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Switzerland – United Kingdom: The Federal Council approves the new social security agreement

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On August 11, 2021, the Federal Council approved a new social security agreement between Switzerland and the United Kingdom that will ensure the long-term coordination of social insurance for the two countries following the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union. The new agreement is part of the Federal Council’s “mind of the gap” strategy after Brexit. After consultation with the relevant parliamentary committees, the agreement will already be provisionally implemented.

Until the United Kingdom’s effective exit from the European Union on January 1, 2021, the social security systems in Switzerland and the United Kingdom were harmonized under the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons between Switzerland and the European Union (ALC). This rule was violated when the UK implemented Brexit. Since then, the rights acquired under the Civil Aviation Administration Agreement have been protected by the Agreement between Switzerland and the United Kingdom on Citizens’ Rights. To regulate social security relations again in a purposeful and comprehensive manner, the two countries negotiated a new bilateral agreement. The Federal Council has now approved the outcome of the negotiations.

The new agreement makes life easier for policy holders and companies

The new social security agreement guarantees broad equality of treatment for insured persons and facilitates access to social security benefits. It avoids over-insurance and insurance gaps for people dealing with the social security systems of the two states and facilitates temporary employment of workers of one contracting state in the other. The agreement is largely in line with the social security harmonization rules contained in the new agreement on trade and cooperation between the EU and the UK and is based on principles of EU harmonization law, which is applied by Switzerland under the ALC.

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The new agreement will be provisionally implemented as soon as possible

To ensure that the Agreement can be provisionally implemented as soon as possible, the relevant committees of the Federal Parliament will be consulted. It will enter into force after it is approved by the parliaments of the two countries.

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