Minister for Social Protection, Éamon Ó Cuív TD, has signed (5th November 2010) an agreement on social security with Japan into legislation. It will come into effect on 1st December 2010. The main purpose of the Agreement is to protect the pension rights of migrant workers who move between Ireland and Japan.
Speaking today Minister Ó Cuív said: "The provisions of the Agreement are very similar to existing agreements with Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea and USA, and will enable persons who have paid social insurance in both Ireland and Japan to receive a pension on the basis of their combined periods of social insurance if they do not have enough contributions under one legislation alone." The Irish benefits which may be paid under the Agreement are: State Pension (Contributory), State Pension (Transition), Invalidity Pension, Widow's and Widower's (Contributory) Pension, Guardian's Payment (Contributory) and Bereavement Grant.
The Agreement also allows employees who are posted to work for their company in the other country for up to 5 years to continue to pay insurance contributions under their national social security system instead of becoming liable for contributions in the other country. This enhances Ireland's attractiveness for Japanese companies to invest in business here, and will similarly facilitate Irish companies who wish to develop subsidiary enterprises in Japan.
Minister Ó Cuív continued: "I am pleased to sign into effect this Agreement on social security with Japan which is one of the largest economies in the world. In the light of our shared interest in developing trade and investment, particularly in the new technologies, this Agreement will enhance our friendship and co-operation. Both countries can benefit from economic partnerships, and this social security Agreement will ensure that workers who move from one country to the other will not lose out in terms of their pension rights."
PRESS RELEASE ENDS.
It is estimated that there are about 2,000 Japanese people in Ireland and approximately 1,500 Irish people in Japan, the majority of whom are long term residents employed in the business sector. There is also a growing number of short-term visitors working as language teachers, mainly through the Japanese Government's 'Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme (JET)', or gaining work experience following third level education.