Brexit and state pensions

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Series Details CBP-7894
Publication Date 02/09/2019
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This Commons Library briefing looks at EU law providing for the co-ordination of State Pension entitlement and the possible impact of Brexit.

Further information:

Entitlement to the UK State Pension is based on an UK individual’s National Insurance record. As part of the European Union (EU), the United Kingdom (UK) is part of a system to co-ordinate the social security entitlements for people moving within the EU. The aim of these provisions is not to harmonise social security systems, but to remove barriers to workers moving between Member States. They enable periods of insurance to be aggregated, so an individual who has worked in other Member States can make one application to the relevant agency in the country of residence.

The arrangements to apply in future have been part of the negotiations under Article 50 on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. The draft Withdrawal Agreement (WA) said that EU Regulations on social security co-ordination would continue to apply after the end of the implementation period for individuals in scope of the WA. The Political Declaration setting out the framework for the future relationship between the EU and UK, said that social security co-ordination would be considered in the light of future arrangements on the mobility of people.

The UK Government also said that in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal, it would 'continue to push the EU and Member States to secure these rights as soon as possible, which are in the mutual interest of all our citizens.' As regards social security co-ordination, the European Commission has put in place a Contingency Regulation (EU) 2019/500 - that 'ensures that the periods you have worked as an EU citizen in the UK or as a UK citizen in the EU before Brexit, will be recognized, also after Brexit.'

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