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Brexit: EU Prepares Social Security Measures



In view of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union on 30 March without agreement, the European Commission has adopted emergency measures to ensure minimum maintenance of the rights enjoyed by the social security coordination, Union citizens having exercised their freedom of movement before the date of withdrawal.


If the withdrawal agreement is not ratified by 30 March 2019, from that date, European Union (EU) law will cease to apply in the United Kingdom (UK), including social security coordination. In this case, the proposal for a regulation adopted on 30 January 2019 by the European Commission aims to at least protect the social security rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals in the EU , by guaranteeing certain continuity of application of the fundamental principles of social security coordination in the EU.


Assimilation and aggregation of periods of insurance, employment, self-employment or residence completed before 30 March 2019 involving the UK (Article 5). These principles provided for in Articles 5 and 6 of Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 continue to apply to situations involving the UK prior to its withdrawal. As a result, the rules provided for in the coordinating regulations to implement the principles of assimilation and aggregation, such as the prorated method of calculating an old-age pension, also continue to apply to situations involving the UK before its withdrawal, as reported by AHW.


Equal treatment (Article 4). This principle under Article 4 of Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 continues to apply to persons falling within the scope of the proposed regulation in situations involving the UK prior to its withdrawal.


The proposed regulation consists of 4 other articles:


  1. Article 1 refers to the definitions provided for in Articles 1 of Regulations (EC) Nos 883/2004 and 987/2009.

  2. Article 2 defines the personal scope of application . It covers: EU citizens, UK nationals, stateless persons and refugees who are or have been subject to the legislation of one or more Member State (s) and in situations involving the UK prior to their withdrawal, their beneficiaries and survivors.

  3. Article 3 refers to the material scope provided for in Article 3 of Regulation (EC) No 883/2004.

  4. Article 6 specifies the date of entry into force of the text on 1 April 2019 (the working day following the date of termination of EU law in the UK on 30 March 2019 in case of absence of agreement withdrawal).


The proposed Regulations do not duplicate the benefits of the Withdrawal Agreement and do not apply to benefits accrued after March 29, 2019, or the exportability of cash benefits, the continuity of health care, or the rules relating to determination of applicable legislation.

It is temporary in nature (in principle applicable until the end of 2019) and adopted unilaterally by the EU (in principle the EU can revoke it at any time).


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