Social security agreements abolish the dual payment of social security contributions, exempt workers exempted from the legislation of the host country, allow the portability of the pension and prevent the loss of benefits. Under these agreements, Australia equates social security periods/stays in these countries with periods of Australian residence in order to meet minimum qualification periods for Australian pensions. In other countries, periods of Australian working life are generally counted as social security periods to meet their minimum payment periods. Typically, each country pays a partial pension to a person who has lived in both countries. India is also in talks with the United States on a similar social security pact. Under the agreement, workers with short-term contracts of up to six years in the country of employment are not required to pay social security contributions, provided they continue to pay social security benefits in the country of origin. “This is an important step. The pact is a symbol of the long-standing bilateral relations between India and Switzerland,” said Doris Leuthard, Vice-President and Swiss Minister of Economy, who was present at the event. All of these agreements are based on the concept of shared responsibility. Responsibility-sharing agreements are reciprocal. Under each agreement, partner countries make concessions to their social security qualification rules so that those covered by the agreement have access to payments that they may not be eligible for.
The responsibility for social security is thus distributed among the countries in which a person has lived during his or her working years and where the person is able to obtain potential rights. In general, it is possible to access a pension from one country in the second country, although the paying country retains some discretion with regard to the exchange and delivery mechanisms used. New Delhi: India and Switzerland signed a social security agreement on Thursday that benefits workers in the other country and provides for cooperation in the areas of labour market expansion, employment facilitation and orderly migration. Australia currently has 31 bilateral international social security agreements. “The agreement will improve cooperation between the two countries in the area of social security. It will facilitate the movement of skilled workers between the two countries,” Mohandas said. Mohandas said the pact would promote trade and investment between the two countries.