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Agreement on Social Security Between Canada and the Republic of Macedonia

E105217

CANADA AND THE REPUBLIC OF Macedonia, hereinafter referred to as “the Parties”,

RESOLVED to co-operate in the field of social security,

HAVE DECIDED to conclude an agreement for this purpose, and

HAVE AGREED AS FOLLOWS:


Part I - General Provisions

Article 1

Definitions

  1. For the purposes of this Agreement:

    “territory” means:

    as regards Canada, the territory of Canada; and

    as regards the Republic of Macedonia, the territory of the Republic of Macedonia;

    “benefit” means:

    as regards a Party, any cash benefit or pension for which provision is made in the legislation of that Party and includes any supplements or increases applicable to such a cash benefit or pension;

    “competent authority” means:

    as regards Canada, the Minister or Ministers responsible for the application of the legislation of Canada; and

    as regards the Republic of Macedonia, the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy;

    “competent institution” means:

    as regards Canada, the competent authority; and

    as regards the Republic of Macedonia, the institutions responsible for the application of the legislation specified in Article 2.1.2);

    “creditable period” means:

    as regards Canada, a period of contribution used to acquire the right to a benefit under the Canada Pension Plan; a period during which a disability pension is payable under that Plan; and a period of residence used to acquire the right to a benefit under the Old Age Security Act; and

    as regards the Republic of Macedonia, a period of insurance used to acquire the right to a benefit under the legislation of the Republic of Macedonia, and including any period defined under that legislation as equivalent to a period of insurance, or recognized as such;

    “legislation” means:

    as regards a Party, the laws and regulations specified in Article 2.

  2. Any term not defined in this Article has the meaning assigned to it in the applicable legislation.

Article 2

Legislation to Which the Agreement Applies

  1. This Agreement shall apply to the following legislation:
    1. with respect to Canada :
      1. the Old Age Security Act and the regulations made thereunder,
      2. the Canada Pension Plan and the regulations made thereunder;
    2. with respect to the Republic of Macedonia:
      1. the Pension and Invalidity Insurance Act and the regulations made thereunder.
  2. Subject to paragraph 3, this Agreement shall also apply to laws and regulations which amend, supplement, consolidate or supersede the legislation specified in paragraph 1.
  3. This Agreement shall further apply to laws and regulations which extend the legislation of a Party to new categories of beneficiaries or to new benefits unless an objection on the part of that Party has been communicated to the other Party not later than three months following the entry into force of such laws and regulations.

Article 3

Persons to Whom the Agreement Applies

This Agreement shall apply to any person who is or who has been subject to the legislation of one or both Parties, as well as to other persons who derive rights from such a person.

Article 4

Equality of Treatment

Any person referred to in Article 3 shall be subject to the obligations of the legislation of the other Party and shall be eligible for the benefits of that legislation under the same conditions as citizens of the latter Party.

Article 5

Export of Benefits

  1. Unless otherwise provided in this Agreement, benefits payable under the legislation of a Party to any person described in Article 3, including benefits acquired by virtue of this Agreement, shall not be subject to any reduction, modification, suspension or cancellation by reason only of the fact that the person is in the territory of the other Party, and these benefits shall be paid when that person is in the territory of the other Party.
  2. Benefits payable under this Agreement to a person who is or who has been subject to the legislation of both Parties, or to a person who derives rights from such a person, shall be paid when that person, or a person who derives rights from such a person, is in the territory of a third State.

Part II - Provisions Concerning the Applicable Legislation

Article 6

General Rules

Subject to Articles 7 to 10:

  1. An employed person who works in the territory of a Party shall, in respect of that work, be subject only to the legislation of that Party;
  2. A self-employed person who resides in the territory of a Party and who works for his or her own account in the territory of the other Party or in the territories of both Parties shall, in respect of that work, be subject only to the legislation of the first Party.

Article 7

Detachments

If an employer, having a place of business in the territory of one Party, sends an employee who is subject to the legislation of that Party to work in the territory of the other Party, that employee shall, in respect of that work, be subject only to the legislation of the first Party, as though that work was performed in its territory. In the case of an assignment, this coverage may not be maintained for more than 60 months without the consent of the competent authorities of both Parties.

Article 8

Crews of Ships

A person who, but for this Agreement, would be subject to the legislation of both Parties in respect of employment as a member of the crew of a ship shall, in respect of that employment, be subject only to the legislation of Canada if he or she resides in the territory of Canada and only to the legislation of the Republic of Macedonia in any other case.

