Human Resources and Social Development Canada

Human Resources and Social Development Canada

March 05, 2008 12:30 ET

Government Improves Social Security for Those who Have Lived or Worked in Both Canada and Japan

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 5, 2008) - The Honourable Monte Solberg, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development today announced that people who have lived or worked in Canada and Japan will now find it easier to qualify for social security benefits from either country, with the coming into force on March 1, 2008, of the Agreement on Social Security between Canada and Japan.

"The federal government is committed to people who work hard, pay their taxes and play by the rules," said Minister Solberg. "With this agreement, we are ensuring that Canadians receive the benefits they have worked hard to earn."

This is the 50th agreement of this sort signed by Canada.

Canada negotiates agreements with countries that offer programs comparable to our Old Age Security (OAS) and Canada Pension Plan (CPP). To qualify for a benefit under another country's pension program, a person must normally have contributed to that program for a minimum number of years. Now they can use their periods of social security coverage in Canada to qualify for Japanese social security benefits.

In the same way, to be eligible to receive benefits under the CPP, a person must have contributed to the Plan for a minimum period. The OAS is payable at the age of 65 to persons who meet certain residence conditions. To qualify for this pension in Canada, you normally must have lived in this country for at least 10 years after the age of 18. You normally need 20 years of residence in Canada after the same age to receive an OAS pension outside Canada. The Agreement allows people to use their periods of coverage under the Japanese pension programs to qualify for CPP and OAS benefits.

Canadian workers can now continue to contribute to the CPP if their employer sends them to work temporarily in Japan. As a result, their CPP protection will not be interrupted. Nor will Canadian workers have to contribute to the pension programs of Japan while they are working there.

The last agreement, with Lithuania, was signed July 5, 2005. It came into force on November 1, 2006, along with agreements for Latvia and Estonia, which were signed earlier in 2005.

This news release is available in alternative formats upon request.

BACKGROUNDER

Canada concludes international social security agreements in order to coordinate its Old Age Security and Canada Pension Plan with comparable programs in other countries that provide old age, retirement, disability, and survivor benefits.

These agreements have the following objectives:

- to permit continuity of social security coverage when a person is working temporarily in another country, and prevent situations where a person would have to contribute to both countries' social security programs for the same work; and

- to make it easier to become eligible for benefits by adding together periods of social security coverage under the programs of both countries.

Canada has concluded 50 international social security agreements. To date, agreements are in force with the following 49 countries:



Antigua and Barbuda
Australia
Austria
Barbados
Belgium
Chile
Croatia
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Dominica
Estonia
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Grenada
Hungary
Iceland
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Jamaica
Japan
Jersey/Guernsey
Korea
Latvia
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Malta
Mexico
Netherlands
New Zealand
Norway
Philippines
Portugal
St. Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Slovak Republic
Slovenia
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Trinidad and Tobago
Turkey
United Kingdom
United States
Uruguay


Before an agreement can come into force, both countries must obtain legislative approval. An agreement has also been signed with Morocco, but is not yet in force.

Contact Information

  • Human Resources and Social Development Canada
    Media Relations Office
    819-994-5559
    www.hrsdc.gc.ca