Brexit Withdrawal Agreement: How it Affects Social Security
The Brexit Withdrawal Agreement has been making headlines since the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union in 2016. Negotiations between the EU and UK have been ongoing since then, and one of the most pressing issues that needed to be addressed was the future of social security for UK citizens living or working in the EU and vice versa.
So, what does the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement mean for social security? First and foremost, it’s important to note that the Withdrawal Agreement provides for a transition period from the date of the UK’s departure from the EU until 31 December 2020. During this time, EU law will continue to apply in the UK and vice versa. This means that UK citizens living or working in the EU and EU nationals living or working in the UK will continue to benefit from social security arrangements as if the UK were still a member of the EU.
After the transition period, the Withdrawal Agreement provides for the continuation of social security coordination for those who are covered by the agreement. This means that UK citizens living or working in the EU and EU nationals living or working in the UK will continue to be able to access social security benefits in the country where they live or work, as well as receive pensions and other benefits from their home country in accordance with the rules of the coordinating regulations.
One key benefit of the Withdrawal Agreement is that it includes provisions for the protection of acquired rights in relation to social security. This means that those who have already acquired rights to social security benefits before the end of the transition period will not see those rights affected by Brexit. For example, a UK citizen who has worked in Spain for 10 years and has already acquired the right to a Spanish pension will still be entitled to that pension even after Brexit.
However, it’s worth noting that the continuation of social security coordination will not apply in all situations. For example, if a UK citizen who has been living in France for 20 years decides to move to Germany after the end of the transition period, their social security rights may be affected. The specifics of each situation will need to be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
In summary, the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement provides for the continuation of social security coordination between the UK and EU, both during the transition period and afterwards for those covered by the agreement. If you are a UK citizen living or working in the EU, or an EU national living or working in the UK, it’s important to stay up to date on the latest developments in relation to social security to ensure that you continue to receive the benefits to which you are entitled.