Article 9

Government and Similar Employment

  1. Notwithstanding any provision of this Agreement, the provisions regarding social security of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 18 April 1961 and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 24 April 1963 shall continue to apply.
  2. A person engaged in government employment for a Party who is posted to work in the territory of the other Party shall, in respect of that employment, be subject only to the legislation of the first Party.
  3. Except as provided in paragraphs 1 and 2, a person who resides in the territory of a Party and who is engaged therein in government employment for the other Party shall, in respect of that employment, be subject only to the legislation of the first Party.

Article 10

Exceptions

The competent authorities of the Parties may, by common agreement, modify the application of the provisions of Articles 6 to 9 with respect to any person or categories of persons.

Article 11

Definition of Certain Periods of Residence with Respect to the Legislation of Canada

  1. For the purpose of calculating the amount of benefits under the Old Age Security Act:
    1. if a person is subject to the Canada Pension Plan or to the comprehensive pension plan of a province of Canada during any period of presence or residence in the Republic of Macedonia, that period shall be considered as a period of residence in Canada for that person; it shall also be considered as a period of residence in Canada for that person's spouse or common-law partner and dependants who reside with him or her and who are not subject to the legislation of the Republic of Macedonia by reason of employment or self-employment;
    2. if a person is subject to the legislation of the Republic of Macedonia during any period of presence or residence in Canada, that period shall not be considered as a period of residence in Canada for that person; it shall also not be considered as a period of residence in Canada for that person's spouse or common-law partner and dependants who reside with him or her and who are not subject to the Canada Pension Plan or to the comprehensive pension plan of a province of Canada by reason of employment or self-employment.
  2. In the application of paragraph 1:
    1. a person shall be considered to be subject to the Canada Pension Plan or to the comprehensive pension plan of a province of Canada during a period of presence or residence in the Republic of Macedonia only if that person makes contributions pursuant to the plan concerned during that period by reason of employment or self-employment;
    2. a person shall be considered to be subject to the legislation of the Republic of Macedonia during a period of presence or residence in Canada only if that person makes compulsory contributions pursuant to that legislation during that period by reason of employment or self-employment.

Part III - Provisions Concerning Benefits

Chapter 1 - Totalizing

Article 12

Periods under the Legislation of Canada and the Republic of Macedonia

  1. If a person is not eligible for a benefit because he or she has not accumulated sufficient creditable periods under the legislation of a Party, the eligibility of that person for that benefit shall be determined by totalizing these periods and those specified in paragraphs 2 through 4, provided that the periods do not overlap.
  2.  
    1. For purposes of determining eligibility for a benefit under the Old Age Security Act of Canada, a creditable period under the legislation of the Republic of Macedonia shall be considered as a period of residence in Canada;
    2. For purposes of determining eligibility for a benefit under the Canada Pension Plan, a calendar year including at least 3 months which are creditable periods under the legislation of the Republic of Macedonia shall be considered as a year which is creditable under the Canada Pension Plan.
  3. For purposes of determining eligibility for an old age pension under the legislation of the Republic of Macedonia:
    1. a calendar year which is a creditable period under the Canada Pension Plan shall be considered as 12 months which are creditable under the legislation of the Republic of Macedonia;
    2. a month which is a creditable period under the Old Age Security Act of Canada and which is not part of a creditable period under the Canada Pension Plan shall be considered as a month which is creditable under the legislation of the Republic of Macedonia.
  4. For purposes of determining eligibility for a disability or survivor's pension under the legislation of the Republic of Macedonia, a calendar year which is a creditable period under the Canada Pension Plan shall be considered as 12 months which are creditable under the legislation of the Republic of Macedonia.

Article 13

Periods under the Legislation of a Third State

  1. If a person is not eligible for a benefit on the basis of the creditable periods under the legislation of the Parties, totalized as provided in Article 12 the eligibility of that person for that benefit shall be determined by totalizing these periods and creditable periods completed under the legislation of a third State with which both Parties are bound by social security instruments which provide for the totalizing of periods.
  2. If only the Republic of Macedonia is bound by an agreement with a third State, the eligibility of Macedonian citizens for a benefit under the legislation of the Republic of Macedonia shall be determined by totalizing creditable periods completed under the legislation of that third State, unless otherwise provided in that agreement.

