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Social Security Agreement With Mexico Released After 3 1/2 Year Freedom of Information Act Battle
Yahoo ^ | 12/29/06 | Yahoo

Posted on 01/01/2007 8:04:50 AM PST by WatchingInAmazement

WASHINGTON, Dec. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- After numerous refusals over three and a half years, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has released the first known public copy of the U.S.-Mexico Social Security Totalization Agreement. The government was forced to make the disclosure in response to lawsuits filed under the Freedom of Information Act by TREA Senior Citizens League, a 1.2 million-member nonpartisan seniors advocacy group.

The Totalization Agreement could allow millions of illegal Mexican workers to draw billions of dollars from the U.S. Social Security Trust Fund.

The agreement between the U.S. and Mexico was signed in June 2004, and is awaiting President Bush's signature. Once President Bush approves the agreement, which would be done without Congressional vote, either House of Congress would have 60 days to disapprove the agreement by voting to reject it.

"The Social Security Administration itself warns that Social Security is within decades of bankruptcy -- yet, they seem to have no problem making agreements that hasten its demise," said Ralph McCutchen, Chairman of the TREA Senior Citizens League.

The U.S. currently has 21 similar agreements in effect with other nations, which are intended to eliminate dual taxation for persons who work outside their country of origin. All of the agreements are with developed nations with economies similar to that of the U.S.

For example, a worker who turns 62 after 1990 generally needs 40 calendar quarters of coverage to receive retirement benefits. Under totalization agreements, workers are allowed to combine earnings from both countries in order to qualify for benefits. The Agreement with Mexico, like other totalization agreements, would allow workers to qualify with just six quarters, or 18 months, of U.S. coverage.

But Mexico's retirement system is radically different than that of other participating countries. For example, only 40 percent of non-government workers participate in Mexico's system, whereas 96 percent of America's non- government workers do. In addition, the U.S. system is progressive, meaning lower wage earners get back much more than they put in; in Mexico, workers get back only what they put in, plus accrued interest.

"I applaud the persistent efforts of TREA Senior Citizens League to try to get documents from the U.S. Government about the U.S.-Mexico Social Security Totalization Agreement," said Rep. Walter Jones (news, bio, voting record) (R-N.C.). "The American people are finally beginning to get some of the information regarding this Agreement that they have been seeking for so long."

According to the SSA, the Social Security Trust Fund will begin paying out more than it is taking in by 2017, and will be exhausted by the year 2040.

With 1.2 million members, TREA Senior Citizens League is one of the nation's largest nonpartisan seniors groups. Visit http://www.SeniorsLeague.org for more information or to see the Totalization Agreement documents.

SOURCE TREA Senior Citizens League


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: abuse; aliens; bushamnesty; crimaliens; fraud; frtrollmagnet; govwatch; gummintgiveaways; identitytheft; idtheft; illegalaliens; immigrantlist; immigration; invasionusa; lobbyisthype; mexico; otherpeoplesmoney; socialsecurity; spendingspree; totalization; waste
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"For example, a worker who turns 62 after 1990 generally needs 40 calendar quarters of coverage to receive retirement benefits. Under totalization agreements, workers are allowed to combine earnings from both countries in order to qualify for benefits. The Agreement with Mexico, like other totalization agreements, would allow workers to qualify with just six quarters, or 18 months, of U.S. coverage.
1 posted on 01/01/2007 8:04:53 AM PST by WatchingInAmazement
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To: WatchingInAmazement
Thank you George Bush!
2 posted on 01/01/2007 8:07:02 AM PST by ladyjane
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To: WatchingInAmazement

What's important here is not so much the nuts and bolts of this agreement, but the secrecy with which is has been kept from public review.


3 posted on 01/01/2007 8:07:29 AM PST by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, and writes again.)
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To: WatchingInAmazement

Obviously this country must have a death wish. I'm speechless.


4 posted on 01/01/2007 8:08:41 AM PST by truthkeeper (It's the borders, stupid.)
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To: WatchingInAmazement

I had really hoped these rumors were untrue. This is just beyond the pale. I need to quit typing now before I type something that will get me banned for life.


5 posted on 01/01/2007 8:11:29 AM PST by MizSterious (Anonymous sources often means "the voices in my head told me.")
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To: WatchingInAmazement
As we are "self governed", obviously we a damn idiots!
6 posted on 01/01/2007 8:11:57 AM PST by RAY (God Bless the USA!)
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To: WatchingInAmazement

Both the agreement itself and the attempt to maintain secrecy are shocking and a betrayal of the citizens of the US.


