In 1977, labour-level immigration patterns were very different from those of 2018, and most trade and multinational relations in the United States then focused on Western Europe. Therefore, Section 233 was adapted to the social security systems of Western Europe at the time. The first two agreements, in which the United States entered with Italy and West Germany, preceded the adoption of Section 233. That is why this scheme was designed with the social security systems of these two countries in mind. Both countries had traditional Bismarck contingency systems that covered almost all of their workforce. Section 233 provides that the President can only enter into totalization agreements with countries with general social security plans that provide regular benefits because of their age, disability or death or actuarial equivalent. Most totalization agreements remove restrictions on the payment of benefits to residents of partner countries. Under current law, U.S. citizens are generally entitled to U.S. social security benefits, regardless of their country of residence.7 Foreigners who have been absent from the United States for 6 months or more consecutive are generally not entitled to benefits unless they meet a legal exception to this requirement.8 The most common exceptions currently relate to: Currently , the United States has totalization agreements with the following countries. : to prove to the tax authorities of a host country that a worker is exempt from paying the social security taxes of that country, he (or his employer) must keep and, if necessary, present a certificate of coverage. The certificate is a document issued by the country whose laws continue to apply to that person in accordance with the rules of the agreement. The agreements designate the agencies of each country responsible for issuing these certificates.
Canada has international social security agreements with more than 50 countries with comparable pension plans. These agreements are aimed at: Spain and Portugal are covered by both a bilateral agreement and the treaty of the Ibero-American Social Security Organization. Social security contributions can become, depending on the country of origin and the host country, a very expensive aspect of an allowance abroad. Due to a large number of totalisation agreements that set specific conditions, confusion over social security contributions and benefit rights has gradually subsided – with the costs of employers – but the subject still often requires the advice of experts with expertise in this area.