This Regulation coordinates national social security legislation in order to protect the social security rights of persons moving within the European Union.
Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71 of the Council of 14 June 1971 on the application of social security schemes to employed persons and their families moving within the Community
This Regulation is accompanied by implementing Regulation (EEC) No 574/72, which covers the practical implementation (competent national authorities, administrative formalities, etc.).
The Regulation applies to workers (employed and self-employed) who are nationals of a Member State or third country, or stateless persons/refugees residing in the territory of a Member State to whom the legislation of one or several Member States applies, and to the members of their families and their survivors. It also applies to survivors of these workers irrespective of the nationality of the latter, provided the survivors are Community nationals, and to civil servants and persons treated as such in accordance with the legislation applicable.
The Regulation also applies to persons who are studying or undergoing vocational training and to the members of their families.
Equality of treatment
Persons residing in the territory of a Member State to whom the Regulation applies are subject to the same obligations and enjoy the same benefits under the legislation of a Member State as the nationals of that State.
The Regulation applies to all legislation relating to the social security branches concerning sickness and maternity benefits, invalidity benefits, old age benefits, survivors’ benefits, benefits in respect of accidents at work and occupational diseases, unemployment benefits, family benefits and death grants. It applies to general and special contributory and non-contributory social security schemes and to schemes concerning the liability of an employer or shipowner. It does not apply to medical or social assistance or to benefit schemes for war victims.
Waiving of residence clauses
Invalidity, old age or survivors’ cash benefits, pensions for accidents at work or occupational diseases and death grants under the legislation of one or more Member States may not be subject to any reduction, modification, suspension, withdrawal or confiscation by reason of the fact that the recipient resides in the territory of another Member State.
Provisions concerning reduction, suspension or withdrawal of benefit provided for in the legislation of a Member State in the case of overlapping with other social security benefits or other income may be invoked, even if the right to such benefits was acquired under the legislation of another Member State or such income arises in the territory of another Member State. However, this provision does not apply when the person concerned receives benefits of the same kind in respect of invalidity, old age, death (pensions) or occupational disease that are awarded by the institutions of two or more Member States, in conformity with the relevant Community provisions.
Determination of the legislation applicable
A worker is subject to the legislation of only one Member State.
- a person employed in the territory of a Member State is subject to the legislation of that State;
- a person employed on board a vessel flying the flag of a Member State is subject to the legislation of that State;
- civil servants are subject to the legislation of the Member State to which the administration employing them is subject;
- a worker called up or recalled for service in the armed forces or for civilian service of a Member State retains the status of worker and is subject to the legislation of that State;
- retired persons are subject to the laws of the Member State in which they reside.
Special rules and exceptions are provided for.
Special provisions applying to the different categories of benefits
In respect of invalidity, old age and death benefits (pensions), the interested parties enjoy, in principle, all the benefits acquired in the different Member States.
Within certain limits and subject to strict conditions, a wholly unemployed worker to whom the provisions of the legislation of a Member State for obtaining benefits apply and who moves to another Member State in search of employment retains the right to these benefits.
Employed persons subject to the legislation of a Member State are entitled to family benefits for the members of their families residing in the territory of another Member State provided for in the legislation of the first State, as if they resided on the territory of that State.
As regards sickness and maternity benefits, the Regulation makes it possible for European citizens to obtain health care while residing in a Member State other than that in which they are registered. However, this is possible only under certain conditions and in accordance with specific procedures. European citizens may obtain health care when they are staying abroad or if they choose to receive treatment in another Member State.
Administrative Commission on Social Security for Migrant Workers
The Administrative Commission on Social Security for Migrant Workers (known as the Administrative Commission or CA.SS.TM) is made up of a government representative of each Member State.
Its duties are to deal with all administrative questions and questions of interpretation arising from this Regulation and to foster and develop cooperation between Member States in social security matters by modernising procedures for information exchange.
In connection with the latter function, the Administrative Commission has introduced the European Health Insurance Card.
