Policy Paper | Post-Brexit Rights of EU Citizens in the UK
EU Citizens Benefits, Pensions, Social Security Contribution
Safeguarding the Position of EU Citizens Living in the UK and UK Nationals Living in the EU | British Government Policy Paper June 26, 2017, Paragraphs 40-44 of 59
Benefits Access in the UK | Export of UK Benefits to the EU | Coordination of Social Security Systems between the UK and EU | Pension up-rating
Benefits Access in the UK
40) It is our intention that those who have settled status will be treated in the same way as comparable UK nationals for benefit purposes – whether in work, studying, or job-seeking. We will also seek to protect UK nationals’ rights to access benefits on the same basis as nationals of the member state in which they reside. It will be important, for example, to ensure that a UK national working in Spain who becomes incapacitated and unable to work can access Spanish sickness benefits.
41) EU citizens arriving before the specified date, who do not have five years’ residence at the time of the UK’s exit but who remain legally in the UK on a pathway to settled status will continue to be able to access the same benefits that they can access now – broadly equal access for workers/the self-employed and limited access for those not working. It is our intention that this benefits regime – which is not the regime UK nationals and those with settled status will be subject to – will remain in place for those on the pathway until they achieve settled status but no element of this will be more generous than the approach taken for those EU nationals with settled status. If these individuals go on to acquire settled status, they will then be able to access benefits on the same terms as comparable UK residents.
Export of UK Benefits to the EU
42) Existing rules on the rights of EU citizens and UK nationals to export UK benefits to the EU will be protected for those that are exporting such UK benefits on the specified date, including child benefit, subject to on-going entitlement to the benefit. Those not exporting UK benefits at the specified date will be treated on the same basis as UK nationals in future. We will need to ensure that we have the necessary arrangements in place for information and data to continue to be shared between the UK and EU in respect to benefits, and that UK nationals in the EU are protected in the same way.
Coordination of Social Security Systems between the UK and EU
43) The UK intends to continue to apply the rules for determining which country is responsible for deciding entitlement and to aggregate periods of relevant insurance, work or residence within the EU made before exit to help meet the entitlement conditions for UK contributory benefits and State Pension even where entitlement to these rights may be exercised after exit. We would expect member states to do the same for their contributory benefits and pensions.
44) UK law already provides that UK state pensions are payable to anyone eligible, wherever they reside in the world. But annual increases to the UK state pension (known as ‘uprating’) to anyone living in the EU are payable because of EU law. The UK intends to continue to export and uprate the UK State Pension within the EU, subject to reciprocity.
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