India, Germany sign Agreement on Social Security

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New Delhi, Oct 8 (UNI) India and Germany today signed an Agreement on Social Security to simplify regulations on social security issues which would directly impact thousands of Indian workers in Germany and vice versa.

The two countries are also considering a comprehensive Social Security Agreement comprising regulations concerning the exports of pensions, mutual recognition of entitlements, totalisation of contribution periods as well as a closer administrative cooperation of the social security institutions of both countries.

Germany is the second EU country with which India has signed such an agreement. India, on September 30, signed a similar pact with France during the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to that country and his bilateral meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

This new Social Security Agreement with Germany will protect the interests of all those professionals sent from India-based companies to their German subsidiaries, or those being sent by German companies to India-based branches on the basis of short-term contracts (up to 48 months with an option of another 12 months extension) by securing exemption from social security contribution in their host country.

While working abroad, these employees will only be subject to the social security regulations of their home country. Thus, complicated changes and applications for reimbursements will be avoided in the future.

''The Agreement is the result of intensified cooperation between India and Germany in matters of social security. For the Federal Republic of Germany, the social security agreement will be in effect after the official consent of both Houses of the German Parliament,'' an official of the German embassy here said.

The agreement was signed by German Ambassador to India, Bernd Muetzelburg, and Mr K Mohandas of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs.

State Secretary of the German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Franz-Josef Lersch-Mense and Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi were also present.

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