On October 26, 2016, the Totalization Agreement with Romania entered a new stage – the government of Romania approved for signature a draft social security (also known as “Totalization”) agreement with the United States.
The Totalization Agreements are authorized by Section 233 of the Social Security Act. The United States currently has Totalization Agreements with 26 countries – Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary (the most recent addition), Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, the Slovak Republic, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom
The purpose of a Totalization Agreement is to eliminate the burden of dual social security taxes. Such situation arise usually in the context of workers from one country working in another country while they are covered by the social security systems in both countries. In such cases, the Totalization Agreement protects the workers from paying social security taxes in both countries on the same earnings.
The Totalization Agreement with Romania is intended to benefit the Romanian workers who work in the United States and US workers who work in Romania. This is why any advance in the progress of the Totalization Agreement with Romania is of high interest to workers and businesses who work in both countries, United States and Romania.
Obviously, there is still a very long road to go for the Totalization Agreement with Romania. First, the Totalization Agreement with Romania has to be finalized (and it seems that this stage has been reached), then signed by both countries and, finally, ratified by both countries. This process, especially ratification, can take years especially if the US Congress and the new President do not see “eye to eye” on this issue. However, the obvious benefits of the Totalization Agreement with Romania should eventually pave the way to its ratification in both countries.