Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

New social security agreement with Finland

Around 2,000 residents of Australia and Finland will soon have improved access to the age pension from the Finnish and Australian Governments with the introduction of a new social security agreement between the two countries.

People who have lived in both countries, and now live in either country, will be able to more easily receive pension entitlements from both Australia and Finland.

The Australian Ambassador to Sweden, Mr Howard Brown and the Finnish Minister for Social Affairs and Health, Mrs Liisa Hyss”al”a, signed the agreement in Helsinki this month.

The agreement will also assist 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 already has social security agreements in place with Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and the USA.

Agreements with Greece and Korea will start on 1 October 2008, and an agreement with Japan is expected to commence in 1 January 2009.

The agreement with Finland is expected to commence in mid 2009, subject to the completion of all necessary processes in both countries.