Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Australia and Norway sign new social security agreement

The Howard Government has signed a new social security agreement with Norway, providing access to pensions to some of Australia’s migrant community.

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, today signed the new agreement with the Norwegian Ambassador, His Excellency Mr Lars Wensell.

Senator Patterson said the agreement would benefit many of the 4,300 former Norwegian residents now living in Australia, enabling them to lodge claims for Norwegian pensions through Centrelink.

“The Australian and Norwegian Governments have agreed to contribute fairly to support people who have lived and worked in both countries,” Senator Patterson said.

“The agreement will help an estimated 110 former Australian residents of age pension age living in Norway, who can claim a pension without having to return to Australia.

“The Australian social security pensions covered under the agreement with Norway will be the Age Pension and the Disability Support Pension.

“Norway has agreed to cover these pensions, as well as pensions for widows, widowers and orphans, and rehabilitation benefits.

“This agreement adds to the list of 17 other countries with which Australia already has social security agreements in place including, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and the USA

“This latest agreement is welcomed, however the fact that the UK Government still refuses to pay indexed pensions into countries like Australia continues to be a disappointment,” Senator Patterson said.