U.S.-Swedish Social Security Agreement

Agreement, with Administrative Arrangement, both signed at Stockholm May 27, 1985; entered into force January 1, 1987;
as amended by a Supplementary Agreement signed at Stockholm June 22, 2004; entered into force November 1, 2007.

Svensk version

Contents

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

AGREEMENT BETWEEN
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
AND THE KINGDOM OF SWEDEN
ON SOCIAL SECURITY


The Government of the United States of America and

The Government of the Kingdom of Sweden

BEING DESIROUS of regulating the relationship between their two countries in the field of Social Security, have agreed to the following provisions:

 

PART I

GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1

For the purpose of this Agreement:

  1. "Territory" means, as regards the United States, the States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa,

    and as regards Sweden, the territory of the Kingdom of Sweden;

  2. "National" means,

    as regards the United States, a national of the United States as defined in Section 101, Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, as amended,

    and as regards Sweden, a person of Swedish nationality;

  3. "Laws" means
  4. the laws and regulations concerning the systems of social security specified in Article 2;


  5. "Competent Authority" means,
  6. as regards the United States, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, and

    as regards Sweden, the Government or the Authority nominated by the Government;

  7. "Agency" means,
  8. as regards the United States, the Social Security Administration, and

    as regards Sweden, any agency or authority responsible for implementing the laws specified in Article 2, paragraph 1(b);

  9. "Period of coverage" means
  10. a period of contributions, a period of earnings from employment or self-employment, or any similar period recognized as a period of coverage, according to the laws under which it was completed; and


  11. "Benefit" or "Pension" means
  12. any old-age, dependent, survivor or disability pension or benefit provided for in the laws of either Contracting State.

 

Article 2

  1. For the purpose of this Agreement, the applicable laws concerning benefits and contributions are:

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

      1. 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,


      2. Chapter 2 and Chapter 21 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 and regulations pertaining to those chapters;



    2. As regards Sweden, the laws governing


        1. basic pension,


        2. supplementary pension;


    provided, however, that this Agreement shall not affect coverage or the liability to pay contributions under branches of social security other than those referred to in this subparagraph.

  1. Unless otherwise provided in this Agreement, laws within the meaning of paragraph 1 shall not include treaties or other international agreements concluded between one Contracting State and a third State, or laws or regulations promulgated for their specific implementation.

 

Article 3

Unless otherwise provided in this Agreement, this Agreement shall apply to:

  1. nationals of the Contracting States,

  2. refugees and stateless persons within the meaning of the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, dated July 28, 1951, and the Protocol to that Convention, dated January 31, 1967, and the Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, dated September 28, 1954,

  3. other persons with respect to the rights they derive from a national of either Contracting State, from a refugee or from a stateless person, and


  4. nationals of a State other than a Contracting State who are not included among the persons referred to in paragraph (c) of this Article.

Article 4

Unless otherwise provided in this Agreement, the persons designated in Article 3 (a), (b), or (c) who reside in the territory of a Contracting State shall, in the application of the laws of that Contracting State, receive equal treatment with the nationals of that Contracting State.

 

Article 5

Unless otherwise provided in this Agreement, the laws of a Contracting State under which entitlement to or payment of benefits is dependent on residence or presence in the territory of that Contracting State shall not be applicable to the persons designated in Article 3 (a), (b) or (c) who reside in the territory of the other Contracting State.

 

Article 6

Unless otherwise provided in this Agreement, benefits payable under the laws of one of the Contracting States shall be paid to nationals of the other Contracting State, who are resident in the territory of a third State, on the same terms and to the same extent as to the nationals of the first Contracting State resident in the territory of this third State.

PART II

APPLICABLE LAWS ON COVERAGE

Article 7

  1. Unless otherwise provided in this Agreement, 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. If a person in the service of an employer having a place of business in the territory of one Contracting State is sent by that employer to the territory of the other Contracting State for a period not expected to exceed 60 months, he shall be subject to the laws of only the first Contracting State as if he were still employed in the territory of the first Contracting State. A person who is sent by an employer located in the territory of one Contracting State to the territory of the other Contracting State, and who is subject to the laws of the first State according to the provisions of the preceding sentence, shall be considered resident in the first State for purposes of Swedish laws on pensions. The spouse and children who accompany the person shall also be considered resident in the first State for purposes of Swedish laws on pensions for any period in which they are not engaged in employment subject to the laws of the other State.

