Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

New Social Security Agreements with Finland and Poland

The Australian Government has announced its intention to finalise negotiations with Finland and Poland to introduce social security agreements to improve access to pensions for residents of these countries.

Once in place, the agreements will benefit people who have spent part of their adult lives in both Australia and Finland or in both Australia and Poland. These people may be able to receive pensions from both countries.

As well as improving access to pensions, the agreements will also encourage business between Australia and Finland and Poland by cutting existing red tape that requires compulsory contributions to be paid into both countries’ superannuation/pension systems for temporarily seconded workers.

Finalising agreements with Finland and Poland will extend benefits already available to 19 other nations with which Australia has similar arrangements.

These include 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, Japan and Korea have been signed but have not yet come into force.

It is anticipated that the agreements with Finland and Poland will be in place by mid-2009, subject to the completion of all necessary legal and administrative processes.