§ Mr. Andrew Turner
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when each international reciprocal social security agreement was entered into; and what the extent of the reciprocity is in each case. 
§ Maria Eagle
[pursuant to her reply, 16 May 2002, c. 854W]: The information on reciprocal social security agreements with other countries follows.
The main purpose of such reciprocal agreements is to protect the social security position of workers moving between the two countries during their working lives. They prevent employees, their employers and the self-employed from having to pay social security contributions to both the home state and the state of employment at the same time and ensure that such workers' rights to certain benefits are maintained. They vary to some extent from country to country depending on the nature and scope of the other country's social security scheme. Generally, they cover contributory benefits in respect of the following contingencies: sickness, invalidity, unemployment, retirement, bereavement and industrial injuries. Workers who have contributed to both countries' schemes during their working lives can usually receive an old age pension from each country which reflects the proportionate amount or their insurance in, or contributions to, each country's scheme.
Current reciprocal social security agreements and the year they came into force
380W From 5 October 1998 we extended the linking rules for incapacity benefit to 52 weeks to allow disabled people to try out work safe in the knowledge that they can return to the same rate of benefit if the job does not work out.
- Austria—1981 (replaced the 1971 agreement)
- Canada—1995 (replaced the 1959 agreement)
The available information in respect of incapacity benefit is in the table.
- Cyprus—1983 (replaced the 1959 agreement)
- Finland—1984 (replaced the 1959 agreement
- Isle of Man—1977 (replaced the 1948 agreement)
- Jamaica—1997 (replaced the 1972 agreement)
- Jersey and Guernsey—1994 (replaced the 1978 agreement)
- Malta—1996 (replaced the 1956 agreement)
- New Zealand—1983 (replaced the 1969 agreement)
- Norway—1991 (replaced the 1957 agreement)
- Sweden—1988 (replaced the 1956 agreement)
- USA—1984 (replaced the 1969 agreementYugoslavia—1958 (now applies to: the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Serbia-Montenegro), Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia).381W