Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

New Social Security Agreement with the Czech Republic begins

A new Social Security Agreement with the Czech Republic will come into force today, making retirement easier for about 2000 residents of Australia and the Czech Republic.

This agreement reflects our strong relations with the Czech Republic, and will give people more freedom to move between both countries while keeping their pension entitlements recognised and protected.

From today, people who have spent part of their adult lives in both Australia and the Czech Republic will now have access to pensions from both countries. Australians currently living in the Czech Republic will have access to the Australian Age Pension, while Australian residents who previously lived in the Czech Republic will have access to age, disability and survivors’ benefits.

The Government recognises that many people live and work in more than one country and this requires measures to protect their retirement income. Through this agreement, people who have moved between the two countries will now have better retirement incomes.

The agreement will also remove the requirement for compulsory contributions to be paid into both countries’ superannuation and pension systems for temporarily seconded workers.

Australia already has 25 social security agreements, including with Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malta, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and the USA.

Social Security Agreements with the Slovak Republic and Hungary have also been signed and are expected to commence on 1 January next year and in mid 2012 respectively.

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