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According to a study just published by the European Commission in most EU countries, EU citizens from other Member States use welfare benefits no more intensively than the host country's nationals. Mobile EU citizens are less likely to receive disability and unemployment benefits in most countries studied.
The European Commission has decided to refer Malta to the EU's Court of Justice for reducing Maltese old-age pensions if the beneficiary receives a pension from another Member State as a result of having worked in the public service of that State.
Maltese legislation provides that Maltese statutory old-age pensions are partly decreased by the sum of service pensions paid in Malta or abroad. Such a practice breaches the social security coordination rules of the European Union. All pensions based on national legislation, such as civil or military service pensions, fall under the protection of the EU rules on social security coordination and those rules prohibit the application of national rules on suspension and reduction of these types of benefits.
EU social security coordination rules (Regulation EC No 883/2004 and formerly Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71) give EU citizens the same rights and obligations as nationals of the country where they are covered.
All pensions based on national legislation, such as civil or military service pensions, fall under the protection of these rules.
The Commission became aware of the infringement in Malta through several petitions submitted to the European Parliament. The Commission requested Malta to take measures to stop cutting civil service pensions from other Member States but no such measures have been notified to the Commission.