Advisory Committee on Social Security for Migrant Workers
The Advisory Committee is made up of representatives of governments, trade unions and employers’ organisations. It prepares opinions and proposals with a view to possible revision of the regulations and sends them to the Administrative Commission.
|Act||Entry into force – Date of expiry||Deadline for transposition in the Member States||Official Journal|
|Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71
Consolidated version of 28.04.2006 (unofficial document) – [PDF ]
|01.10.1972||–||L 149 of 05.07.1971|
Replacement of 1408/71
Regulation (EC) No 883/2004of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the coordination of social security systems [Official Journal L 166 of 30.04.2004].
The European Parliament and the Council have adopted this Regulation in order to simplify and clarify the Community rules on the coordination of Member States’ social security systems. It constitutes the new reference for such coordination and very much simplifies the lives of Community citizens, who can more easily exercise their right to free movement within the EU. Finally, it consolidates the cooperation obligations of administrations in the field of social security. It repeals Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71 from the date on which its implementing regulation comes into force (scheduled for the end of 2009). In addition, Regulation (EC) No 592/2008 of the Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 2008, on the implementation of these measures, amends the annexes to Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71 so as to take account of changes in national legislation.
However, Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71 remains in force and its legal effects remain valid for the purposes of the following acts:
- Council Regulation (EC) No 859/2003of 14 May 2003 for nationals of third countries who are not already covered by those provisions solely on the ground of their nationality;
- Council Regulation (EEC) No 1661/85 of 13 June 1985 laying down the technical adaptations to the Community rules on social security for migrant workers with regard to Greenland;
- the Agreement on the European Economic Area, the Agreement between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and the Swiss Confederation, of the other, on the free movement of persons and other agreements containing a reference to Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71;
- Council Directive 98/49/ECof 29 June 1998 on safeguarding the supplementary pension rights of employed and self-employed persons moving within the Community.
Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 also makes the electronic exchange of data between Member States’ institutions compulsory from the date on which the new implementing regulation comes into force. The secretariat of the Technical Commission (provided for by Regulation (EC) No 1290/97 of 27 June 1997, amending Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71 prepares electronic exchanges on the basis of a common European architecture using the XML (eXtended markup language) standard.
Coordination of social security systems
The coordination of social security systems aims at facilitating the free movement of citizens in the European Union (EU). This coordination is founded on the cooperation of national social security administrations.
Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the coordination of social security systems.
The social security systems of the countries of the European Union (EU) are coordinated. Social benefits and the conditions under which they are granted are determined at national level, depending on the traditions and culture of each country.
However, European law lays down rules and principles to guarantee the right of free movement of persons in the EU.
This Regulation applies to all nationals of an EU country who are or who have been covered by the social security legislation of one of those countries, as well as to the members of their family and their survivors.
According to the principle of equal treatment, nationals of an EU country and persons residing in that country without being nationals of it are equal in terms of the rights and obligations provided for by the national legislation.
The provisions of this Regulation apply to all the traditional branches of social security:
- accidents at work,
- occupational diseases,
- invalidity benefits,
- unemployment benefits,
- family benefits,
- retirement and pre-retirement benefits,
- death grants.
The Regulation also recognizes the principle of the aggregation of periods, pursuant to which periods of insurance, employment or residence in an EU country are taken into account in all the other EU countries. This means that the acquisition of the right to benefits in one State must take account of periods of insurance, employment, self-employment or residence in another EU Member State.
Determination of the applicable legislation
The insured person is subject to the legislation of a single Member State only. The Member State concerned is the one in which he or she pursues a gainful activity.
Particular rules are provided for certain categories of workers, such as civil servants who are subject to the legislation of the Member State to which the administration employing them is subject, and workers who are employed or self-employed in several EU countries.
Benefits in kind (sickness, maternity and paternity)
Frontier workers are affiliated to the body of the country in which they work, while residing in another EU country and having access to health care in both States. Special provisions are provided concerning benefits in kind intended for members of their family.
Persons staying in an EU country other than their country of residence, in particular during holidays, must be able to receive necessary medical benefits during their stay. It is the legislation of the State in which they are staying which determines the financial conditions for the award of the benefits, but the costs are borne/reimbursed by the social security body of the country of origin.
