Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

New Social Security Agreement with Japan begins

A new Social Security Agreement with Japan which comes into effect today will benefit, in its first full year, about 1000 people who spend part of their adult lives in both Australia and Japan.

The Agreement, signed in February 2007, allows eligible people who now live in either country to claim pension entitlements from both Australia and Japan.

It covers the Australian Age Pension and Japanese benefits from the National Pension system, the Employees’ Pension insurance, the Mutual Aid Pension for National Public Officials, the Mutual Aid Pension for local Public Officials and the Mutual Aid Pension for Private School Personnel.

Australians will continue to be able to apply for a refund of up to three years of their contributions to the Japanese system, and/or claim a Japanese pension on retirement.

The Agreement assists business between Australian and Japan, by removing the requirement for compulsory contributions to be paid into both countries’ superannuation/pension systems for temporarily seconded workers.

Australia now has Social Security Agreements in place with 22 countries: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Korea, Malta, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and the USA.

A new Agreement with Finland has also been signed and is expected to start in July 2009.