India, South Korea sign social security agreement

Written by ASHOK B SHARMA | Updated: Oct 18 2010, 04:05am hrs
India has signed a social security agreement (SSA) with South Korea which would enhance movement of professionals between the two countries and strengthen the trade and investment.

The Agreement was signed in Seoul on Tuesday by the Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs, Vayalar Ravi and the South Korean Minister for Trade, Kim Jong-hoon.

The Agreement provides, on a reciprocal basis, some benefits to Indian nationals working in South Korea. For short term contract up to five years no social security contribution would need to be paid under the Korean law by the detached workers provided they continue to make social security payment in India. This benefit will also be available even when the Indian company sends its employees to South Korea from a third country.

The Indian workers shall be entitled to the export of the social security benefit if they relocate to India or a third country after the completion of their service in South Korea.

The self-employed Indians in South Korea would also be entitled to export of social security benefit on their relocation to India, or to a third country.

In case of Independent professionals, provisions of paragraph 3 of Article 8.3 of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) signed between India and Republic of Korea shall apply and in case of any other category of workers, the SSA shall apply.

The scope of bilateral cooperation in social security under SSA and under paragraph 3 of Article 8.3 of CEPA covers only the old age, survivors and disability pension under the legislations and regulations of both countries.

The period of contribution in one contracting state will be added to the period of contribution in the second contracting state for determining the eligibility for social security benefits in order to avoid loss of contributions.

A number of professionals and self-employed Indians are working in South Korea. There is a huge potential for employment of Indian professionals and workers. India is likely to become a major source of migrant professionals due to its vast reservoir of technically qualified manpower in sectors like information technology, engineering, health, finance and management.