 

Article 8

A person who would otherwise be covered under the laws of both Contracting States with respect to self-employment performed in either Contracting State and who is a resident of one Contracting State shall be subject to the laws of only the Contracting State of which he is a resident.

 

Article 9

  1. If a person is employed as an officer or member of a crew on a vessel which flies the flag of one Contracting State and is covered under the laws of both Contracting States, the person shall be subject to the laws of only the Contracting State whose flag the vessel flies. For purposes of the preceding sentence, a vessel which flies the flag of the United States is one defined as an American vessel under the laws of the United States.


  2. A person who would otherwise be covered under the laws of both Contracting States with respect to employment as an officer or member of a crew on an aircraft shall, with respect to that employment, be subject only to the laws of Sweden if he resides in the territory of Sweden, and only to United States laws if he resides in the territory of the United States.

 

Article 10

  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. Nationals of one of the Contracting States who are employed by that 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 Vienna Conventions mentioned in paragraph 1 shall be subject to the laws of only the first Contracting State. Employment by the United States shall mean employment by the United States Government or an instrumentality thereof.



Article 11

  1. The Competent Authorities of the two Contracting States may agree on exceptions to Articles 7, 8, 9, and 10, with respect to persons or categories of persons, provided that the affected persons shall be subject to the laws of one of the Contracting States.


  2. Where a person covered under the laws of a Contracting State in accordance with this Agreement is also covered under the laws of the other Contracting State or a third State in accordance with the provisions of an agreement between either Contracting State and a third State, the Competent Authorities of the two Contracting States may agree to exclude the person from the application of Part II of this Agreement.

 

 

PART III

Provisions on Benefits


Chapter I

Provisions Applicable to the United States

Article 12

  1. Where a person has completed at least six quarters of coverage under United States laws, but does not have sufficient quarters of coverage to satisfy the requirements for entitlement to benefits under United States laws, the agency of the United States shall take into account, for the purpose of establishing entitlement to benefits under this Article, periods of coverage which are credited under Swedish laws on supplementary pension insurance and which do not coincide with periods of coverage already credited under United States laws.


  2. In determining eligibility for benefits under paragraph 1 of this Article, the agency of the United States shall credit four quarters of coverage for each pension point year certified by the agency of Sweden; 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 paragraph 1, 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 credited 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 paragraph 1 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 provision of paragraph 1.


  5. Articles 4, 5 and 6 of the Agreement shall be applied by the United States in a manner consistent with section 233(c)(4) of the United States Social Security Act.

 

 


Chapter II

Provisions Applicable to Sweden

Article 13

  1. Nationals of the United States as well as the persons designated in Article 3 (b) and (c) who do not fulfill the conditions of the Swedish laws which apply to them as regards entitlement to a basic pension shall, whether they reside in Sweden or not, be entitled to a basic pension in accordance with the provisions applicable to Swedish nationals resident outside of Sweden.


  2. Disability benefits which are not supplements to a basic pension, care allowances for handicapped children, pension supplements and income-tested pension benefits shall be granted to persons designated in paragraph 1 who are residing in Sweden, appropriately applying the rules contained in that paragraph.


  3. Where a person designated in Article 3 (a), (b) or (c) does not have sufficient Swedish periods of coverage to satisfy the requirements for entitlement to a basic pension in accordance with the provisions applicable to Swedish nationals resident outside of Sweden, periods of coverage completed under United States laws shall be taken into account insofar as they do not coincide with Swedish periods of coverage.


  4. Where periods of coverage have been completed under both the Swedish laws on supplementary pension insurance and United States laws, those periods shall, when necessary, be added together for the acquisition of a right to supplementary pension, insofar as they do not coincide.


  5. When computing the amount of a supplementary pension, only periods of coverage creditable under Swedish laws shall be taken into account.


  6. When applying paragraphs 3 and 4 of this Article, four quarters of coverage under United States laws shall be considered equal to one calendar year for which pension points have been credited under Swedish laws.


  7. Article 4 of this Agreement shall not result in an extension in the application of the transitional provisions of Swedish laws concerning:


    1. the right to a basic pension for Swedish nationals born before 1930 residing outside Sweden, and


    2. the calculation of a supplementary pension for Swedish nationals born before 1924.


  8. Article 5 of this Agreement does not affect the provisions of Swedish laws concerning the right of Swedish nationals residing outside of Sweden to a basic pension.



PART IV


MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

Article 14

  1. The Competent Authorities shall make all necessary administrative arrangements for the application of this Agreement.


  2. Liaison agencies for the implementation of this Agreement shall be:


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


    2. for Sweden, the National Social Insurance Board.