Article 14

Minimum Period to be Totalized

Notwithstanding any other provision of this Agreement, if the total duration of the creditable periods accumulated by a person under the legislation of a Party is less than one year and if, taking into account only those periods, no right to a benefit exists under the legislation of that Party, the competent institution of that Party shall not be required to pay a benefit to that person in respect of those periods by virtue of this Agreement.


Chapter 2 - Benefits Under the Legislation of Canada

Article 15

Benefits under the Old Age Security Act

  1. If a person is eligible for a pension or allowance under the Old Age Security Act solely through the application of the totalizing provisions of Chapter 1, the competent institution of Canada shall calculate the amount of the pension or allowance payable to that person in conformity with the provisions of that Act governing the payment of a partial pension or allowance, exclusively on the basis of the periods of residence in Canada which may be considered under that Act.
  2. Paragraph 1 shall also apply to a person outside Canada who would be eligible for a full pension in Canada but who has not resided in Canada for the minimum period required by the Old Age Security Act for the payment of a pension outside Canada.
  3. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Agreement:
    1. an Old Age Security pension shall be paid to a person who is outside Canada only if that person's periods of residence, when totalized as provided in Chapter 1, are at least equal to the minimum period of residence in Canada required by the Old Age Security Act for the payment of a pension outside Canada;
    2. an allowance and a guaranteed income supplement shall be paid to a person who is outside Canada only to the extent permitted by the Old Age Security Act.

Article 16

Benefits under the Canada Pension Plan

If a person is eligible for a benefit solely through the application of the totalizing provisions of Chapter 1, the competent institution of Canada shall calculate the amount of benefit payable to that person in the following manner:

  1. the earnings-related portion of the benefit shall be determined in conformity with the provisions of the Canada Pension Plan, exclusively on the basis of the pensionable earnings under that Plan;
  2. the flat-rate portion of the benefit shall be determined by multiplying:
    1. the amount of the flat-rate portion of the benefit determined in conformity with the provisions of the Canada Pension Plan

      by

    2. the fraction which represents the ratio of the periods of contributions to the Canada Pension Plan in relation to the minimum qualifying period required under that Plan to establish eligibility for that benefit, but in no case shall that fraction exceed the value of one.

Chapter 3 - Benefits Under the Legislation of the Republic of Macedonia

Article 17

Amount of Benefit Payable

  1. If a person is eligible for a pension under the legislation of the Republic of Macedonia, the amount of the pension shall be calculated exclusively in accordance with the provisions of the legislation of the Republic of Macedonia.
  2. If a person is eligible for a pension solely through the application of the totalizing provisions of Chapter 1, the competent institution of the Republic of Macedonia:
    1. shall calculate the theoretical amount of the benefit which would be paid if the totalized creditable periods accumulated under the legislation of the Republic of Macedonia and under the legislation of Canada had been accumulated under the legislation of the Republic of Macedonia alone; and
    2. on the basis of the theoretical amount calculated in accordance with sub-paragraph 1), shall determine the actual amount of benefit payable by applying the ratio of the length of the creditable periods accumulated under the legislation of the Republic of Macedonia to the total creditable periods accumulated under the legislation of the Republic of Macedonia and under the legislation of Canada.
  3. The provisions of the Macedonian Pension and Invalidity Insurance Act governing the minimum pension guarantee shall continue to apply to persons who reside outside the territory of the Republic of Macedonia.

Part IV - Administrative and Miscellaneous Provisions

Article 18

Administrative Arrangement

  1. The competent authorities of the Parties shall conclude an administrative arrangement which establishes the measures necessary for the application of this Agreement.
  2. The liaison agencies of the Parties shall be designated in that arrangement.

Article 19

Exchange of Information and Mutual Assistance

  1. The competent authorities and institutions responsible for the application of this Agreement:
    1. shall, to the extent permitted by the legislation which they administer, communicate to each other any information necessary for the application of that legislation;
    2. shall lend their good offices and furnish assistance to one another for the purpose of determining eligibility for, or the amount of, any benefit under this Agreement, or under the legislation to which this Agreement applies, as if the matter involved the application of their own legislation;
    3. shall communicate to each other, as soon as possible, all information about the measures taken by them for the application of this Agreement or about changes in their respective legislation in so far as these changes affect the application of this Agreement.
  2. The assistance referred to in sub-paragraph 1.2) shall be provided free of charge, subject to any provision contained in an administrative arrangement concluded pursuant to Article 18 for the reimbursement of certain types of expenses.
  3. Unless disclosure is required under the laws of a Party, any information about a person which is transmitted in accordance with this Agreement to that Party by the other Party is confidential and shall be used only for purposes of implementing this Agreement and the legislation to which this Agreement applies.

