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QUESTION NO.4517 SOCIAL SECURITY AGREEMENTS

March 29, 2017

LOK SABHA
USTARRED QUESTION NO.4517
TO BE ANSWERED ON 29.03.2017

SOCIAL SECURITY AGREEMENTS

4517. SHRI GEORGE BAKER:

Will Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:

(a) the salient features of the Social Security Agreements;

(b) the details of the achievements made under these agreements so far;

(c) whether the Government has recently signed such agreements with some new countries; and

(d) if so, the details thereof along with the new targets set therein?


ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
[GEN. (DR) V. K. SINGH (RETD)]

(a) Bilateral social security agreements protect the interests of Indian professionals, skilled workers working abroad by providing the following benefits:

• Avoiding making double social security contributions: Once an SSA is signed between India and a foreign country, it exempts the Indian worker (working on short term contracts abroad) from making a social security contribution in that foreign country. This exemption is provided only if the Indian worker is covered under the social security system of India and continues to pay his/her contribution during the period of overseas contract.

• Easy remittance of benefits (Exportability): An SSA between India and a foreign country enables the Indian worker/professional to remit his/her accumulated social security contribution made in a foreign country, in case of relocation to India/third country.

• Aggregating the contribution periods (in two countries) to prevent loss of benefits (Totalization): An SSA allows aggregating residency periods of social security contribution made by the Indian worker / professional in India and the foreign country to qualify for retirement benefits.

(b) As on date, India has signed and operationalized Social Security Agreements (SSAs) with 18 countries - Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, and South Korea. We have also signed comprehensive Social Security Agreements with Portugal and the Quebec Province of Canada, both of which are in the process of getting operationalized. On 24 February 2017, India and Germany exchanged the instruments of ratification on the comprehensive SSA, which would enter into force with effect from 01 May 2017.

(c) The second round of negotiations on SSA between India and Sri Lanka was held in Colombo on 17-18 November, 2017. During the meeting the text of SSA has been finalized between both sides. Taking forward the spirit of the Goa Declaration at the 8th BRICS Summit, and outcomes of the meetings of BRICS Labour & Employment Ministers held on 9 June 2016 in Geneva and on 27-28 September 2016 in New Delhi, India and Brazil held the negotiations on SSA from 13-16 March 2017 in Brasilia and initiated the finalized text of the Social Security Agreement. The second round of negotiations on Administrative Arrangement will be held in the second half of this year and the SSA will be operationalized in early 2018.

(d) The Ministry of External Affairs, GoI the "competent authority” for negotiating the SSAs is planning to enter into SSAs with several other countries like China, Russia, South Africa, Thailand, Mexico, Peru, Cyprus etc. Informal consultations on SSA/Totalization are ongoing with the United States of America.

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