 

Article 15

  1. The Competent Authorities and the agencies of the Contracting States, within the scope of their respective authority, shall assist each other in implementing this Agreement. This assistance shall be free of charge subject to exceptions to be agreed upon in an administrative arrangement.


  2. Correspondence between the Competent Authorities and agencies, communications from individual persons, and applications or documents may be in English or Swedish.

 

Article 16

The Competent Authorities shall inform each other as soon as possible of any amendments to the laws specified in Article 2 which may affect the application of this Agreement.

 

Article 17

The Competent Authorities shall keep each other informed of the measures taken for the application of this Agreement.

 

Article 18

Any exemption granted by one of the Contracting States from fees or charges, including stamp duties or notarial or registration fees, in respect of certificates and documents required to be submitted to its Competent Authority or an agency shall also apply to certificates and documents which for the purposes of this Agreement must be submitted to the Competent Authority or an agency of the other Contracting State. Documents and certificates which are presented for purposes of this Agreement shall be exempted from requirements for authentication by diplomatic or consular authorities.

 

Article 19

An application, appeal, or other document which according to the laws of a Contracting State must be submitted to an agency of that Contracting State within a specified period shall be considered to have been timely filed if it is submitted within the same period to an agency of the other Contracting State. In such case, the agency with which the application, appeal, or document has been filed shall indicate the date of receipt on the document and transmit it without delay to the liaison agency of the other Contracting State.

 

 

Article 20

  1. A written application for benefits filed with an agency of one Contracting State shall protect the rights of the claimants under the laws of the other Contracting State if the applicant (a) requests that it be considered an application under the laws of the other Contracting State or (b) in the absence of a request that it not be so considered, provides information at the time of application indicating that the person on whose record benefits are claimed has completed periods of coverage under the laws of the other Contracting State.


  2. An applicant may request that an application filed with an agency of one Contracting State be effective on a different date in the other Contracting State within the limitations of and in conformity with the laws of the other Contracting State.

 

Article 21

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


  2. Should currency restrictions be introduced by either of the Contracting States, the two Governments shall immediately decide on the necessary steps to insure the transfer of amounts owed by either Contracting State in conformity with the provisions of this Agreement.

 

Article 22

  1. Disagreements arising in connection with the application of this Agreement shall, as far as possible, be resolved by mutual agreement between the Competent Authorities of the Contracting States.

  2. If any such disagreement has not been resolved within a period of six months, either Contracting State may submit the matter to binding arbitration by an arbitral body whose composition and procedure shall be agreed upon by the Contracting States.

 

Article 23

  1. 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 supplementary agreements may be given retroactive effect if they so specify.

  2. The Competent Authority of either Contracting State may call a meeting for the consideration of a supplementary agreement.

 

PART V


TRANSITIONAL AND FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 24

  1. This Agreement shall apply to events which occurred prior to its entry into force insofar as they are relevant to rights under the laws specified in Article 2. However, no benefits shall be payable under this Agreement with respect to any period prior to its entry into force, and no lump sum death benefit shall be payable if the person died before its entry into force. Periods of coverage completed before the entry into force of this Agreement shall be taken into account in order to determine the right to benefits under this Agreement.


  2. The provisions of Part III of this Agreement shall apply only to an application for benefits which is filed on or after the date this Agreement enters into force. Where no final decision has been made on an application filed before the date this Agreement enters into force, the application shall be considered to have been filed on that date.


  3. Determinations made before the entry into force of this Agreement shall not affect rights arising under it. This Agreement shall not result in the reduction of cash benefit amounts because of its entry into force.


  4. Provisions of Swedish laws limiting retroactivity of the right to benefits shall not apply to rights arising as a result of the entry into force of this Agreement, provided that the claimant submits an application for benefits within one year after the date of entry into force of this Agreement.


  5. The period of work referred to in Article 7.2 shall be measured beginning on or after the date on which this Agreement enters into force.

 

Article 25

  1. This Agreement may be denounced by either of the Contracting States. If the Agreement is denounced it shall remain in force and effect until the expiration of one calendar year following the year in which written notice of its denunciation is given by one of the Contracting States to the other Contracting State.


  2. If this Agreement is terminated by denunciation, its provisions shall continue to apply to benefits which have already been awarded. Rights in the process of being acquired by virtue of this Agreement shall be settled by special arrangement between the Contracting States.

