U.S.-Swiss Social Security Agreement


Agreement and administrative arrangement both signed at Bern, December 3, 2012. Entry into force August 1, 2014. Replaced an earlier U.S.-Swiss agreement which entered into force November 1, 1980.

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Contents

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

 

Text in bold type indicates provisions of the new U.S.-Swiss Social Security agreement that differ significantly in wording or substance from the corresponding provisions of the original U.S.-Swiss Social Security agreement signed July 18, 1979, as amended June 1, 1988.


AGREEMENT BETWEEN
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
AND THE SWISS CONFEDERATION
ON SOCIAL SECURITY

 

The Government of the United States of America and

the Government of the Swiss Confederation,

Being desirous of regulating the relationship between their two countries in the field of Social Security, have agreed as follows:

PART I

Definitions and Laws

ARTICLE 1

Definitions

  1. For the purposes of this Agreement:

    1. "Territory" means, as regards the United States, the States thereof, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the United States Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa, and as regards Switzerland, the territory of the Swiss Confederation;
    2. "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 Switzerland, a person of Swiss nationality;
    3. "Laws" means the laws and regulations specified in Article 2 of this Agreement;
    4. "Competent Authority" means, as regards the United States, the Commissioner of Social Security, and as regards Switzerland, the Federal Social Insurance Office;
    5. "Agency" means, as regards the United States, the Social Security Administration, and as regards Switzerland, a compensation fund of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and the other bodies responsible for the administration of Disability Insurance;
    6. "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 has been completed, or any similar period insofar as it is recognized by such laws as equivalent to a period of coverage;
    7. "Benefit" means any benefit provided for in the laws specified in Article 2 of this Agreement;
    8. “Family members” and “survivors” mean, in relation to Switzerland, family members and survivors, whose rights are derived from a national of a Contracting State, from a refugee or from a stateless person;
    9. "Stateless person" means a person defined as a stateless person in Article 1 of the Convention Relating to the Status of Stateless Persons dated September 28, 1954;
    10. "Refugee" means a person defined as a refugee in Article 1 of the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees dated July 28, 1951, and the Protocol to that Convention dated January 31, 1967; and
    11. "Personal data" means any information relating to a specific (identified or identifiable) person, as well as any information which can be used to distinguish or trace an individual’s identity.  This includes, but is not limited to, the following: any individual identifier; citizenship, statelessness or refugee status; benefits, eligibility, or other claims information; contact information; medical information or lay information used in a medical determination; information about marital, familial or personal relationships; and information pertaining to work, financial or economic status.
  2. Any term not defined in this Article shall have the meaning assigned to it in the applicable laws.

ARTICLE 2

Material Scope

  1. For the purpose of this Agreement, the applicable laws are:
    1. As regards Switzerland, the Federal laws governing

      --the Federal law on old-age and survivors’ insurance;

      --the Federal law on disability insurance; and
    2. as regards the United States of America, 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. Laws within the meaning of paragraph 1 shall not include treaties or other international agreements or supranational legislation on Social Security concluded between one Contracting State and a third State or laws or regulations promulgated for their specific implementation.
  3. Except as provided in the following sentence, this Agreement shall also apply to legislation which amends or supplements the laws specified in paragraph 1.  This Agreement shall apply to legislation or regulations which extend the existing laws to other categories of beneficiaries or which involve a new branch of Social Security only if both Contracting States so agree.

PART II

General Provisions

ARTICLE 3

Personal Scope

Unless otherwise provided, this Agreement shall apply to:

    1. nationals of either Contracting State,

    2. refugees who reside in either Contracting State,

    3. stateless persons who reside in either Contracting State,

    4. other persons, including family members and survivors, with respect to the rights they derive from persons in categories (a), (b) and (c).

    5. for the application of Articles 7, 8 paragraph 3, 9 to 12, 20 to 26 and 29, to any person regardless of nationality.

ARTICLE 4

Equality of Treatment

  1. Unless otherwise provided in this Agreement, persons designated in Article 3 letters a, b and 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 nationals of that Contracting State.
  2. Unless otherwise provided in this Agreement, family members and survivors of a national of a Contracting State who reside in the territory of a Contracting State shall, in the application of the laws of that Contracting State, receive equal treatment with family members and survivors of a national of that Contracting State.

