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Guernsey to negotiate social security agreement with Latvia

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Wednesday 24 April 2019

Guernsey has received entrustment from the UK to negotiate a reciprocal social security agreement with the Government of the Republic of Latvia.

The agreement will ensure that Latvian nationals who spend time working in Guernsey are able to benefit, in terms of pension, from the social security contributions that they have made in the island when they return to Latvia.

The island has been entrusted to enter into negotiations on this matter directly with the Government of Latvia, and will shortly commence discussions to enable an agreement to be brought into force. The agreement will be reciprocal, which will mean that it will also potentially be of benefit to Guernsey residents who work in Latvia.

Member of the Policy & Resources Committee with responsibility for External Relations, Deputy Jonathan Le Tocq said:

'"There are strong links between Guernsey and Latvia, in particular in terms of the important Latvian community present in the island who make such a positive contribution to our local community. I am pleased that Guernsey is now able to start discussions with the Government of Latvia on the introduction of this important agreement, which complements the ongoing work in the island to respect the rights of EU nationals when the UK leaves the EU. The Latvian community in Guernsey is a valued part of our island community and this agreement will ensure that Latvian nationals who work here and contribute to our local economy are able to obtain value from contributions that they made through that work in Guernsey."

President of the Committee for Employment & Social Security, Deputy Michelle Le Clerc said:

"It's normal to have social security agreements with countries between which there is the most movement of workers. We have had agreements with the UK and with Portugal for a very long time and the States agreed some time ago that we should enter an agreement with Latvia. These kind of agreements help when visiting workers have made contributions to the system, but not enough to qualify for a minimum pension under normal rules. The agreements allow for the payment of small pensions below the normal minimum, proportionate to the amount of contributions that the worker has paid."

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