Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Social security agreement signed with Hungary

Joint Media Release with:

  • Kevin Rudd MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs

A new Social Security Agreement between Australia and Hungary will make retirement easier for around 5000 residents of both countries.

The Agreement was signed today in Budapest by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kevin Rudd, and Hungary’s Foreign Minister, Dr J’anos Martonyi.

Minister for Community Services, Jenny Macklin, said the agreement gives people greater freedom to move between Australia and Hungary, knowing that their pension rights will be recognised and protected.

The Agreement is expected to commence in mid-2012, following legislative and administrative processes in both countries, and will allow residents who have spent part of their adult lives in both Australia and Hungary to receive pensions from both countries.

The signing of this Agreement today is the next step to help improve the adequacy of retirement income for affected migrants and former Australian residents now living in Hungary.

It recognises the reality that many people live and work in more than one country and this requires arrangements which safeguard their retirement income.

This Agreement will improve access to pensions and encourage and strengthen business between Australia and Hungary by removing the requirement for compulsory contributions to be paid into both countries’ superannuation and pension systems for temporarily seconded workers.

Both countries will share responsibility and costs for the social security coverage of eligible age pensioners in their retirement years, according to their period of residence/insurance.

The Agreement will help people in either country to satisfy the minimum qualifying residence period for an Australian pension and the minimum qualifying insurance period for a Hungarian pension.

Australia has 25 social security agreements in place 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 Czech and Slovak Republics have also been signed and are expected to start on 1 July 2011 and 1 January 2012 respectively.