Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Social Security Agreement concluded with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

A new Social Security Agreement between Australia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia will make retirement easier for up to 4,000 residents of both countries.

From 2011, when the Agreement is expected to commence, people who have spent part of their adult lives in Australia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia will have access to pensions from both countries.

Under the Agreement, former Australian residents living in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia will have access to the Age Pension, while those who have come to Australia from the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia now living in Australia will have access to their old age, disability and survivors’ benefits.

The Agreement was concluded today by the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, and the Prime Minister of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, HE Mr Nikola Gruevski.

This Agreement gives people more freedom to move between both countries, knowing that their pension rights will be recognised and protected.
It recognises the reality that many people live and work in more than one country and this requires arrangements which safeguard their retirement income.

As well as improving access to pensions, the Agreement will also encourage further business ties between both countries.

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

Australia currently has 23 social security agreements 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.

Australia has recently signed agreements with Poland and the Czech Republic, which are expected to commence in mid-2010 and early 2011 respectively.

As part of the 2009-10 Budget, the Australian Government also agreed to finalise social security agreements with the Slovak Republic and Latvia.

More information on the Agreement.