;


    2. for Luxembourg, the General Inspectorate for Social Security (l'Inspection générale de la sécurité sociale).

  2. The liaison agencies designated in paragraph 1 shall agree upon the joint procedures and forms necessary for the implementation of the Agreement and this Administrative Arrangement.

Chapter II

Provisions on Coverage

Article 3

  1. Where the laws of a Contracting State are applicable in accordance with any of the provisions of Part II of the Agreement, the liaison agency of that Contracting State, upon request of the employer or self-employed person, shall issue a certificate stating that the employee or self-employed person is subject to those laws. This certificate shall be proof that the named worker is exempt from the laws on compulsory coverage of the other Contracting State.


  2. The liaison agency of a Contracting State which issues a certificate referred to in paragraph 1 shall furnish a copy of the certificate to the liaison agency of the other Contracting State as needed by the latter agency.

 

Chapter III

Provisions on Benefits

Article 4

  1. The agency of the Contracting State with which an application for benefits is first filed in accordance with Article 22 of the Agreement shall inform the liaison agency of the other Contracting State of this fact without delay and provide such evidence and other information as may be required to complete action on the claim.


  2. The agency of a Contracting State which receives an application that was first filed with an agency of the other Contracting State shall without delay provide the liaison agency of that Contracting State with such evidence and other available information as may be required for it to complete action on the claim.


  3. The agency of the Contracting State with which an application for benefits has been filed shall verify the information pertaining to the applicant and his family members. The types of information to be verified shall be agreed upon by the liaison agencies.

Chapter IV


Miscellaneous Provisions

Article 5

In accordance with measures to be agreed upon pursuant to Article 2 of this Administrative Arrangement, the agency of one Contracting State shall, upon request of an agency of the other Contracting State, furnish available information relating to the claim of any specified individual for the purpose of administering the Agreement.


Article 6

The agency of a Contracting State which receives a claim, declaration or appeal referred to in Article 23 of the Agreement shall indicate the date of receipt on the document and forward the document without delay to the liaison agency of the other Contracting State.

 

Article 7

The liaison agencies of the two Contracting States shall exchange statistics on the payments made to beneficiaries under the Agreement. These statistics shall be furnished annually in a form to be agreed upon.

 

Article 8

  1. Where administrative assistance is requested under Article 19 of the Agreement, expenses other than regular personnel and operating costs of the agencies providing the assistance shall be reimbursed.

  2. Upon request, an agency of either Contracting State shall furnish without cost to an agency of the other Contracting State any medical information and documentation in its possession relevant to the disability of the claimant or beneficiary.

  3. The agency of one Contracting State shall reimburse amounts owed under paragraph 1 of this Article upon presentation of a detailed statement of expenses by the agency of the other Contracting State.

 

Article 9

This Administrative Arrangement shall enter into force on the date of entry into force of the Agreement and shall have the same period of validity.

 

DONE at Luxembourg on February 12, 1992 in duplicate, in the English and French languages, the two texts being equally authentic.


FOR THE COMPETENT AUTHORITY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

Edward M. Rowell

FOR THE COMPETENT AUTHORITY OF THE GRAND DUCHY OF LUXEMBOURG:

Mady Delvaux-Stehres