Brexit: Social security benefits for Swedish citizens in UK

The Swedish Government wishes to mitigate the consequences for Swedish citizens in the United Kingdom (UK) in the event that the UK leaves the European Union (EU) without reaching any agreement whatsoever on how this withdrawal is to take place. 

Among other things, a government bill submitted to the Riksdag (Swedish Parliament) proposes that, in the event of a hard Brexit, it should still be possible to pay Swedish social security benefits to individuals in the United Kingdom over a transitional period. 

It is also proposed that it should still be possible to receive compensation for healthcare expenses over the same period.

“The EU was created to secure peace, freedom, democracy and the freedom of movement. People who have moved between Sweden and the United Kingdom must also be able to feel secure in times of uncertainty. The Government has therefore submitted a legislative proposal to the Riksdag to create security for people during this adjustment,” says Minister for Social Security Annika Strandhäll.

The bill proposes that, over a transitional period, individuals can continue to receive Swedish social security benefits, with the exception of unemployment benefit, paid to them in the United Kingdom in the same way as at present. The proposal also means that individuals will be able to receive compensation for healthcare costs in certain cases. The provisions for the payment of benefits and compensation for healthcare costs will cease to apply at the end of 2019.

“We want to see an orderly British withdrawal from the EU – everybody would benefit from this. But the date for the withdrawal is coming ever closer and there is still no agreement. This makes it important that we also prepare for a hard Brexit so that nobody gets into difficulties,” says Minister for EU Affairs Hans Dahlgren.

It is also proposed that provisions be introduced to protect, in the future, the right to aggregate periods of acquired insurance and the right to equate benefits and so on for people working or residing in the UK during the period in which the country was a member of the EU. This may become relevant for future claims of social security benefits, such as pensions.

It is proposed that the legislative amendments enter into force on 29 March 2019.

Source: Swedish Government