Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Australia and Korea pension agreement

People who have lived in Australia and Korea will soon have improved access to the age pension in both countries with the introduction of a new social security agreement between the Korean and Australian Governments.

The agreement will start on 1 October 2008. This agreement will close existing gaps in social security coverage for people who migrate between Australia and Korea.

Under the agreement, people who spend part of their adult lives in both Australia and Korea will have better access to pensions.

It will allow people who now live in either Australia or Korea to claim pension entitlements from both countries.

Many Australian residents who have worked in Korea, such as English teachers, will be able to claim a refund of their contributions to the Korean pensions scheme.

The agreement will also improve business between Australia and Korea by removing compulsory contributions into both countries’ superannuation/pension systems for temporary seconded workers.

Australia 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.

An agreement with Greece is also due to start on 1 October and one for Japan is expected to come into force on 1 January 2009.