Canada signs social security agreement with Japan

Agreement makes it easier for Canadians working in Japan to qualify for benefits

A new agreement is good news for Canadian employers who send workers to Japan on a short-term basis.

Under the international Social Security Agreement with Japan, Canadian companies and their workers are exempt from contributing to Japan's pension program while they are working in Japan temporarily. Canadian workers can also continue to contribute to the Canada Pension Plan so that their CPP protection will not be interrupted.

The agreement will also ensure that Canadians working and living in Japan for extended periods of time will continue to qualify for social security benefits in both countries.

Normally, to qualify for a benefit under the Japanese pension program, a person must have contributed to the program for a minimum number of years. Under the agreement, people can add together periods of social security coverage under the programs of both countries to qualify for Japanese social security benefits.

Canada will also allow people to add periods of contribution to the Japanese pension program to be eligible to receive CPP benefits, including disability and survivor benefits.

"Canada is committed to entering into agreements with other countries that offer programs comparable to our Old Age Security program and Canada Pension Plan," said Minister of Human Resources and Social Development Diane Finley.

"Agreements such as this one will help provide seniors with additional income in retirement. This agreement with Japan is also an important step toward strengthening the relationship and cooperation between our two countries."

The agreement, Canada’s fiftieth such international social security agreement, is expected to take effect in late 2007.

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