A senior EPFO official said the clause clearly provides that Singaporeans who work on a purely temporary or short-term basis and who fall under the social security system in their own country should not be covered by these systems managed by EPFO. In addition, India currently has social security agreements with 17 countries: the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Luxembourg, France, South Korea, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Austria, Finland, Japan, Canada, Australia, Norway and Hungary. Indian workers posted to these 17 countries and with whom they have signed social security agreements enjoy a similar privilege. However, there are a large number of countries with which India does not have social security agreements. Therefore, workers in these countries have to subscribe to EPFO systems and sometimes they pay such compulsory contributions in their country. Referring to the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement between India and Singapore, which will enter into force on 1 August 2005, EPFO notes that the field offices do not take due note of the provisions relating to “excluded workers” within the meaning of para 83, in conjunction with paragraph 2 (f) (ii) of the EPF 1952 programme. Paragraph 2(f)(ii) of the Scheme provides that an excluded worker means that an international worker is one who contributes, either as a citizen or as a resident, to a social security programme in his or her country of origin with which India concluded a bilateral comprehensive economic agreement with a social security clause before 1 October 2008. natural persons from both countries are expressly exempt from deposit in the social security fund of the host country. Workers from these countries must provide a certificate of coverage attesting that they are covered by such social systems in their country and that they are exempt from participation in EPFO systems. The agreement on social security provides for posting, aggregation and portability. Under the posting clause, workers from one country posted by their employers for short-term assignments in another country are exempt from social security contributions for up to a period of 60 months.
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