 

Article 26

This Agreement shall enter into force on the first day of the third month following the month in which each Government shall have received from the other Government written notification that it has complied with all statutory and constitutional requirements for the entry into force of the Agreement.

     

In witness whereof, the undersigned, being duly authorized by their respective Governments, have signed this Agreement.

 

Done at Stockholm on May 27, 1985 in duplicate in the English and Swedish languages, both texts being equally authentic.


For the Government of the United States of America:

Margaret M. Heckler
Franklin S. Forsberg


For the Government of the Kingdom of Sweden:

Sten Andersson

 

Administrative Arrangement

for the Implementation of the Agreement

between the United States of America

and the Kingdom of Sweden

on Social Security

 

 

The Government of the United States of America and the Government of Sweden,

In conformity with Article 14, paragraph 1, of the Agreement between the United States of America and the Kingdom of Sweden on Social Security of this date, hereinafter referred to as the "Agreement," have agreed as follows:

 

Chapter 1

General Provisions

Article 1

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

 

Article 2

The liaison agencies designated in Article 14, paragraph 2, of the Agreement shall agree upon joint procedures and forms necessary for the implementation of the Agreement and this Administrative Arrangement.

 

Chapter 2

Provisions on Coverage

Article 3

  1. In cases referred to in Article 7, paragraph 2, of the Agreement, the application of the laws of a Contracting State shall be proved by a certificate. In other appropriate cases referred to in Part II of the Agreement, such a certificate may also be issued.


  2. The certificate referred to in paragraph 1 shall be issued upon request


  3. --In the United States

    By the Social Security Administration

    --In Sweden

    By the National Social Insurance Board or, after authorization, its delegate.

 

Chapter 3

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 20 of the Agreement shall inform the agency of the other Contracting State of this fact without delay, using forms established for this purpose. It shall also transmit documents and such other available information as may be necessary for the agency of the other Contracting State to establish the right of the applicant to benefits according to the provisions of Part III of the Agreement. In the case of an application for disability benefits it shall, in particular, transmit all relevant medical evidence in its possession concerning the disability of the applicant.

  2. The agency of a Contracting State which receives an application filed with an agency of the other Contracting State shall without delay provide the agency of the other Contracting State with such evidence and other available information as it may require 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 accuracy of 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.

 

Article 5

In the application of Article 12 of the Agreement, the Swedish agency shall notify the United States agency of the years in which a person is credited with pension points under Swedish laws.

 

Article 6

In the application of Article 13 of the Agreement, the United States agency shall when necessary notify the Swedish agency of the periods of coverage which a person has completed under the laws of the United States.

 

Chapter 4


Miscellaneous Provisions

Article 7

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 the agency of the other Contracting State, furnish available information relating to the claim of any specified individual for the purpose of administering the Agreement or the laws specified in Article 2, paragraph 1, of the Agreement.

 

Article 8

Copies of documents which are certified as true and exact copies by the agency of one Contracting State shall be accepted as true and exact copies by the agency of the other Contracting State, without further certification. When applying its laws, the agency of each Contracting State shall be the final judge of the probative value of the evidence submitted to it from whatever source.

 

Article 9

The liaison agencies of the two Contracting States shall exchange statistics on the number of certificates issued under Article 3 of this Administrative Arrangement and on the payments made to beneficiaries under the Agreement for each calendar year in a form to be agreed upon. The data shall include the number of beneficiaries and the total amount of benefits, by type of benefit.

 

Article 10

  1. Where administrative assistance is requested under Article 15 of the Agreement, expenses other than regular personnel and operating costs of the agencies providing the assistance shall be reimbursed.


  2. Where the agency of a Contracting State requires that a claimant or beneficiary submit to a medical examination, such examination, if requested by that agency, shall be arranged by the agency of the other Contracting State in which the claimant or beneficiary is present, in accordance with the rules of the agency making the arrangements and at the expense of the agency which requests the examination.


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


  4. Amounts owed under paragraphs 1 and 2 shall be reimbursed upon presentation of a detailed statement of expenses.


Article 11

Where the Agreement or this Administrative Arrangement provides for communication between agencies of the Contracting States, the agencies may communicate either directly or through the liaison agencies.

 

Article 12

Unless authorized 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.

 

Article 13

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 Stockholm on May 27, 1985 in duplicate in the English and Swedish languages, both texts being equally authentic.

 

For the Government of the United States of America:

Margaret M. Heckler
Franklin S. Forsberg

For the Government of the Kingdom of Sweden:

Sten Andersson