7 posted on 01/01/2007 8:12:52 AM PST by Clara Lou
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Comment #8 Removed by Moderator

To: WatchingInAmazement
In addition, the U.S. system is progressive, meaning lower wage earners get back much more than they put in; in Mexico, workers get back only what they put in, plus accrued interest.

Once again, Mexican policies are what our policies SHOULD be.

They vigorously go after illegal immigrants and defend their borders. We do not. They operate their pension system like a 401k. We operate ours as a welfare program.

9 posted on 01/01/2007 8:14:44 AM PST by montag813
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To: WatchingInAmazement
in Mexico, workers get back only what they put in, plus accrued interest...

Seems like they have it figured out better than we have.

10 posted on 01/01/2007 8:14:48 AM PST by misterrob (Jack Bauer/Chuck Norris 2008)
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To: gubamyster

ping


11 posted on 01/01/2007 8:14:50 AM PST by Petruchio (* Censored *)
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To: Old Professer
Why is this getting absolutely NO national press coverage???

Amazing how 'selective' the MSM can be when it comes to what it wants to cover as the 'news', now isn't it?

Bernard Goldberg was 100% correct about their 'Bias'!

12 posted on 01/01/2007 8:15:03 AM PST by stockstrader ("Where government advances--and it advances relentlessly--freedom is imperiled"-Janice Rogers Brown)
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To: WatchingInAmazement
I don't think our system of government can ever recover from its corruption. Our system will have to be changed radically and by the people directly. Ours is now a system not accountable to anyone. It operates under its own self-directed tyranny.

Before the American people force a representative government upon Iraq, we might want to consider restoring it in the United States, first.

13 posted on 01/01/2007 8:15:22 AM PST by NoControllingLegalAuthority
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To: WatchingInAmazement

"The Totalization Agreement could allow millions of illegal Mexican workers to draw billions of dollars from the U.S. Social Security Trust Fund."

There is no SS "Trust Fund". In Ponzi scheme fashion, current retirees get their payments from those currently working and paying taxes. What is worse, some of the social security tax money is used for general purposes not even related to "Socialist Security".

If anyone thinks there is a "trust fund" I suggest contacting the SSA and ask for the current balance of 'your' retirement account. Hear the bureaucrats laughing?


14 posted on 01/01/2007 8:16:01 AM PST by pleikumud
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To: ladyjane
Thank you George Bush!

He hasn't signed anything...yet. But it is curious that it passed in 2004 yet is still awaiting his signature. One wonders if this will be part of the usual last minute slew of executive actions before a President leaves office. I hope not.

15 posted on 01/01/2007 8:16:24 AM PST by montag813
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To: WatchingInAmazement

It never ends. Time for our Caesar?


16 posted on 01/01/2007 8:16:56 AM PST by MeneMeneTekelUpharsin (Freedom is the freedom to discipline yourself so others don't have to do it for you.)
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To: WatchingInAmazement; All

Would Bush actually sign this???


17 posted on 01/01/2007 8:17:14 AM PST by Clara Lou
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To: WatchingInAmazement

Every day I get a new disappointment.

Where are conservatives to go? Certainly not to the Republican Party.


18 posted on 01/01/2007 8:17:46 AM PST by Guy in Bumblebee Suit
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To: Clara Lou; MizSterious; truthkeeper; gubamyster; Antoninus; All

Please thank these congressmen for at least trying to stall this agreement.


109th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. CON. RES. 50

Expressing disapproval by the Congress of the totalization agreement between the United States and Mexico signed by the Commissioner of Social Security and the Director General of the Mexican Social Security Institute on June 29, 2004.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

February 9, 2005

Mr. GOODE (for himself, Mr. JONES of North Carolina, Mr. PAUL, Mr. SESSIONS, Mrs. JO ANN DAVIS of Virginia, Mr. NORWOOD, Mr. ROHRABACHER, Mr. ROYCE, Mr. TANCREDO, Mr. GINGREY, Mr. BARTLETT of Maryland, Mr. MANZULLO, Mr. HAYWORTH, Mr. OTTER, Mr. DUNCAN, Mr. ISSA, Mr. SULLIVAN, Mr. SAM JOHNSON of Texas, Mr. DOOLITTLE, Mr. CULBERSON, Mr. BARRETT of South Carolina, Mr. BRADLEY of New Hampshire, Mr. HOSTETTLER, Mr. WELDON of Florida, Mr. GARY G. MILLER of California, and Mrs. MYRICK) submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c109:1:./temp/~c109zXFaoL::
(link may be temporary.


