Britain departing from the EU affects how work abroad is insured (for example, the validity of A1 certificates) and how pensions are claimed.

Brexit came into force on 1 February 2020. The withdrawal agreement includes a transition period until the end of 2020.Until then, EU’s current regulations will prevail.

Continuing under current EU regulations means, among other things, that a worker posted to Britain can be issued an A1 certificate. Earnings-related pensions are also paid to Britain as usual, and pensions earned in Britain are paid to Finland under EU regulations.

In 2020, EU and Great Britain have negotiated on their future relations, for example, relating to the social security of workers moving between the countries. The negotiations are ongoing. We will post the results of the negotiations here once they are available.

The withdrawal agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom came into force on 1 February 2020. The withdrawal agreement establishes the terms of the UK’s orderly withdrawal from the EU. As such, the agreement does not contain regulations on future relations between the UK and the EU.

The withdrawal agreement governs the transition period until the end of 2020. During this period, the UK’s relationship with the EU continues under currently valid rules, as if the UK were a member of the EU. The only significant difference is that the UK no longer participates in EU decision making or the work of various EU bodies.

The withdrawal agreement also secures the rights of EU citizens residing in Britain and British citizens residing in EU countries in terms of residence, work and social security rights, providing they are in a cross-boarded situation on 31 December 2020, that is, in a situation which involves both an EU Member State and Great Britain.

Their positions and rights are secured as they are when the transition period ends on 31 December 2020, according to central EU legislation. The social security of individuals covered by the withdrawal agreement continues to be subject to the rules of EU’s social security regulations if the individuals are at a cross-border situation when the transition period ends and if they have been covered by EU’s social security regulations and their situation continues unchanged without interruptions. 

FAQs about Brexit and social security

Question: I am working in Britain at the moment. I have an A1 certificate that is valid until the end of June 2021. What will happen to my certificate?

Answer: Your A1 certificate will remain in force. Under the withdrawal agreement, A1 certificates that have been granted before the end of the transition period will be in force for as long as the certificate has been granted, providing your work continues without interruptions. In other words, you don’t have to do anything regarding your A1 certificate.

Question: Our worker works in several EU countries,  and goes to Britain on a monthly basis. Do we have to take any action regarding Brexit? He has been granted an A1 certificate for work in several EU countries. The certificate is valid until the end of 2021.

Answer: An already granted A1 certificate will be valid for your worker until the end of 2021. Under the withdrawal agreement, A1 certificates that have been granted before the end of the transition period will be in force for as long as the certificate has been granted, At this stage, you don’t need to take any action regarding the A1 certificate. Brexit does not impact the work in other countries; the A1 certificate is valid for the other countries until the end of 2021.

Question: My posting to Great Britain will begin in February 2021. What should I do?

Answer: If there is no agreement between the EU and Great Britain on the new relations, Britain is a third country when implementing the EU social security regulations. If you were not in a cross-boarder situation on 31 December 2020, you will not be subject to EU’s social security regulations. In that case, you cannot be granted an A1 certificate. If you are a worker posted to Great Britain by a Finnish employer, your employer is to continue to insure you in Finland. Your employer must contact the British authorities to find out if they need to pay insurance contributions for you to Britain, as well. Contact Kela to find out if you are covered by residence-based social security.

Question: I came to Finland in September 2018 to work. My A1 certificate is valid until September 2020. Will I remain covered by British social security throughout the validity period of my A1 certificate?

Answer: Yes, your certificate will remain valid. You can ask for more information from the British authority that issued your A1 certificate.

Question: I live in Great Britain and get an earnings-related pension from Finland. Will Brexit affect the payment of my pension?

Answer: Brexit will not affect the payment of your pension.  Finnish earnings-related pensions are paid to all countries in the world, including Britain (regardless of  Brexit).

Question: If I have questions about Brexit and my social security, whom should I turn to?

Answer: 

  • Contact the relevant authorities (the Finnish Centre for Pensions and Kela in Finland)  and, if necessary, the equivalent authorities in Great Britain
  • If you have worked in Britain, ask for written statements of that work and store all related documents safely.

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