On 9th March 2016, the Minister for External Affairs informed in Lok Sabha that India has signed Social Security Agreements (SSAs) with 18 countries . They are Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Luxembourg, France, South Korea, Netherlands, Hungary, Finland, Sweden, Czech Republic, Norway, Canada, Japan, Austria, Portugal and Australia.
Bilateral Social Security Agreements protect the interests of Indian professionals and skilled workers working abroad by providing them with the following benefits:
• Avoid making double social security contributions: It exempts the Indian worker (working on short term contracts abroad) from making a social security contribution in that foreign country. This exemption is provided only if the Indian worker is covered under the social security system of India and continues to pay his/her contribution during the period of overseas contract.
• Easy remittance of benefits (Exportability): It enables the Indian worker/professional to remit his/her accumulated social security contribution made in a foreign country, in case of relocation to India/third country.
• Aggregating the contribution periods (in two countries) to prevent loss of benefits (Totalization): It allows aggregating residency periods of social security contribution made by the Indian worker / professional in India and the foreign country to qualify for retirement benefits.