19 posted on 01/01/2007 8:18:12 AM PST by WatchingInAmazement (President DUNCAN HUNTER 2008! http://www.house.gov/hunter/border1.html)
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To: montag813

I also wondered if he might wait until the last minute. However, either House could still take action, according to the article.


20 posted on 01/01/2007 8:18:32 AM PST by Clara Lou
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To: WatchingInAmazement

I am waiting for the Free Trade and Global Economists here at FR applaud this stinker.


21 posted on 01/01/2007 8:19:30 AM PST by BipolarBob (Yes I backed over the vampire, but I swear I didn't see it in my rear view mirror.)
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All us gringos had better learn that language!!!


22 posted on 01/01/2007 8:20:10 AM PST by chainsaw (We are going to take things away from you. - H. Clinton)
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To: WatchingInAmazement
"The Social Security Administration itself warns that Social Security is within decades of bankruptcy -- yet, they seem to have no problem making agreements that hasten its demise," said Ralph McCutchen, Chairman of the TREA Senior Citizens League."

I wonder if the above statement really upsets many writers on FreeRepublic. For years they have been anti SS benefits.

Oh well, who cares? Old guys such as I who have depended on S.S. for years will have to figure out another way to "milk the government." Right?
23 posted on 01/01/2007 8:20:35 AM PST by GOPologist (When one lowers himself to argue with a fool, then you don't know which one is the fool.)
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To: WatchingInAmazement

Awaiting President Bush's signature!!!!
OK since 2004 I see gee somebody is sellin a bridge too..
Pathetic those who want to believe the worst of our president!


24 posted on 01/01/2007 8:20:47 AM PST by Tigen (Live in peace or rest in peace!)
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To: Clara Lou

Americans are retiring to countries where it is cheaper to live. Current law requires they visit the US every year to retain Medicare eligibiity. Social Security cuts their bnefits in half when it learns they are living in Mexico. Likewise, Cqanada requires snowbirds spend 6 months a year in Canada to keep their health insurance. So, do you want Mexicans staying here to collect Social Security they have earned, or wouold you rather they went home when they want to?


25 posted on 01/01/2007 8:20:50 AM PST by ClaireSolt (Have you have gotten mixed up in a mish-masher?)
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To: Clara Lou
Would Bush actually sign this???

His State Dept. made the agreement and his SS administrator signed on, so what do you think?

26 posted on 01/01/2007 8:20:52 AM PST by WatchingInAmazement (President DUNCAN HUNTER 2008! http://www.house.gov/hunter/border1.html)
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To: Old Professer
What's important here is not so much the nuts and bolts of this agreement, but the secrecy with which is has been kept from public review.

Good point. I have always wondered why those that support amnesty for example will not say it is amnesty, and why Republican leadership has adopted democratic style strategies of lying about their intentions. Why do they misname things in order to manipulate and deceive their own base ie. "pathway to citizenship", "jobs Americans will not do" etc.

Why do they malign those that would point out the truth, about what these changes really mean.

Why aren't people offended by the secrecy, the deception the warping of language?

Why are they highjacking our Democracy?

Regards.

27 posted on 01/01/2007 8:21:00 AM PST by ARE SOLE (I thought the Party was supposed to court the voters and not the other way around?)
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To: pleikumud
What? No lock box? I'm shocked!

Let the crooks in your pocket, be surprised at the outcome.

28 posted on 01/01/2007 8:21:43 AM PST by GregoryFul (There's no truth in the New York Times)
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To: WatchingInAmazement

This overall program has been in place since the Carter Administration. However, this is the first totalization agreement between the United States and a nation responsible for nearly 70 percent of the illegal immigration into the United States.


http://www.azconservative.org/Barton.htm


29 posted on 01/01/2007 8:21:58 AM PST by BARLF
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To: Clara Lou
I also wondered if he might wait until the last minute. However, either House could still take action, according to the article.

True, but there may well be a timetable there too. The President signs on January 20th, 2009. And then Congress votes in favor in a midnight vote before Christmas 2009.

30 posted on 01/01/2007 8:22:19 AM PST by montag813
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To: Clara Lou
I also wondered if he might wait until the last minute. However, either House could still take action, according to the article.

I bet they won't unless the American people mobilize a couple a million votes against it!
31 posted on 01/01/2007 8:23:20 AM PST by chainsaw (We are going to take things away from you. - H. Clinton)
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To: WatchingInAmazement

Pull the plug. The ssytem is terminal.


32 posted on 01/01/2007 8:23:26 AM PST by weegee
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To: WatchingInAmazement

This obviously another piece of brilliant strategery by Rove/Bush. We, the ignorant freepers, are unable to discern the benefits of this agreement.

