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Social security agreements between Ireland and Northern Ireland

Ireland has social security arrangements with other countries that allow you to combine your social insurance contributions paid in Ireland with your social insurance contributions paid in another country. This can help you to qualify for a social insurance payment in Ireland or in a country with whom Ireland has a social security arrangement.

Source: Citizens Information

Social security arrangements that Ireland has with other countries can be divided broadly into two groups:

  • Countries covered by European Union (EU) regulations
  • Countries with whom Ireland has Bilateral Social Security Agreements

Countries covered by EU regulations

Social security provisions have existed in EU law for more than 30 years. They are contained in Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 and 987/2009.

If you have worked in Ireland and one or more EU state your social insurance contributions from each EU state will be added to your Irish social insurance contributions to help you qualify for one of the social welfare payments listed below. In the case of some payments (for example, Jobseeker’s Benefit, Illness Benefit and Maternity Benefit) your last social insurance contribution must be paid in Ireland.

  • Illness Benefit
  • Maternity Benefit
  • Invalidity Pension
  • State Pension (Contributory)
  • State Pension (Transition)
  • Widow’s/Widower’s (Contributory) Pension
  • Guardian’s Payment (Contributory)
  • Jobseeker’s Benefit
  • Bereavement Grant
  • Treatment Benefit
  • Carer’s Benefit

Countries with whom Ireland has Bilateral Social Security Agreements

Bilateral Social Security Agreements are specific arrangements between participating countries that allow people to move between countries and protect their pension entitlements. Ireland has Bilateral Social Security Agreements with:

  • Austria
  • Canada
  • Quebec
  • Australia
  • United States of America
  • New Zealand
  • Republic of Korea
  • Japan

There is an agreement between Ireland and the UK which ensures that from 1 October 2007, people who have been working both in Ireland and the Channel Islands ,that is, the islands of Jersey and Guernsey (including Alderney, Herm and Jethou), and the Isle of Man (which is now also covered under this new agreement, however, it had been covered under an existing agreement), will have the years when they worked on these islands taken into account when applying for social welfare entitlements in Ireland.

Ireland’s Bilateral Social Security Agreement with Switzerland has been mainly replaced by EU regulations.

See also:

Page last checked: June 2016

This webpage is for general information purposes only and while we endeavour to keep it up-to-date, errors may occur.  It is very important that you check with the relevant body to ensure the information is current and is applicable to your situation: – North /  South

If you would like to suggest amendments or highlight new information that could be useful to others please do not hesitate to get in touch.