Social Security Benefits: Reciprocal Arrangements

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 29th January 2019.

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Photo of Margaret Greenwood Margaret Greenwood Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with which EU member states does the UK have bilateral agreements for social security co-ordination which would come into force if the UK left the EU without a withdrawal agreement; and when were those agreements concluded.

Photo of Alok Sharma Alok Sharma The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

The UK has seventeen reciprocal social security agreements with EU Member States which are currently in use between some or all of the Crown Dependencies and the relevant EU country. The EU countries and the year the principal convention came into force are: Austria (1971), Belgium (1958), Croatia (1958), Cyprus 1984), Denmark (1960), Finland (1984), France (1958), Germany (1961), Ireland (2007 (consolidated)), Italy (1953), Luxembourg (1955), Malta (1996), Netherlands (2007(consolidated)), Portugal (1979), Slovenia (1958), Spain (1975) and Sweden (1956). In the event the UK leaves the EU without a withdrawal agreement, the UK will keep these Reciprocal Agreements under review. Whether these come back into force will be subject to discussion and agreement between the UK and the relevant EU Member State.

Separate to Reciprocal Agreements, in the event the UK leaves the EU without a Withdrawal Agreement, the UK government has taken the necessary steps to protect the rights of citizens through legislation and set out the measures it will take. The measures are based on the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement in the policy paper: “Citizens’ Rights - EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals in the EU” dated 6 December 2018. For social security arrangements, the UK will have retained EU law allowing the UK to apply the current social security coordination rules to protect those in receipt or entitled to a UK State Pension or benefit until such time as new arrangements are agreed.

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