ARTICLE 5

Portability of Benefits

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 as well as to their family members and survivors, 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 or to their family members and survivors.

ARTICLE 6

Application of National Laws

This Agreement shall not prevent the application of provisions of the laws of either Contracting State concerning benefits that are more favorable to the persons listed in Article 3.

PART III

Provisions Concerning Applicable Laws

ARTICLE 7

Coverage Provisions

  1. Unless otherwise provided in Part III of this Agreement, a person of any nationality who is employed in the territory of either Contracting State shall be subject, with respect to employment in that territory, to the laws on compulsory coverage of the Contracting State where the person is employed and, in determining the amount of contributions payable under the laws of that Contracting State, no account shall be taken of any income the person may receive from employment in the territory of the other Contracting State.
  2. Where a person of any nationality is in the service of an employer having a place of business in the territory of a Contracting State and is sent by that employer to the territory of the other Contracting State for a period not expected to exceed 5 years, the person shall be subject to the laws on compulsory coverage of only the first Contracting State as if he or she were employed in its territory.  For purposes of applying this paragraph in the case of an employee who is sent from the territory of the United States by an employer in that territory to the territory of Switzerland, that employer and an affiliated company of the employer (as defined under the laws of the United States) shall be considered one and the same, provided that the employment would have been covered under United States laws absent this Agreement.
  3. Paragraph 2 of this Article shall apply where a person who has been sent by his or her employer from the territory of a Contracting State to the territory of a third State, and who is compulsorily covered under the laws of that Contracting State while employed in the territory of the third State, is subsequently sent by that employer from the territory of the third State to the territory of the other Contracting State.
  4. A person of any nationality who is self-employed in the territory of one or both Contracting States and who is a resident of one Contracting State shall be subject to the laws on compulsory coverage of only the Contracting State in whose territory the person resides.
  5. Where the same activity is considered to be self-employment under the laws of one Contracting State and employment under the laws of the other Contracting State, that activity shall be subject to the laws of only the first Contracting State if the person is a resident of that State, and to the laws of only the other Contracting State in any other case.

ARTICLE 8

Government Employment

  1. Part III of this Agreement shall not apply to the categories of persons listed in the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of April 18, 1961, and of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of April 24, 1963.
  2. Nationals of the United States employed by the Government of the United States in the territory of Switzerland who are not exempt from Swiss laws by virtue of the Conventions mentioned in paragraph 1, shall be subject to the laws on compulsory coverage of only the United States.  For the purpose of this paragraph, employment by the United States Government includes employment by an instrumentality thereof.
  3. An employee of any nationality of a public service in Switzerland who is posted to the territory of the United States shall be subject only to Swiss laws.

ARTICLE 9

Airline Employees

Traveling employees of any nationality of air transportation companies who perform work in the territories of both Contracting States and who would otherwise be covered under the laws of both Contracting States shall, with respect to that work, be subject to the laws of only the Contracting State in the territory of which the company has its headquarters.  However, if such employees reside in the territory of the other Contracting State, they shall be subject to the laws of only that State.

ARTICLE 10

Seafarers

A person of any nationality employed as an officer or member of a crew on a vessel which flies the flag of one Contracting State and who would otherwise be covered under the laws of both Contracting States shall be subject to the laws of only the Contracting State whose flag the vessel flies.  The activity pursued on a vessel which flies the Swiss flag shall be deemed to be an activity pursued on the territory of Switzerland.  A vessel which flies the flag of the United States is one defined as an American vessel under the laws of the United States.

ARTICLE 11

  1. Where in application of Part III a person of any nationality remains subject to the laws of one Contracting State while working in the territory of the other Contracting State, the same applies to the spouse and the children, of any nationality, residing with that person in the territory of the second Contracting State, provided that they are not gainfully employed themselves in the territory of this Contracting State.
  2. Where in the application of paragraph 1 Swiss laws apply to the spouse and children, they are insured in the Swiss old age, survivors' and disability insurance.

