India, Germany Sign New Social Security Agreement
A Comprehensive Social Security Agreement was signed between India and Germany recently. The agreement was signed by Sri Vayalar Ravi, Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs and Civil Aviation, India and Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Dr. Ursula von der Leyen, Germany, in Berlin on 12th October 2011. 

The agreement which subsumes the earlier Indo-German agreement on Social Security which was signed on 8th October 2008 will enhance cooperation on social security between the two countries. The Social Security Agreement with Federal Republic of Germany will provide for many benefits to Indian nationals working in Germany. The benefits could be- for short term contract up to 5 years, no social security contribution would need to be paid under the German law by the detached workers provided they continue to make social security payment in India; the above benefit shall be available even when the Indian company sends its employees to Federal Republic of Germany from a third country; Indian workers shall be entitled to the export of the social security benefit if they relocate to India after the completion of their service in Federal Republic of Germany; the self-employed Indians in Federal Republic of Germany would also be entitled to export of social security benefit on their relocation to India; and the period of contribution in one contracting state will be added to the period of contribution in the second contracting state for determining the eligibility for social security benefits. 

This is the 60th year of diplomatic relationship between India and Germany and both countries have long seen each other as reliable partners in all fields of bilateral cooperation. There are about 68,500 Indians in Germany, most of who are working as professionals and self-employed professionals. During the visit of German Chancellor to India in May 2011, both India and Germany reaffirmed that the bilateral trade should reach US$ 20 billion by 2012. There is a huge potential for Indian workers to take employment in the Germany. As such, a bilateral Social Security Agreement with Germany is a significant requirement from the futuristic point of view to take advantage of the emerging employment opportunities and to strengthen the trade and investment between the two countries. 

India has also signed similar agreements with Belgium, Germany (Social Insurance for detached workers), France, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Hungary, Denmark, Czech Republic, Republic of Korea and Norway.

November 2011

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