The agreements cover a period of two to five years depending on the host country and require at least one valid contribution in Canada to allow a person to receive benefits in Canada. While these considerations represent a challenge for the employer, it is important to recognize that there are currently a number of multilateral agreements (EU Regulation 883/2004, Iberoamerican Organization Social Security Agreement, etc.) or bilateral totalisation agreements (social security contracts between two countries) to allay concerns about contributions and benefit rights – thus making the employer`s job easier. This article discusses the scope and impact of these agreements in a selection of countries, as well as the potential social security costs associated with seconding a staff member on a temporary international mission. One of the general beliefs about the U.S. agreements is that they allow dual-coverage workers or their employers to choose the system to which they will contribute. That is not the case. The agreements also do not change the basic rules for covering the social security legislation of the participating countries, such as those that define covered income or work. They simply free workers from coverage under the system of either country if, if not, their work falls into both regimes. The agreements allow sSA to add U.S. and foreign coverage credits only if the worker has at least six-quarters of U.S. coverage. Similarly, a person may need a minimum amount of coverage under the foreign system to have U.S. coverage accounted for in order to meet the conditions for granting foreign benefits.
An agreement that will enter into force on 1 September 1994 between the United States and Greece improves the protection of social security for people who work or have worked in both countries. It helps many people who, in the absence of the agreement, would not be entitled to monthly pension, disability or survival benefits under the social security system of one or both countries. It also helps people who would otherwise have to pay social security contributions to the two countries with the same incomes. If you have any questions about international social security agreements, please contact the Office of International Social Security Programs at 410-965-3322 or 410-965-7306. However, do not call these numbers if you want to inquire about a right to an individual benefit. Each totalization agreement has an exception for international staff. Under this exception, a person temporarily transferred to the service for the same employer in another county is covered only by the national form he or she received.