The negotiations on the implementation and practices of the social security agreement between Finland and Japan are under way. This week, a delegation from Japan visited the Finnish Centre for Pensions.
Experts from both countries have negotiated both at the Finnish Centre for Pensions and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health on the implementation of the social security agreement between Finland and Japan.
“At this point, we focus on what the agreement means in practice when handling social security and earnings-related pensions in both countries,” says development manager Minna Levander of the Finnish Centre for Pensions.
The social security agreement was signed on 23 September at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. The ongoing negotiations (25-29 November) on the implementation of the agreement focus on provisions and details.
The agreement includes legislative decrees which require the approval of both countries’ parliaments. The agreement must undergo parliamentary proceedings before it can come into force.
According to the director of the international department of Japan’s pension authority, Tokio Ozawa (Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare), the social security agreement will further strengthen the co-operative relationship between the countries. The agreement has a positive impact on both investments and trade relations.
“We are glad that the agreement between our countries was signed this year when we are celebrating the centenary of diplomatic relations between Finland and Japan,” Ozawa, the leader of the Japanese delegation, said.
Japan is Finland’s third most important non-EU partner of trade. The recently signed free-trade agreement between EU and Japan will also increase workforce mobility between Japan and a number of EU countries.
The negotiations have been carried out in a spirit of positive cooperation since 2012. Together with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the Finnish Centre for Pensions has participated in the negotiation from the onset and has contributed to the preparations as an expert on the implementation of the earnings-related pension system.
What is regulated in the agreement?
The social security agreement applies to the Finnish earnings-related pension system and the Japanese earnings- and national pension systems. The agreement also prevents double insurance in terms of pension and unemployment insurance contributions.
The agreement includes provisions on how to apply for and pay out pensions, as well as applicable regulations concerning posted workers.
The Finnish Centre for Pensions functions as the liaison body both for the application legislation and the pension application process.
Social security agreement to be concluded between Finland and Japan (News on etk.fi on 23 Sept. 2019)
From Finland abroad (etk.fi)
Photo: Anne Iivonen
From left: Jaana Rissanen (Finnish Centre for Pensions), Jere Päivinen (Ministry of Social Affairs and Health), Minna Levander (Finnish Centre for Pensions), Tokio Ozawa, Toshinobu Tsuboi and Kohei Nagaki (Japanese delegation)