New Social Security Agreements with Finland and Poland (the Agreements) 

Key elements

The Government has agreed to finalise negotiations for social security agreements with Finland and Poland.

The Agreements will provide improved access to Age Pension for people who spend part of their adult lives in Australia and Finland or Australia and Poland. They will allow these people to claim their entitlement to pension payments from both countries, and ensure that they continue to receive their entitlements, whether they reside in either country. Each country will pay a proportion of their pension, based on the length of a person's connection to that country's social security system.

The Agreements will also facilitate business between Australia and the participating countries, by removing the requirement for compulsory contributions to be paid into both countries' superannuation/pension systems in respect of temporarily seconded workers. This affects employees who are sent from one country to work temporarily in the other. It means that superannuation/pension contributions will generally need to be made only to the scheme of the employee's home country, rather than to both countries' schemes.
 

Background

Australia currently has 19 bilateral social security agreements in operation with Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland and the USA.

These countries pay a total of about $670 million per year in pensions into Australia, while Australia pays a total of about $270 million per year into those countries. These Agreements, like Australia's other Social Security Agreements, will help people access payments for which they might otherwise fail to qualify.
 

Implementation

Both agreements are expected to commence on 1 July 2009.
 

Total Government Funding

Net saving of $12.9 million over four years.

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