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New rules on social security rights when moving within Europe

On 1 May 2010 new regulations for the coordination of social security systems in Europe entered into force. In 50 years, this is only the second major reform of the rules ensuring that mobile workers would not lose their social security rights when moving within Europe. The four pillars of coordination remain the same:

  • You are always insured under the legislation of one single member state: generally, if you are active, it will be the country where you work; if you are inactive, the country where you reside.
  • The principle of equal treatment ensures that you have the same rights and obligations as nationals of that country.
  • When necessary, periods of insurance acquired in other EU countries can be taken into account towards the award of a benefit.
  • Cash benefits can be "exported" if you live in a country other than the one where you are insured.

So what do the new rules change? The main focus of the modernisation has been to provide better protection of citizens’ rights. For example, national administrations are now required to deliver user-friendly services and to proactively provide citizens with the information necessary to state their rights. The former E-forms are being replaced by a limited number of paper documents, covering situations in which mobile people need to carry proof of their entitlements, e.g. "exporting" unemployment benefits when looking for a job. These easily user-friendly "portable documents" are standardised and mutually recognised in all EU/EEA country.

Visit the updated website http://ec.europa.eu/social-security-coordination to find out more about your social security rights when moving within Europe.

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