Malta-New Zealand Social Security Agreement being negotiated

Dr. Trudy Marie Attard | Published on 07 Aug 2012

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A Social Security Agreement is currently being negotiated between New Zealand and Malta to assist the co-ordination of the two states’ social security systems in view of the significant number of Maltese citizens who, along the years, moved to New Zealand.  The Agreement will ensure that the people living in both states are treated equally in all agreed aspects of social security as though they were citizens of the respective countries.

The coordination of social security systems assists people to satisfy the minimum conditions of a pension scheme in an Agreement country and ensures that foreign social security pensions are paid to the beneficiary in Malta upon a decision to return to Malta. A social security agreement may also regulate the payment of social security contributions where both contracting partners enjoy a contributory system, or define the benefits and rates payable. 

Negotiations involve the design of the agreement and the implementation of best practices. A set of requirements were also identified in order make the necessary amendments to the IT infrastructure to cater for this new agreement. Persons who contributed both to New Zealand’s and Malta’s social security systems would be able to benefit from both systems.

Malta has, to date, signed bilateral Social Security Reciprocal Agreements with the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada. Malta has also signed an Agreement (not Reciprocal) with Libya on the payment of contributions for Maltese working in Libya.  It has always been the policy of the Department to enter into bilateral agreements rather than multilateral. Following Malta’s accession to the EU in 2004, the EU Regulations on coordination of Social Security schemes supersedes the bilateral agreement unless the latter is more beneficial. 

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