ARTICLE 12

Exceptions

The Competent Authority of one Contracting State may grant an exception to the provisions of Part III of this Agreement or an extension of the period in Article 7 paragraph 2 of this Agreement in the interest of particular persons or categories of persons, if the Competent Authority of the other Contracting State agrees, provided that the affected person or persons will be subject to the laws on compulsory coverage of one of the Contracting States.

PART IV

Provisions on Benefits

CHAPTER 1

Application of Swiss Laws

ARTICLE 13

Exceptions to Equality of Treatment

Article 4 shall not apply to Swiss laws:

  1. on the voluntary old-age, survivors’ and disability insurance;

  2. on old-age, survivors’, and disability insurance of Swiss nationals who are gainfully occupied abroad in the service of the Swiss Confederation or organizations in the meaning of subparagraph 1(c) of Article 1a of the Federal law on old-age and survivors’ insurance; and

  3. on the voluntary old-age, survivors’ and disability insurance for Swiss nationals employed by organizations in the meaning of subparagraph 4(b) of Article 1a of the Federal law on old-age and survivors’ insurance.

ARTICLE 14

Totalization for Swiss Benefits

  1. Where a person does not meet the requirements for entitlement to an ordinary pension from the Swiss disability insurance solely on the basis of the periods of coverage completed according to Swiss laws, the Agency shall take into account, for the acquisition of the right to benefits, United States periods of coverage, as long as these periods do not overlap with those completed according to the Swiss laws.
  2. Where the periods of coverage completed according to Swiss laws do not amount to one year, paragraph 1 does not apply.

  3. The amount of the benefits shall be determined solely on the basis of the periods of coverage completed according to Swiss laws. The calculation is carried out according to Swiss laws.

ARTICLE 15

Rehabilitation Measures

  1. United States nationals, who, immediately prior to eligibility for rehabilitation measures have been liable to pay contributions to the Swiss old age, survivors' and disability insurance, shall be entitled to such measures as long as they are physically present in Switzerland.
  2. United States nationals, who are not gainfully employed and who, immediately prior to eligibility for rehabilitation measures have not been liable to pay contributions to the Swiss old age, survivors' and disability insurance because of their age, but nevertheless have been insured under this insurance, shall be entitled to such measures as long as they are domiciled in Switzerland, if, immediately prior to eligibility for the measures they have resided in Switzerland without interruption for at least one full year. Minor children shall, moreover also be entitled to such measures if they are domiciled in Switzerland and if they have either been born disabled there or have resided there without interruption since birth.
  3. United States nationals residing in Switzerland who leave Switzerland for a period not exceeding three months shall not be deemed to have interrupted their residence in Switzerland within the meaning of paragraph 2.
  4. A child who is a United States national and who is born disabled in the United States to a mother who:

    1. is domiciled and insured in Switzerland; and

    2. was absent from Switzerland for not more than 2 months before the birth;

    shall be treated as a child born disabled in Switzerland. In the case of a congenitally handicapped child, Swiss disability insurance shall also be responsible for meeting expenses incurred abroad during the first three months after the birth to the same extent as it would have been required to meet these in Switzerland.
  5. Paragraph 4 shall apply mutatis mutandis to a child born disabled outside the territory of the Contracting States; in such case, the Swiss disability insurance shall be responsible for meeting expenses incurred in the third State only if the measures had to be awarded there on an emergency basis due to the state of health of the child.

ARTICLE 16

Extraordinary Pensions

  1. United States nationals shall, under the same conditions as Swiss nationals, be entitled to receive a Swiss extraordinary survivors’ pension, disability pension or old age pension which replaces a disability or survivors’ pension if, immediately before the date from which they claim the pension they have resided in Switzerland for a continuous period of not less than five years.
  2. For the purpose of paragraph 1:

    1. no account shall be taken of any period during which the persons concerned were exempted from the Swiss old age, survivors’ and disability insurance; and

    2. a period of residence in Switzerland shall not be regarded as interrupted if the absence from Switzerland is not more than three months in any calendar year.  The period of three months may be extended in exceptional cases.
  3. The refund of contributions paid under Swiss laws and lump sums in accordance with Article 17 shall not prevent the granting of extraordinary pensions in accordance with paragraph 1. However, in such cases, the lump sum paid out shall be deducted from the amount of pension to be paid out.

