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Social security agreement signed with Netherlands

30 June 2000 Media Statement

New social security agreement signed with the Netherlands

A new social security agreement with The Netherlands is being signed in the Hague today (eds; 1am 1 July New Zealand time) by Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey on behalf of the New Zealand Government.

The new agreement replaces an earlier one signed in 1990 and will modernise social security arrangements between the two countries. The new agreement introduces mutual assistance provisions for the reciprocal recovery of debts and allows the exchange of information for social security purposes.

"Social security agreements assist the free movement of labour between countries, and ensure an equitable distribution of the social security costs for people who have lived or worked in more than one country.

"This agreement with The Netherlands is of particular importance given the large number of Dutch people who have successfully settled in New Zealand and who have made a significant contribution to our country.

"The agreement provides retirees with more flexibility about which country they choose to spend their retirement in.

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

"The agreement will come in to force following the passing of the Social Security (Transitional Provisions) Amendment Bill which is currently before the Social Services Select Committee," Steve Maharey said.

ENDS

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