A Third Country National (TCN) is a person who is a citizen of a country other than the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA), or Switzerland.
As a Third Country National when you are insured under the Maltese scheme, your social security pension rights are exactly similar to those of a Maltese citizen – unless you are a citizen of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand (discussed below).
First and foremost, to qualify for a social security contributory retirement pension you must pay a minimum of 12 years contribution.
To receive a full pension for work carried out in Malta you must:
(a) have a contributory history of 35 years, if you were born between 1952 and 1961,
(b) have a contributory history of 40 years, if you were born between 1962 and 1968,
(c) have a contributory history of 41 years, if you were born during and after 1969.
Further to the above, when a person (be it a Third Country National or otherwise) has been insured under the Maltese scheme as well as in a country with whom Malta has a bilateral agreement in place, the contributions paid in either country may be taken into account in order to determine eligibility for pension. To date, Malta has a bi-lateral agreement in place with Australia, Canada and New Zealand. These agreements cover a number of benefits. Malta has also a bi-lateral agreement with Libya which covers only the payment of contributions for Maltese persons working there.
The following is to be noted with regard to the bi-lateral agreements. Just click on the one that is of interest to you for more information.
Australia operates a social security system based on one’s residence and according to a financial means test.
The bi-lateral agreement provides that, where necessary, any residence in Australia is to be considered as deemed periods of contributions in Malta. Vice-versa it provides that paid contributions in Malta are deemed periods of residence for Australian social security purposes.
The Agreement covers Contributory pensions in respect of Retirement, Widowhood and Invalidity.
Canada exercises a dual role Social Security System which combines a Contributory System and a residence-based old age pension system.
The bi-lateral agreement allows for residence in one country is deemed in lieu of contributions paid in another and vice-versa.
The Agreement covers Contributory pensions in respect of Retirement, Widowhood and Invalidity, besides Orphan’s and Death benefits. The Malta/Canadian Agreement includes also provisions regarding the payment of social security contributions in those cases where a resident of one country is working in the other.
The bi-lateral agreement covers any person who has completed a period of Maltese contributions or a period of New Zealand working age residence, as well as survivors of such persons.
The bi-lateral agreement also provides for equality of treatment meaning that persons covered by the agreement are to be treated equally with regards to rights and obligations under the legislation of Malta and New Zealand. The benefits covered under the Agreement are pensions in respect of retirement and widowhood for Malta, and superannuation and veteran’s pensions for New Zealand.
The agreement allows for a person to move between Malta and New Zealand without losing their pension. The agreement helps a person to satisfy the minimum conditions of a pension scheme in both Malta and New Zealand. The agreement does not help to improve the rate of pension due on the basis of the contributions paid in one country.
For example: if a Maltese person has not paid the sufficient number of Maltese social security contributions to qualify for a contributory pension under the Maltese legislation, the agreement allows any period of working age residence completed in New Zealand to be deemed as paid contributory periods for the Maltese social security purposes. The agreement, therefore, allows for persons to fill gaps in their contributory record and thus become eligible for a contributory pension. The same applies to New Zealand citizens.
The agreement also ensures that pensions paid by New Zealand are paid to the beneficiary in Malta when and they decide to return to Malta.
For example, where portability of a benefit is restricted, such as in the case of New Zealand, the agreement overrides this portability restriction and the migrant may return to Malta and receive his New Zealand pension in Malta.
The bilateral agreement with Libya underlines that a Maltese person working in Libya needs to pay social security contributions only in Malta.