This right is certified by the European Health Insurance Card, which every insured person may request from his/her social security body.
Members of the retired worker’s family are entitled to certain benefits in kind, even if they reside in a Member State other than that of the holder of the pension.
Retired frontier workers
This category of insured person can receive benefits in the last State in which they worked if it concerns the continuation of medical treatment which began in that State.
They, as well as their families, can continue to receive medical treatment in the last Member State in which they worked:
- without restriction if they have pursued a frontier activity for two years during the five years preceding the retirement or invalidity;
- provided the Member States concerned have opted for this.
Benefits for accidents at work and occupational diseases
Persons staying or residing in a Member State other than that in which they are affiliated to social security nevertheless benefit from the scheme covering accidents at work and occupational diseases. These benefits are provided by the institution of the place of stay or residence in accordance with the legislation which is applicable there.
The institution of the State in which the worker is affiliated bears the costs of transporting him/her to his/her place of residence. The institution must have previously reached agreement on this form of transport, except in the case of frontier workers.
When an insured person or member of his/her family dies in a Member State other than the competent Member State, death is deemed to have occurred in the competent Member State. Hence the competent institution must provide the death grants payable under the legislation it applies even if the person entitled resides in another Member State.
As regards invalidity benefits, Member States may decide to determine the amount of the benefits on the basis of the duration of periods of insurance or residence (see Annex VI to the Regulation).
All Member States in which a person has been insured must pay an old-age pension when the insured person reaches the age of retirement. The calculation of the amount of the benefits takes into consideration all the periods completed in another Member State.
The Regulation also contains rules concerning the way in which the competent institutions calculate benefits and establishes rules to prevent overlapping.
If a worker is entitled to benefits in several EU countries, the total amount of the benefits must not be less than the minimum provided for in the legislation of his/her Member State of residence, if the State of residence has a minimum pension scheme. Otherwise, the institution of the Member State of residence must pay compensation.
As regards unemployment benefits, the competent institution of a Member State must take into account the periods of insurance, employment or self-employment completed under the legislation of any other Member State as though they were completed under the legislation it applies.
An unemployed person may move to another Member State in order to seek work while retaining entitlement to benefits for three months. The competent services or institutions may extend this period up to a maximum of six months. If the unemployed person does not return on or before the expiry of this period he/she loses all entitlement to benefits.
Beneficiaries of statutory pre-retirement schemes may receive their benefits and be covered for their health care and family benefits in another European country. Based on the principle of equal treatment, they must have the same rights and obligations as other citizens of the country.
Since statutory pre-retirement schemes exist only in a very small number of Member States, this Regulation excludes the rule concerning the aggregation of periods for the acquisition of entitlement to pre-retirement benefits.
A person is entitled to family benefits in a competent Member State, including for members of his/her family residing in another Member State, as if they were residing in the former Member State.
In the case of overlapping benefits, family benefits are provided in line with the priority rules set out.
Special non-contributory cash benefits
Contrary to the general rule, these benefits are not exportable if they are listed in Annex X and if they fulfil certain criteria. Besides, these criteria apply to all Member States, with the result that similar benefits will be treated in the same way.
Coordination instruments in social security systems
This Regulation reinforces the principle of good administration. The institutions must respond to all queries within a reasonable period of time and must in this connection provide the persons concerned with any information required for exercising the rights conferred on them by this Regulation. Besides, in the event of difficulties in the interpretation or application of this Regulation, the institutions involved must contact one another in order to find a solution for the person concerned.
The Regulation provides for mechanisms designed to guarantee smooth functioning and enhanced cooperation between Member States and institutions in the field of social security, notably:
- an Administrative Commission, responsible for handling any question of interpretation arising from the provisions of this Regulation or any accord or agreement concluded in the framework of the Regulation ;
- a Technical Commission within the Administrative Commission, responsible for assembling technical documents, studies and the associated activities;
- an Audit Board which will establish the average costs for reimbursement of healthcare costs in Member States;
- an Advisory Committee, responsible for preparing opinions and proposals for the Administrative Commission.
