Canada, Latvia to sign social security agreement

Canada and Latvia are scheduled to sign an international social security agreement June 29 that will make it easier for citizens of both countries to receive state pensions and other benefits.

The agreement will still have to be ratified by both nations and probably won’t be in force until 2006. Latvia is the second Baltic state after Estonia to sign such an agreement with Canada.

A person who has worked in Canada now will be able to receive state welfare benefits while living in Latvia, Latvian Welfare Minister Dagnija Staķe explained in a press release. For Canada, the agreement will cover the Old Age Security program and the Canada Pension Plan.

To qualify for a Latvian state pension, a person must have contributed to the program for a minimum of 10 years. Under the agreement, years spent working in Canada will be added to years worked in Latvia to allow people to qualify for Latvian benefits.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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