Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

New Social Security Agreement with Slovenia

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, today announced that the Social Security Agreement between Australia and Slovenia will come into effect on 1 January 2004.

Senator Patterson said the agreement would allow pensions to be claimed by former Australian residents now living in Slovenia and Slovenians living in Australia.

“It will benefit those people who have spent part of their working lives in either country—the pension rights will be recognised in both countries. People born in Slovenia now living in Australia will be able to lodge their claims for Slovenian pensions through Centrelink.

“The social security pensions covered by the agreement for Australia are the age pension and the disability support pension. For Slovenia, the payments covered will be the old-age pension, the invalidity pension and the survivor pension,” Senator Patterson said.

“This agreement will allow around 300 Australian residents and former Australian residents now living in Slovenia to be able to claim and receive Australian or Slovenian pensions for the first time. Many of these will be former migrants who have returned to Slovenia prior to reaching age pension age and not receiving an Australian pension.

“Australia currently has 13 international social security agreements in place. These are with Austria, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain and America. Negotiations with Norway and Switzerland are underway.

“Australia’s agreement partners pay about 106,000 foreign pensions into Australia, while about 37,000 former Australian residents are paid Australian pensions in those countries.

“These agreements offer freedom and flexibility for people to move between countries knowing that they will still be entitled to receive a pension in both countries, and helps close the gaps in social security coverage for people who migrate between countries.”

More information on the agreement is available by calling Centrelink on 131517 or accessing a multilingual Fact Sheet called Social Security Agreement between Australia and Slovenia.

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New Social Security Agreement with Slovenia