Relations with the United Kingdom
New social security agreement
Switzerland and the United Kingdom have concluded a new social security agreement following the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union (Brexit). The agreement ensures the long-term coordination of the two countries' social security systems, in line with the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons between Switzerland and the EU (FMOPA).
This new agreement is provisionally applicable from 1 November 2021. The definitive entry into force is on 1st October 2023.
It contains the same coordination principles as the FMOPA: equal treatment; determination of applicable legislation; aggregation of insurance periods, export of benefits, administrative assistance and cooperation between authorities and institutions. The provisions from the EU coordination law (EU Regulations No. 883/2004 and No. 987/2009) have been slimmed down and tailored to the needs of the two States.
The following text of the agreement is not an official publication. Only the texts published in the Official Compilation of Federal Law are legally binding.
Protection of acquired rights
In order to guarantee the rights that insured persons have acquired under the FMOPA, an agreement on citizens' rights has been concluded between Switzerland and the United Kingdom. This agreement is applicable from 1st January 2021. It maintains the rights arising from the FMOPA for persons who were subject to the FMOPA before 1 January 2021. This agreement has been supplemented by a decision of the Swiss-EU Joint Committee of the FMOPA, which extends the protection of rights to EU nationals and cross-border situations involving the EU:
You will find here further information on the social security provisions of the agreement via:
Text of the agreement
(as far as social security is concerned, these provisions also apply to EU nationals)
Special report of the journal Soziale Sicherheit:
Rebuilding Social security coordination with the United Kingdom following Brexit
Upon departure of the United Kingdom from the EU, the Agreement on the Free Movement of Persons (FMOPA) between Switzerland and the EU no longer applies to the United Kingdom. In order to safeguard and, where possible, build on the rights and obligations applicable between Switzerland and the UK beyond Brexit, the Federal Council adopted the 'Mind the Gap' strategy, named after the famous announcement on the London Underground.
The aim of the strategy in terms of social security was to protect rights acquired under the FMOPA, safeguard obligations, and to achieve at least the same level of protection as provided by the newly designed relationship between the EU and the United Kingdom.
To coincide with the provisional application of the new social security convention between Switzerland and the UK, which begins on 1 November 2021, the special report of our journal takes a detailed look at the multiple rounds of negotiations and agreements that were required to plug the social security gaps Brexit threatened to open.
Last modification 04.09.2023