Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Social Security Agreement signed with the Slovak Republic

Joint Media Release with:

  • Kevin Rudd MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs

A new Social Security Agreement with the Slovak Republic will make retirement easier for around 600 residents of both countries.

The agreement was signed today in New York by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kevin Rudd, and the Slovakian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Mikul’as Dzurinda.

Mr Rudd and the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, said the Agreement will give people more freedom to move between Australia and the Slovak Republic, knowing that their pension rights will be recognised and protected.

The Agreement is expected to commence in 2012, following legislative and administrative processes in both countries, giving people who have spent part of their adult lives in both Australia and the Slovak Republic access to pensions from both countries.

The signing of this agreement today is the next step in our growing relationship with the Slovak Republic and its people. It also reflects Australia’s increasing engagement with Europe.

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 remove the requirement for compulsory contributions to be paid into both countries’ superannuation and pension insurance 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 Slovakian pension.

Australia already has 23 social security agreements in place with Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malta, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and the USA.

Social security agreements with Poland, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the Czech Republic have also been signed and are expected to start in October 2010, April 2011 and July 2011 respectively.