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Legislation clarifying international benefits

Legislation clarifying international benefit entitlements to be debated by Parliament

Legislation enabling the exchange of information between countries to establish benefit entitlements and to recover social security debts from overseas residents is to be debated by Parliament this evening.

Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey is to move the first reading of the Social Security (Transitional Provisions) Amendment Bill. The bill provides for mutual assistance provisions to be negotiated into the social security agreements New Zealand has with other countries.

"New Zealand currently has eight social security agreements. The purpose of these agreements is to allow free movement of labour between New Zealand and the agreement countries, and ensure an equitable distribution of the social security costs for people who have lived or worked in more than one country. Agreements also provide retirees with more flexibility as to where they choose to live in their retirement.

"The new provisions will enhance social security agreements to the mutual benefit of each country. Information will be able to be exchanged between countries to establish eligibility for benefits in the country of residence and to assist in the recovery of debts.

"The bill will be referred to the Social Services Select Committee for their consideration," Steve Maharey said.

ends

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