Media Release by The Hon Mal Brough MP

Greater pension certainty for Australian-Swiss residents

Ten thousand Swiss-born residents living in Australia will have greater certainty in their retirement years following the signing of a Social Security Agreement between the Australian and Swiss Governments.

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Mal Brough, today said the agreement will assure the pension rights of people who move between Australia and Switzerland are recognised in both countries.

"The Australian and Swiss Governments have agreed to contribute fairly to supporting people who have lived and worked in both countries," Mr Brough said.

"The agreement will also help an estimated 250 former residents of Australia of age pension age living in Switzerland, who will be able to claim a pension without having to return to Australia.

"The Australian Government is committed to maximising the income of people who have lived and worked in other countries through its network of social security agreements."

The Australian social security pensions covered under this agreement are the age pension, disability support pension for the severely disabled, pensions payable to widowed persons, double orphan pension and carer payment. Switzerland has agreed to cover old age, disability and survivors’ pensions.

The Agreement also includes provisions to avoid double coverage of workers sent temporarily between Australia and Switzerland, similar to the provisions we have included in Agreements with Belgium, Chile, Croatia, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal and the USA.

"These provisions, which impact on Australia’s Superannuation Guarantee arrangements, will reduce costs for business in both countries and promote closer economic relations between Australia and Switzerland," Mr Brough said.

Australia has social security agreements in place with Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and the USA.