Sarcasm, while maybe not obvious to all freepers, is most definitely intended.


33 posted on 01/01/2007 8:23:26 AM PST by David Isaac
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To: pleikumud

So basically, Congress is going to raise taxes on everyone here so that Mexican citizens can enjoy the good life south of the border? That is just plain WRONG.


34 posted on 01/01/2007 8:23:59 AM PST by rabscuttle385 (Sic Semper Tyrannis * Allen for U.S. Senate in '08)
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To: misterrob
Seems like they have it figured out better than we have.

I think we are the only country that hasn't figured it out yet. With the socialists/democrats it's only going to get worse.

35 posted on 01/01/2007 8:25:22 AM PST by unixfox (The 13th Amendment Abolished Slavery, The 16th Amendment Reinstated It !)
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To: WatchingInAmazement
The sooner the Ponzi scheme called Social Security dies the better.

Oops, but I forgot, you Watchin are not for any reform of your beloved Ponzi scheme.

36 posted on 01/01/2007 8:25:55 AM PST by Dane ("Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall" Ronald Reagan, 1987)
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Comment #37 Removed by Moderator

To: WatchingInAmazement
And how do they prove that they qualify?

Since they are illegal, they probably didn't provide valid SS numbers.

So do they just sign a statement of validation? They already broke the law by being here illegally. Do we really think they would be truthful in signing such a validation?

===

This is an attempt for the US taxpayers to take care of Mexico's poor, because Mexico's wealthy won't. How many other countries are we going to adopt?

===

Bush's open borders continues to do significant damage to the sovereignty of the United States. If he signs this fiasco, he will go down in the short remaining history of the US as the President instrumental in the demise of this nation.

===

Shortly after Clinton (and Albright) left office, both made speeches about the US needing to be more considerate of 3rd world nations, as the US would become a 3rd world nation before long.

When I first heard of those speeches, I considered their words traitorous. After 6 years of open borders, I wonder when this fix was in. Both Clinton 1 and Bush 2 did nothing to stop the invasion of illegals -- some 11 to 25 million of them. No nation can survive that kind of unabated onslaught.
38 posted on 01/01/2007 8:26:54 AM PST by TomGuy
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To: WatchingInAmazement

This is a great program!

Now the illegals can not only take away jobs from Americans, they can take away their Social Security money too!

There is even better news - with fat SS checks coming in, the Mexican illegals can go back home and live like kings in their own country when they turn 62. Maybe we can pass a law to start paying them immediately, so they will go home right away. We can include an earmark for 7-11 to make up for the lost business from it's illegal loiterers.

This is the long term fix to the illegal alien problem. Karl Rove IS a genius!


39 posted on 01/01/2007 8:31:24 AM PST by oldbill
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To: Tigen; WatchingInAmazement; ladyjane
Pathetic those who want to believe the worst of our president!

He sure makes it easy to do so!

40 posted on 01/01/2007 8:32:29 AM PST by DTogo (I haven't left the GOP, the GOP left me.)
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To: Dane
Oops, but I forgot, you Watchin are not for any reform of your beloved Ponzi scheme.

Oh, is that what this ugly beast is, Social Security reform?? LOL!!! Dane, you're priceless. Well, thank your oligarch friends in Mexico for saving Social Security for us.

41 posted on 01/01/2007 8:33:56 AM PST by WatchingInAmazement (President DUNCAN HUNTER 2008! http://www.house.gov/hunter/border1.html)
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To: truthkeeper

This makes me so damned mad. What the hell is wrong with W's brain ?


42 posted on 01/01/2007 8:34:53 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (BTUs are my Beat.)
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To: WatchingInAmazement

Robbery-in-progress bump


43 posted on 01/01/2007 8:36:26 AM PST by VOA
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To: rabscuttle385

Yup. To jack SS coverage from the first $90,000 to the first $150,000 will mean an extra $5,000 in extra taxes.


44 posted on 01/01/2007 8:38:06 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (BTUs are my Beat.)
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To: Clara Lou
Both the agreement itself and the attempt to maintain secrecy are shocking and a betrayal of the citizens of the US.

One of many in recent years.....

45 posted on 01/01/2007 8:39:16 AM PST by Thermalseeker (Tennessee - The last Conservative rock sticking above a deep blue sea....)
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To: WatchingInAmazement
Actually you are taking a Yahoo/AP colums and using it to whip up xenophobic hatred.

Notice how the Yahoo/AP article does not mention any of the reforms that Bush proposed to the now current Ponzi scheme.

But you can be the liberal MSM's lackey, that's your right.

