Social security: Convention between Switzerland and Great Britain

1 Jun, 2022

Since Brexit, the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons between Switzerland and the EU (FMOPA) no longer governs relations between Switzerland and Great Britain in terms of social security. The two States have therefore concluded a new bilateral conventionwhich has been in force since 1st November 2021, albeit provisionally.

This Convention meets international standards for the coordination of social security systems and covers, in particular, old-age, survivors’ and disability insurance, as well as health and accident insurance.

Payment of pensions abroad

Regarding this point, the Confederation, in its message of 17 April, stated that“the Convention allows in particular the payment of pensions abroad, except with regard to disability insurance. This derogation, desired by the British because of the specificities of their legislation, was also accepted by the EU in its negotiations with the United Kingdom. However, the impact is limited insofar as other legal instruments allow the export of invalidity pensions: the agreement on citizens’ rights between Switzerland and the United Kingdom guarantees the rights acquired before Brexit, the Swiss legislation provides for unconditional export for Swiss nationals, and nationals of other contracting states are covered by the respective bilateral agreements”.

Accident, illness and taxes

According to the Confederation, the Convention also provides for the payment of the costs of necessary treatment following an illness or accident occurring in the other contracting state. Finally, the Convention makes it possible to avoid double liability to the respective social security systems.

The next step is in the hands of parliament

The two States signed the Convention on 9 September 2021 and it has been in force provisionally since 1st November of the same year. Once the parliaments of the two countries have approved it, it will then be definitively in force.

More information

Convention on Social Security Coordination between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Swiss Confederation

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