ARTICLE 17

Lump Sum Payments

  1. If a United States national or his or her survivor who does not reside in Switzerland is entitled to an ordinary partial pension under the Swiss old age and survivors’ insurance which is equal to not more than 10 percent of the corresponding ordinary full pension, that person shall be granted instead of the partial pension, a lump sum which corresponds to the capitalized value of the pension payable under Swiss law when the insured event occurs.  If a U.S. national or his or her survivor, who received such a partial pension, permanently leaves Switzerland, that person shall also be granted a lump sum which corresponds to the capitalized value of that pension at the time of departure.
  2. If the ordinary partial pension is equivalent to more than 10 percent but not more than 20 percent of the corresponding ordinary full pension, a U.S. national or his or her survivor who does not reside in Switzerland or who is permanently leaving Switzerland may opt between having the pension paid or a lump sum.  This option shall be made during the course of the procedure to determine the pension if the entitled person is staying outside Switzerland when the insured event occurs, or when leaving the country, if the entitled person already received a pension in Switzerland.
  3. In the case of a married couple where both spouses have been insured under the Swiss insurance, the lump sum is paid only when both spouses are eligible to a pension.
  4. When the lump sum has been paid out by the Swiss Agency no further claims can be asserted against that Agency in respect of previous contributions paid or of corresponding periods of coverage.
  5. Paragraphs 1 to 4 shall apply mutatis mutandis to ordinary pensions of the Swiss disability insurance provided that:
    1. the person, who has entitlement, has attained the age of 55 years; and

    2. the Swiss insurance does not require any further verification of the fulfillment of the conditions concerning the disability of that person.
Chapter 2

Application of United States Laws

ARTICLE 18

United States Benefits

  1. Where a person has completed at least six quarters of coverage under United States laws, but does not have sufficient periods of coverage to satisfy the requirements for entitlement to benefits under United States laws, periods of coverage completed under Swiss laws shall be taken into account to the extent they do not coincide with calendar quarters already credited as quarters of coverage under United States laws.
  2. In determining eligibility for benefits under paragraph 1 of this Article, 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 Switzerland to the extent that the months do not coincide with calendar quarters already credited as quarters 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:

    1. the person's average earnings credited exclusively under United States laws and

    2. 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 a higher benefit without the need to invoke the provision of paragraph 1.
  5. Articles 4 and 5 of this Agreement shall be applied by the United States in a manner consistent with section 233(c)(4) of the United States Social Security Act.

PART V

Miscellaneous Provisions

ARTICLE 19

Administrative Arrangements

The Competent Authorities of the two Contracting States shall:

  1. Make all necessary administrative arrangements for the implementation of this Agreement and designate liaison agencies;

  2. Define the procedures for reciprocal administrative assistance, including the allocation of expenses associated with obtaining medical, administrative, and other evidence required for the application of this Agreement;

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

  4. Communicate to each other, as soon as possible, information concerning all changes in their respective laws which may affect the application of this Agreement.

ARTICLE 20

Mutual Assistance

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. This assistance shall be free of charge, subject to exceptions to be agreed upon in an administrative arrangement.