46 posted on 01/01/2007 8:39:19 AM PST by Dane ("Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall" Ronald Reagan, 1987)
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Comment #47 Removed by Moderator

To: ladyjane

bs


48 posted on 01/01/2007 8:41:41 AM PST by CPT Clay (Drill ANWR, Personal Accounts NOW.)
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To: WatchingInAmazement

No surprises here, gang.

If the U.S. IS to be blended into the New World Order being fashioned for us by the utopian elites, we must be leveled out with even the lowest Turd World hellhole.

This is simply a step toward that goal.

So, what are YOU doing about it??


49 posted on 01/01/2007 8:42:01 AM PST by Dick Bachert
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To: WatchingInAmazement

The above from the original posted article......

Has this thing been signed by the President? I can't find anything on google indicating signed or not signed..... The below article doesn't indicate the President must sign it like the posted artilce above does...

So is this in effect or still pending?

This is an archival or historical document and may not reflect current policies or procedures
SSA logo: link to Social Security Online home

UNITED STATES/MEXICO TOTALIZATION AGREEMENT

June 2004 (Printer Friendly Version) (Aquí en Español)
Press Office Home Skip links
Meet the Press Office

Facts And Figures

Press Releases
Congressional Testimonies
SSA Reports
SSA Research

Totalization

  • Since the late 1970’s, the U.S. has established international social security agreements that coordinate the U.S. Social Security program with the comparable programs of other countries.

  • These international social security agreements are called “totalization agreements” and have two main purposes:

    • Eliminate dual social security taxation that occurs when a worker from one country works in another country and is required to pay social security taxes to both countries on the same earnings. As a result of existing totalization agreements, U.S. workers and employers currently are saving about $800 million annually in foreign taxes they do not have to pay.

    • Help fill gaps in benefit protection for workers who have divided their careers between the U.S. and another country, but who have not worked long enough in one or both countries to qualify for social security benefits. With totalization, workers are allowed to combine work credits from both countries to become eligible for benefits. The benefit amount paid is proportional to the amount of credits earned in the paying country.

An agreement with Mexico

  • An agreement with Mexico would save U.S. workers and their employers about $140 million in Mexican social security and health insurance taxes over the first 5 years of the agreement.

  • An agreement would also fill the gaps in benefit protection for U.S. workers who have worked in both countries, but not long enough in one or both countries to qualify for benefits.

  • Mexico is the second largest trading partner with the U.S. Agreements are already in effect with Canada, the largest trading partner with the U.S., and 19 other countries.

  • With Mexico, the U.S. now has signed agreements with eight of its top ten trading partners. Many of these agreements have been in effect for nearly two decades. The two exceptions are China and Taiwan. By law, the U.S. could not enter into agreements with these two countries because they do not have generally applicable social security systems that pay periodic benefits or the actuarial equivalent.

Costs of an agreement with Mexico

  • Social Security actuaries estimate that a totalization agreement with Mexico would have a negligible long-range effect on the Trust Funds.

  • Costs to the U.S. Social Security system are estimated to average about $105 million per year over the first five years. These costs are for additional benefits to eligible U.S. and Mexican workers and reduced Social Security tax contributions under the dual taxation exemption.

  • To put this in perspective, in 2002, costs to the U.S. system for the existing agreement with Canada were about $197 million.

Effective date of an agreement with Mexico

  • In the United States, once the agreement is signed, the President will submit the agreement to Congress where it must sit in review for 60 session days. If Congress takes no action during this time, the agreement can move forward.

  • In Mexico, once the agreement is signed, the Mexican Senate must approve it.

Countries already having totalization agreements with the U.S.

  • The United States currently has Social Security agreements with Canada, Chile, South Korea, Australia and most of Western Europe.

    Country Effective Date Country Effective Date
    Italy November 1, 1978 Portugal August 1, 1989
    Germany December 1, 1979  Netherlands November 1, 1990
    Switzerland November 1, 1980 Austria November 1, 1991
    Belgium July 1, 1984 Finland November 1, 1992
    Norway July 1, 1984 Ireland September 1, 1993
    Canada August 1, 1984 Luxembourg  November 1, 1993
    United Kingdom  January 1, 1985 Greece September 1, 1994 
    Sweden January 1, 1987 South Korea April 1, 2001
    Spain April 1, 1988 Chile December 1, 2001
    France July 1, 1988 Australia October 1, 2002
  • More detailed information about these totalization agreements can be found at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/international/.

 
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Other info on Totalization agreements.......

U.S. International Social Security Agreements

50 posted on 01/01/2007 8:42:03 AM PST by deport
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