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The United Kingdom has left the EU – how your pension will be affected

Since February 2020, the United Kingdom has no longer been a member of the EU. The United Kingdom and the EU have reached a Withdrawal Agreement that may still entitle you to pensions and other benefits in the future.

The United Kingdom left the EU on 1 February 2020. A transition period runs to the end of December 2020. During the transition period, social insurance and the rules that apply to pensions will largely continue as before.

The Withdrawal Agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom also guarantees the right to pensions and other benefits after withdrawal. From January 2021, the Withdrawal Agreement gives persons who currently live in Sweden but have previously lived and/or worked in the United Kingdom the right to receive a Swedish pension that takes into account periods of work and residence in Sweden, the United Kingdom, or other EU Member States. In essence, the same applies to persons who apply for a pension from the United Kingdom.

More about your right to a pension from the United Kingdom can be found at www.gov.uk.

What does the Withdrawal Agreement mean?

Swedish citizens who, at the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020, are living and/or working in the United Kingdom and continue to do so without interruption, will be subject to the same rules that applied before the United Kingdom left the EU. This also applies to UK nationals living and/or working in Sweden on 31 December 2020 and who continue to do so without interruption. The agreement provides limited rights if these persons move back to Sweden or the United Kingdom or move to a country outside the EU. If you are planning to move, please contact the Swedish Pensions Agency to find out what applies to you.

Are payments from the Swedish Pensions Agency affected by Brexit?

Payments from the Swedish Pensions Agency will not be affected by Brexit when the transition period ends on 31 December 2020. However, as before, they may be affected for other reasons. As proposed, temporary provisions entitling persons residing in another EEA country, Switzerland and the United Kingdom to the payment of a guarantee pension will expire on 31 December 2021.

If you are applied for a pension for the first time after 1 February 2020, a guarantee pension will only be paid if you reside in Sweden or another EEA country/Switzerland. In other words, it will not be paid if you live in the United Kingdom. Your income-based pension (the pension you earned through work) is not affected by Brexit.

Is my occupational pension affected by Brexit?

The payment of your occupational pension is not affected by Brexit.

If you are planning to work and move to or from the United Kingdom

Negotiations are underway between the EU and the United Kingdom about what will apply in the future for those EU citizens who have not previously chosen to live and/or work in the UK but will do so after the transition period ends (i.e. starting in January 2021) and for those citizens of the United Kingdom who similarly choose to live and/or work in an EU Member State.

Once the negotiations have been concluded, we will provide more information on how your pension and other social insurance benefits may be affected. If there is no agreement, you will be entitled to a pension only according to Swedish and British rules, based on the time during which you lived and worked in each country.

It is important to apply for residence status

Even after the transition period, citizens of the United Kingdom and their family members will be able to retain the right to live, work and study in Sweden – this applies to those who have obtain a right of residence in Sweden before 31 December 2020.

According to the Withdrawal Agreement, it is up to each Member State to draw up a procedure to enable this. If you are a UK citizen, then to be able to stay in Sweden after the transition period, you must apply for residence status or permanent residence status before the end of the application period on 30 September 2021.

You can apply for residence status on the website of the Swedish Migration Agency.

If you do not apply for (and are granted) residence status, this may affect your entitlement to residence-based benefits. For example, it may affect your guarantee pension, housing supplement and financial support for the elderly.

Sweden’s Brexit work

The Swedish Government and the Government Offices of Sweden are working on the Brexit process and are negotiating a new relationship between the EU and the United Kingdom.

For more information on Sweden’s work with the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU, visit regeringen.se