ARTICLE 21

Confidentiality of Exchanged Information

  1. Unless otherwise required by the national statutes of a Contracting State, personal data transmitted in accordance with this Agreement to that Contracting State by the other Contracting State shall be used for purposes of administering this Agreement and the laws in Article 2 of this Agreement. The receiving Contracting State's national statutes for the protection of privacy and confidentiality of personal data and the provisions of this Agreement shall govern such use.
  2. The Competent Authorities of the Contracting States shall inform each other about all amendments to their national statutes regarding the protection of privacy and confidentiality of personal data that affect the transmission of personal data.
  3. Any subject may request, and the Competent Authority or Agency requesting or transmitting personal data must disclose to that subject upon such request, the content, receiving institution, and duration of use of the subject’s personal data and the purpose and legal grounds for which such data were used or requested.
  4. Agencies shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that transmitted personal data are accurate and limited to data required to fulfill the receiving Agency’s request.  In accordance with their respective national statutes, Agencies shall correct or delete any inaccurate transmitted personal data and any data not required to fulfill the receiving Agency’s request, and immediately notify the other Agency of such correction or deletion.  This shall not limit a subject’s right to request such correction or deletion directly from the Agencies.
  5. Both the transmitting and the receiving Agency shall effectively protect personal data against unauthorized or illegal access, alteration, or disclosure.
  6. Unless otherwise required by the national statutes of a Contracting State, employers’ information transmitted between Contracting States in accordance with this Agreement shall be used for purposes of administering this Agreement and the laws in Article 2 of this Agreement.  The receiving Contracting State’s national statutes for the protection and confidentiality of employers’ information and the provisions of this Agreement shall govern such use.

ARTICLE 22

Documents

  1. Where the laws of a Contracting State provide that any document which is submitted to the Competent Authority or an Agency of that Contracting State shall be exempted, wholly or partly, from fees or charges, including consular and administrative fees, the exemption shall also apply to corresponding documents which are submitted to the Competent Authority or an Agency of the other Contracting State in the application of this Agreement.
  2. 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.  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 23

Correspondence and Language

  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 the writer's language.
  2. An application or document may not be rejected by a Competent Authority or Agency of a Contracting State solely because it is in a language of the other Contracting State.
  3. The notices of decisions of an Agency or a tribunal which, under the laws of a Contracting State, require personal delivery may be transmitted directly by registered letter to a person in the territory of the other Contracting State.

ARTICLE 24

Applications

  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 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 an 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. An applicant may request that an application submitted to 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 25

Appeals and Time Limits

  1. A written appeal of a determination made by an Agency of one Contracting State may be validly filed with an Agency of the other Contracting State.  The written appeal shall be decided according to the procedure and laws of the Contracting State whose decision is being appealed.
  2. Any claim, notice or written appeal which must be filed within a given period of time with an Agency of one Contracting State shall be considered to have been timely filed if the claim, notice or written appeal has been filed within such period with a corresponding Agency of the other Contracting State.  In such case, the Agency with which the claim, notice or written appeal has been filed shall indicate the date of receipt of the document on this document and transmit it without delay to the Agency of the other Contracting State.
  3. With respect to Switzerland, appeals which must be filed within a given period of time with a tribunal in Switzerland shall be considered to have been timely filed if it is shown that the appeal has been filed within such period with the Agency or a court in the United States.

ARTICLE 26

Currency

The amount of any benefit due in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement may be paid in the currency of the Contracting State whose Agency is responsible for such benefit.

ARTICLE 27

Resolution of Disagreements

Any disagreement regarding the interpretation or application of this Agreement shall be resolved by consultation between the Competent Authorities.

ARTICLE 28

Supplementary Agreements

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.

PART VI

Transitional and Final Provisions

ARTICLE 29

Transitional Provisions

  1. This Agreement shall also apply to events which occurred prior to its entry into force that are relevant to rights under the laws in Article 2 of this Agreement.
  2. 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 its entry into force.
  3. Consideration shall be given to any period of coverage and any period of residence under the laws of either Contracting State occurring before the entry into force of this Agreement, in order to determine the right to benefits under this Agreement.
  4. This Agreement shall not apply to rights settled by a lump-sum payment or refund of contributions.
  5. Determinations made before the entry into force of this Agreement shall not affect rights arising under it.
  6. This Agreement shall not result in the reduction of benefit amounts because of its entry into force.
  7. Upon the entry into force of this Agreement, the Agreement between the United States of America and the Swiss Confederation on Social Security and the Protocol of July 18, 1979, as well as the Supplementary Agreement between the two Contracting States of June 1, 1988, shall be terminated and replaced by this Agreement.
  8. Any benefit acquired by a person, or coverage determination issued, in accordance with the provisions of the Agreement between the United States of America and the Swiss Confederation on Social Security of July 18, 1979, shall be maintained.
  9. Any claim to benefits made but not finally adjudicated at the date upon which this Agreement comes into force shall be adjudicated according to the provisions of the Agreement between the United States of America and the Swiss Confederation on Social Security of July 18, 1979, if this gives the claimant a more favorable result.

