Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

New social security agreement with Finland begins

A new Social Security Agreement with Finland will come into force today, enabling 2000 residents of both Australia and Finland to receive pensions from both countries for the first time.

Through our strong relations with the Finnish Government, the Australian Government has secured this agreement to provide better retirements income for people who have moved between the two countries.

This Agreement, signed in September 2008, will provide improved access to pensions for people in both countries, increased incomes for retirees, and uphold the integrity of the social security system.

Australian citizens or Finnish nationals living in Australia will be able to claim Finnish pensions, and former Australian residents in Finland will be able to claim the Australian Age Pension.

It covers Australian Age Pensions, Old Age Pensions under the Finnish National Pensions Act, and pensions under the Finnish Earnings-Related Pension Scheme.

The Agreement will also build business between Australia and Finland by removing the requirement for compulsory contributions to be paid into both countries’ superannuation/pension systems in respect of 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.