Article 20

Exemption or Reduction of Taxes, Dues, Fees or Charge

  1. Any exemption from or reduction of taxes, legal dues, consular fees and administrative charges for which provision is made in the legislation of a Party in connection with the issuing of any certificate or document required to be produced for the application of that legislation shall be extended to certificates or documents required to be produced for the application of the legislation of the other Party.
  2. Any documents of an official nature required to be produced for the application of this Agreement shall be exempt from any authentication by diplomatic or consular authorities and similar formality.

Article 21

Language of Communication

For the application of this Agreement, the competent authorities and institutions of the Parties may communicate directly with one another in the English, French or Macedonian languages.

Article 22

Submitting a Claim, Notice or Appeal

  1. Claims, notices and appeals concerning eligibility for, or the amount of, a benefit under the legislation of a Party which should, for the purposes of that legislation, have been presented within a prescribed period to a competent authority or institution of that Party, but which are presented within the same period to an authority or institution of the other Party, shall be treated as if they had been presented to the competent authority or institution of the first Party. The date of presentation of claims, notices and appeals to the authority or institution of the other Party shall be deemed to be the date of their presentation to the competent authority or institution of the first Party.
  2. Subject to the second sentence of this paragraph, a claim for benefit under the legislation of a Party made after the date of entry into force of this Agreement shall be deemed to be a claim for the corresponding benefit under the legislation of the other Party, provided that the applicant at the time of application:
    1. requests that it be considered an application under the legislation of the other Party; or
    2. provides information indicating that creditable periods have been completed under the legislation of the other Party.

    The preceding sentence shall not apply if the applicant requests that his or her claim to the benefit under the legislation of the other Party be delayed.

  3. In any case to which paragraphs 1 or 2 applies, the authority or institution to which the claim, notice or appeal has been submitted shall transmit it without delay to the authority or institution of the other Party.

Article 23

Payment of Benefits

  1. The competent institution of a Party shall pay benefits under this Agreement to a beneficiary residing in the territory of the other Party or a third State in any freely convertible currency.
  2. The competent institutions of the Parties shall pay benefits under this Agreement directly to beneficiaries without any deduction for their administrative expenses.

Article 24

Resolution of Disputes

  1. The competent authorities of the Parties shall resolve, to the extent possible, any disputes which arise in interpreting or applying this Agreement according to its spirit and fundamental principles.
  2. The Parties shall consult promptly at the request of either Party concerning matters which have not been resolved by the competent authorities in accordance with paragraph 1.

Article 25

Understandings with a Province of Canada

The relevant authority of the Republic of Macedonia and a province of Canada may conclude understandings concerning any social security matter within provincial jurisdiction in Canada in so far as those understandings are not inconsistent with the provisions of this Agreement.


Part V - Transitional and Final Provisions

Article 26

Transitional Provisions

  1. Any creditable period completed before the date of entry into force of this Agreement shall be taken into account for the purpose of determining the right to a benefit under this Agreement and its amount.
  2. No provision of this Agreement shall confer any right to receive payment of a benefit for a period before the date of entry into force of this Agreement.
  3. Subject to paragraph 2, a benefit, other than a lump sum payment, shall be paid under this Agreement in respect of events which happened before the date of entry into force of this Agreement.

Article 27

Duration and Termination

  1. This Agreement shall remain in force without any limitation on its duration. It may be terminated at any time by either Party by giving 12 months' notice in writing to the other Party.
  2. In the event of termination of this Agreement according to paragraph 1 of this Article, the Agreement shall continue to have effect in relation to all persons who:
    1. at the date of termination are in receipt of benefits; or
    2. prior to the expiry of the period referred to in that paragraph, have lodged claims for, and would be eligible for benefits by virtue of this Agreement.

Article 28

Entry into Force

This Agreement shall enter into force on the first day of the fourth month following the month in which each Party shall have received from the other Party written notification through diplomatic channels that it has complied with all requirements for the entry into force of this Agreement.


In Witness Whereof, the undersigned, being duly authorized thereto by their respective Governments, have signed this Agreement.

Done in duplicate at Ottawa, this 26th day of August 2009, in the English, French and Macedonian languages, each text being equally authentic.

Stephen Harper
For Canada

Nikola Gruevski
For the Republic of Macedonia