ARTICLE 30

Entry into Force, Duration and Termination

  1. 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 this Agreement.
  2. 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.
  3. If this Agreement is terminated, rights regarding entitlement to or payment of benefits acquired under it 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 Bern on December 3, 2012 in duplicate, in the English and French languages, both texts being equally authentic.

FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

Donald S. Beyer, Jr.

FOR THE SWISS FEDERAL COUNCIL:

Jürg Brechbühl

 

 

ADMINISTRATIVE ARANGEMENT
FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE AGREEMENT
BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
AND THE SWISS CONFEDERATION
ON SOCIAL SECURITY


In conformity with Article 19 (a) of the Agreement on Social Security concluded on December 3, 2012 between the United States of America and Switzerland, hereinafter referred to as "the Agreement", the following provisions have been agreed upon:

 

Chapter 1

General Provisions

Article 1

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

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

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

    2. for Switzerland, the Swiss Compensation Office and the Disability Insurance Office for insured people living abroad.
  2. The Swiss Competent Authority or, with its consent, the Swiss liaison agency, and the United States liaison agency shall agree upon joint administrative measures and forms necessary for the implementation of the Agreement and this Administrative Arrangement.

Chapter 2

Provisions Concerning Coverage

 

Article 3

  1. Where the laws of one Contracting State are applicable in accordance with any of the provisions of Part III of the Agreement, the 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 and indicating the duration for which the certificate shall be valid.  This certificate shall be proof that the employee or self-employed person is exempt from the laws on compulsory coverage of the other Contracting State.
  2. The certificate referred to in paragraph 1 shall be issued:

    in the United States: by the Social Security Administration; and

    in Switzerland: by the competent compensation fund of the Old‑Age and Survivors Insurance.

  3. Requests for an extension of the period of detachment or an exception according to Article 12 of the Agreement shall be submitted to the Competent Authority of the Contracting State whose coverage is requested.
  4. The agency of a Contracting State which issues a certificate referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article shall furnish a copy of the certificate or agreed upon information from the certificate to the liaison agency of the other Contracting State as needed by the agency of the other Contracting State.

Chapter 3

Provisions Concerning Benefits

 

Article 4
  1. In cases where Article 24 of the Agreement applies, the liaison agency of the Contracting State which has received an application for benefits under its laws shall inform the liaison 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 IV 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 liaison agency of a Contracting State which receives an application filed with an agency of the other Contracting State shall without delay provide the liaison agency of the other Contracting State with such evidence and other available information as may be required 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 the applicant's family members.  The types of information to be verified shall be agreed upon by the liaison agencies.

Article 5

In the application of Article 18 of the Agreement, the Swiss liaison agency shall notify the United States liaison agency of the months in which a person made contributions during any year in which periods of coverage were completed under Swiss laws.  A record of the total number of months of contributions made in specific calendar years shall be provided where the actual months of coverage are not known.

Chapter 4

Miscellaneous Provisions

 

Article 6

  1. In accordance with measures to be agreed upon pursuant to Article 2 of this Administrative Agreement, 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 (1) of the Agreement.
  2. For the purpose of facilitation of the implementation of the Agreement and this Administrative Arrangement, the liaison agencies may agree on measures for the provision and transmission of the electronic exchange of data.

Article 7

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 8

  1. Where administrative assistance is requested under Article 20 of the Agreement, expenses other than regular personnel and operating costs of the Competent Authorities and agencies providing the assistance shall be reimbursed, except as may be agreed to by the Competent Authorities or liaison agencies of the Contracting States.
  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 Contracting State in which the claimant or beneficiary resides, 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 liaison 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 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 Bern on December 3, 2012, in duplicate in the English and French languages, the two texts being equally authentic.

For the Competent Authority of the United States of America:

Donald S. Beyer, Jr.

For the Competent Authority of Switzerland:

Jürg Brechbühl