Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Social security agreements with the Czech Republic, Slovak Republic and Latvia

As part of the 2009-10 Budget, the Rudd Government has finalised negotiations with the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic and Latvia to introduce social security agreements.

From 2011, residents who have spent part of their adult lives in both Australia and these countries will be able to receive pensions from both countries.

These agreements are consistent with the Government’s goals of encouraging greater self-sufficiency, increasing the incomes of retirees, and promoting integrity of the social security system.

The agreements, once finalised, will contribute to the adequacy of retirement income for affected migrants and former residents.

As well as improving access to pensions, the agreements will also encourage business between Australia and the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic and Latvia.

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

The Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic and Latvia will join 22 other nations with which Australia has similar arrangements.

Australia currently has 22 social security agreements, including Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malta, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and the USA.

A new Agreement with Finland has been signed and is expected to commence on 1 July 2009.