Coordination of social security systems got under way in 1971 with the adoption of Council Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71. This Regulation guaranteed equal treatment and social security benefits to all workers who are Member State nationals, regardless of their place of employment or residence.
Since 1971 this Regulation was the subject of several amendments in order to accommodate trends in national legislation and progress resulting from the rulings of the Court of Justice of the European Communities. These amendments have added to the complexity of the Community coordination rules.
The need for a general review of legislation in this field was acknowledged by the Edinburgh Council in 1992, which called for a simplification of the rules. Besides, the Commission confirmed the importance of modernising the coordination rules in its 1997 Communication entitled “Action plan for free movement of workers”.
This Council Regulation lays down practical rules for implementing Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71 on the coordination of social security schemes for persons moving within the Community.
Council Regulation (EEC) No 574/72 of 21 March 1972 fixing the procedure for implementing Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71 on the application of social security schemes to employed persons and their families moving within the Community.
The Regulation identifies the competent institutions in each Member State, the documents to be produced and the formalities to be completed in order to receive benefits. It sets out the procedures for administrative and medical checks and the reimbursement conditions for benefits provided by an institution in one Member State on behalf of an institution in another Member State. It also describes the functions of the Audit Board.
Repealing Regulation (EEC) No 574/72
Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 was adopted in order to simplify and clarify the coordination of Member States’ social security systems. This new reference framework will facilitate the free movement of European citizens within the Community territory. It strengthens the cooperation requirements of national administrations with regard to social security and makes electronic exchange of data between administrations obligatory.
Regulation (EEC) No 574/72 is repealed. However, some of the Regulation’s provisions remain in force in order to ensure the legal certainty of related Community acts and agreements.
This Regulation establishes the European system of integrated social protection statistics (ESSPROS). This system provides a legal framework intended to improve the usefulness of current data collections in terms of timeliness, coverage and comparability.
Regulation (EC) No 458/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 April 2007 on the European system of integrated social protection statistics (ESSPROS) (Text with EEA relevance).
This Regulation puts in place a European system of integrated social protection statistics, referred to as ESSPROS. It provides for:
- a methodological framework, based on common standards, definitions, classifications and accounting rules, to be used for compiling statistics on a comparable basis for the benefit of the Community;
- time limits for the transmission of the statistics compiled.
The statistics relating to the ESSPROS core system shall cover the financial flows on social protection expenditure and receipts (quantitative and qualitative data). They concern the different social protection schemes.
In addition to the core system, modules covering supplementary statistical information on particular aspects of social protection have been added.
Scope of the system
ESSPROS covers statistics concerning the financial flows of social security expenditure and receipts.
Data are being collected with effect from 2008.
Module on pension beneficiaries
A module on pension beneficiaries shall be added annually from the first year of data collection under this Regulation.
In order to introduce a module on Net Social Protection Benefits, pilot data collections for the year 2005 shall be carried out in all Member States by the end of 2008.
Based on a synthesis of these national pilot data collections, the decision to introduce this module and to launch full data collection shall be taken not before 2010.
The statistics shall be based on registers and other administrative sources, surveys and estimates, according to their availability in the Member States and in accordance with national laws and practices.
Arrangements for implementation
The arrangements for implementing the Regulation concern the detailed classification of data covered, the definitions to be used, the formats for the transmission of data, the results to be transmitted, the criteria for the measurement of quality, and the updating of the rules for dissemination.
At the Lisbon European Council in March 2000, the Member States undertook to improve and modernise their social protection system.
The open method of coordination highlighted the need for comparable, timely and reliable statistics in the area of social policy. The Commission Communication of May 2003, entitled ” Streamlining open coordination in the field of social protection “, thus includes a statement on the need for indicators and mentions ESSPROS as a key instrument.
The new system should improve the usefulness of current data collections in terms of timeliness, coverage and comparability.
These statistics, particularly in the area of social protection, will be used in the annual Joint Reports on social inclusion and social protection.