MONTEVIDEO – The governments of Uruguay and the United States signed on Tuesday a social security agreement that grants mutual credit for citizens’ retirement contributions in both countries.
“This is a big step in recognizing of these workers’ rights and fostering relations between the two countries,” Deputy Foreign Minister Jose Luis Cancela told reporters.
The agreement was signed at the Foreign Ministry by Labor Minister Ernesto Murro and U.S. Ambassador to Uruguay Kelly Keiderling.
Under the terms of the agreement, Uruguayan workers in the United States and U.S. workers in Uruguay will be credited for the years of employment in each country toward their pensions.
Professionals working temporarily in both countries will be allowed to continue contributing to the social security system in their home country.
The agreement will benefit nearly 50,000 Uruguayans living in the United States and about 5,000 Americans living in Uruguay, once the respective congresses ratify the agreement, which will take effect immediately and retroactively, Cancela said.
Uruguay “is one of the countries in the world that has signed the most social security agreements with other nations,” having reached bilateral pacts with almost every South American country, Canada and now the United States, pending legislative ratification, Murro said.
Uruguay has similar agreements with a number of European countries and a bilateral deal will be signed with Luxembourg on Jan. 18, Murro said.
“Uruguay is a party to two of the only three multilateral social security agreements in the world, a type of pact involving a number of countries, like the one with Mercosur and the Ibero-American social security agreement,” the labor minister said.