Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

News 30/01/2019

Brexit Preparedness: European Commission adopts final set of “no-deal” contingency measures for social security coordination rules

Given the increasing risk that the United Kingdom may leave the EU on 30 March this year without a deal (a “no-deal” scenario), the European Commission has today adopted a final set of contingency proposals in the area of the Erasmus+ programme, social security coordination and the EU budget.

Brexit Preparedness: European Commission adopts final set of “no-deal” contingency measures for social security coordination rules

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Today's measures would ensure that in the event of a “no-deal” scenario:

  • Young people from the EU and the UK who are participating in the Erasmus+ programme on 30 March 2019 can complete their stay without interruption;
  • EU Member State authorities will continue to take into account periods of insurance, (self) employment or residence in the United Kingdom before withdrawal, when calculating social security benefits, such as pensions;
  • UK beneficiaries of EU funding would continue to receive payments under their current contracts, provided that the United Kingdom continues to honour its financial obligations under the EU budget. This issue is separate from the financial settlement between the European Union and the United Kingdom.

Protecting citizens' social security rights 

Today's proposal aims to ensure that in a “no-deal” scenario, the entitlements of those people who exercised their right to free movement before the UK's withdrawal are safeguarded. These entitlements include periods of insurance, (self) employment or residence in the United Kingdom before withdrawal.

For example, this means that if an EU27 citizen worked for 10 years in the United Kingdom before Brexit, this period should be taken into account when his/her pension rights are calculated by the competent authorities in the EU Member State where he/she retires.

The proposed Regulation ensures that Member States continue applying the core principles of EU social security coordination, namely the principles of equality of treatment, assimilation and aggregation.

Today's proposal by no means replicates the significant advantages of the Withdrawal Agreement, as agreed in 14 November. It does not cover rights accumulated after 29 March 2019, nor does it coverthe exportability of cash benefits, the continuous provision of sickness benefits in kind and the rules on applicable legislation.

Next steps

The European Commission will work closely with the European Parliament and the Council to ensure the adoption of the proposed legislative acts so that they are in force by 30 March 2019

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