The Agreement is the first of its type to be negotiated and concluded by the States under entrustment from the UK. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 related travel restrictions, the signing of this Agreement took place via video conference.
The Agreement was signed for Guernsey by Deputy Michelle Le Clerc, President of the Committee for Employment & Social Security, and for Latvia by Ramona Petraviča, Minister of Welfare.
Deputy Michelle Le Clerc, President of the Committee for Employment & Social Security said: “This is good news for people from Latvia who have lived and worked in Guernsey but have not paid enough contributions for a minimum Guernsey pension. The Agreement will enable them to get a small, part pension from Guernsey when they reach pension age.
“Latvian workers have made a significant contribution to our economy. The Agreement will put them in the same position as guest workers from the UK or Portugal, with which we have had similar arrangements for a long time.
The Agreement will apply in the same way in respect of people from Guernsey who have lived and worked in the Republic of Latvia, although this situation will be less common.
“The Agreement will also allow people from Latvia who have settled in Guernsey, to receive a pension from Latvia when they reach pension age based on the payments that they made to the Latvian pension system.”
Ramona Petraviča, Minister of Welfare for the Government of the Republic of Latvia said: “I am sincerely grateful to all those who made it happen; be it on political or expert level – both in Guernsey and Latvia. The agreement is of great value to our people, who have moved between Latvia and Guernsey for work. It focuses on pensions, as old-age pensions have a significant and lasting impact on individual lives.”
It is hoped that the Agreement is will take effect in Spring 2021, once the necessary Ordinance is approved by the States and similar legislation is approved in Latvia. Although pensions payable under the terms of the Agreement cannot be paid until that time, Social Security would like to hear from people who are over pension age who have worked and paid social security contributions in Guernsey and Latvia. They are asked to contact the Pensions and Allowances Section on tel: 732506 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The main photo shows:
- Malcolm Nutley, Chief Secretary, Employment & Social Security
- Michelle Le Clerc, President, Committee for Employment & Social Security
Back row (L-R):
- Ciara Harnden, External Affairs Officer, External & Constitutional Relations
- Ellen Pragnell, Manager – Policy & Legislation, Employment & Social Security
- Mark Gannon, Manager – Benefits, Employment & Social Security
- Natalie Tucker, Senior Policy Officer, Employment & Social Security