The conclusion of bilateral or even multilateral agreements between the various countries in the area of Social Security emerge from the need for social protection of the insurance rights of the worker’s benefits who move from one country to the other.
The general purpose of the Social Security Agreements which are concluded between the various countries is to coordinate the Social Security Systems of the contracting countries in order to safeguard the following principles:
- Equal treatment: The citizens of the one contracting state who live and work within the territory of the other contracting state should have the same rights and obligations in the same way as the citizens of that state.
- Applicable legislation: Defines that all the workers should be subject to the social security legislation of the country where they work, so that they will not have to pay simultaneous contributions to the social security systems of two contracting states. In addition, they avoid the risk of failing to be subject in any insurance system.
- Aggregation of insurance periods: Where the legislation of a contracting state requires certain insurance periods or periods of residence for the entitlement to a benefit in cash or in kind, the insurance periods or the periods of residence completed in the other contracting state are also taken into consideration.
- Exportation of benefits: Benefits which are payable from the social security scheme of the one contracting state, are paid to the beneficiary even in the case where he resides in the other contracting country or in any other country as long as this is provided by the national legislation of that state.
Cyprus has concluded social security bilateral agreements with United Kingdom, Greece, Egypt, Canada, Quebec, Australia, Austria, Slovakia, Switzerland, Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Serbia and Syria. The bilateral agreements that Cyprus has concluded with member states of the E.U. have been replaced by the EU Regulations 883/04 and 987/09, which coordinate the social security systems of the member states.