Social Security Agreement
Social Security Agreement
an international agreement that regulates the procedure of providing social security for citizens of one country who are temporarily or permanently residing in another country.
In the 20th century population migration has led to a sharp increase in the number of foreign workers, especially in developed capitalist states. The working conditions of foreign workers in capitalist states are usually worse than those of the country’s own citizens, as are the social security benefits. Foreign laborers are legally discriminated against in three main ways. In some countries foreigners are denied any right to social security. Foreigners are granted rights to social security in other countries on a reciprocal basis, that is, only if the same rights are granted in the foreigner’s own country to citizens of the country where he is residing or staying. In other countries a special system of voluntary—not mandatory—insurance is used for foreigners.
In order to eliminate such discrimination, a series of multilateral conventions on social security was concluded under the auspices of the International Labor Organization. As a rule, however, the problem is regulated chiefly by bilateral agreements. The first bilateral accord on social security was concluded in 1904 between France and Italy. Since World War II (1939–45), numerous agreements on social security have been concluded between capitalist countries. Most of them concern one or a few forms of security, for example, old-age pensions, disability pensions, pensions for loss of breadwinner, and allowances for temporary disability or unemployment. The accords provide that the length of the employment period in both countries will be taken into consideration and that each country will pay a part of the pension in proportion to the employment period of the worker on its territory.
Foreigners who are permanent residents in socialist countries receive different treatment. With certain exceptions, they enjoy the same rights as the citizens of the country in which they reside. The USSR has agreements granting such treatment with Czechoslovakia (Dec. 2, 1959), Bulgaria (Dec. 11, 1959), the German Democratic Republic (May 24,1960), Rumania (Dec. 24, 1960), and Hungary (Dec. 20, 1962). These agreements cover every type of security that is established or will be established by the legislation of the contracting parties. Pensions, allowances, and other forms of assistance are granted to the citizens of the contracting parties on the same terms and in the same amounts as to their own citizens; that is, equality of aliens is guaranteed with regard to social security, and the length of the employment period is credited in both contracting states. Thus, if the person receiving the pension has moved from one country to another, the state to which he moved will pay his entire pension.