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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Message to the Congress -- Swiss Social Security


Pursuant to section 233(e)(1) of the Social Security Act, as amended by the Social Security Amendments of 1977 (Public Law 95-216, 42 U.S.C. 433(e)(1)), I transmit herewith an Agreement on Social Security between the United States of America and the Swiss Confederation, signed at Bern on December 3, 2012, (the "U.S.-Swiss Agreement"). The Agreement consists of two instruments: a principal agreement and an administrative arrangement, and upon entry into force, will replace: the Agreement between the United States of America and the Swiss Confederation on Social Security with final protocol, signed July 18, 1979; the Administrative Agreement between the United States of America and the Swiss Confederation for the Implementation of the Agreement on Social Security of July 18, 1979, signed December 20, 1979; and the Supplementary Agreement between the two Contracting States, signed June 1, 1988.

The U.S.-Swiss Agreement is similar in objective to the social security agreements already in force with most of the European Union member states, Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, Norway, and the Republic of Korea. Such bilateral agreements provide for limited coordination between the United States and foreign social security systems to eliminate dual social security coverage and taxation and to help prevent the lost benefit protection that can occur when workers divide their careers between two countries. The principal updates encompassed in the Agreement include amendments to rules for entitlement to Swiss disability pensions paid to ensure equality of treatments between U.S. and Swiss nationals, updates to personal information confidentiality provisions, and modifications necessary to take into account changes in U.S. and Swiss laws since 1988.

The U.S.-Swiss Agreement contains all provisions mandated by section 233 of the Social Security Act and other provisions that I deem appropriate to carry out the purposes of section 233, pursuant to section 233(c)(4) of the Social Security Act.

I also transmit, for the information of the Congress, a report prepared by the Social Security Administration explaining the key points of the U.S.-Swiss Agreement, along with a paragraph-by-paragraph explanation of the provisions of the principal agreement and administrative arrangement. Annexed to this report is the report required by section 233(e)(1) of the Social Security Act on the number of individuals affected by the Agreement and the effect of the Agreement on the estimated income and expenditures of the U.S. Social Security program. The Department of State and the Social Security Administration have recommended the U.S.-Swiss Agreement and related documents to me.


I commend the U.S.-Swiss Agreement on Social Security and related documents.