Britain departing from the EU affects how work abroad is insured (for example, the validity of A1 certificates) and how pensions are claimed.

Brexit came into force on 1 February 2020. The withdrawal agreement includes a transition period until the end of 2020.Until then, EU’s current regulations will prevail.

Continuing under current EU regulations means, among other things, that a worker posted to Britain can be issued an A1 certificate. Earnings-related pensions are also paid to Britain as usual, and pensions earned in Britain are paid to Finland under EU regulations.

During the transition period, EU and Great Britain will negotiate on how to solve issues relating to, for example, the social security of workers moving between the countries.

The withdrawal agreement between the EU and the United Kingdom came into force on 1 February 2020. The withdrawal agreement establishes the terms of the UK’s orderly withdrawal from the EU. As such, the agreement does not contain regulations on future relations between the UK and the EU.

The withdrawal agreement governs the transition period until the end of 2020. During this period, the UK’s relationship with the EU continues under currently valid rules, as if the UK were a member of the EU. The only significant difference is that the UK no longer participates in EU decision making or the work of various EU bodies.

The withdrawal agreement also secures lifelong rights of EU citizens residing in Britain and British citizens residing in EU countries in terms of residence, work and social security rights, providing their residence in Britain/EU countries has started before 1 January 2021.  Their positions and rights are secured as they are on 31 February 2020 according to central EU legislation. The movement and rights of persons moving between these areas after 31 December 2020 will be restricted.

FAQs about Brexit and social security

Question: I am working in Britain at the moment. I have an A1 certificate that is valid until the end of June 2020. What will happen to my certificate after Brexit?

Answer: Your A1 certificate will remain in force. Under the withdrawal agreement, EU regulations will be applied until the end of 2020. It follows that you do not have to do anything regarding your A1 certificate.

Question: Our worker works in several EU countries, including Britain. Do we have to take any action regarding Brexit? He has been granted an A1 certificate for work in several EU countries. The certificate is valid until the end of 2021.

Answer: An already granted A1 certificate will be valud for your worker at least until the end of the transition period, that is, until the end of 2020. At this stage, you don’t need to take any action regarding the A1 certificate. We will notify of what happens after 2020. Brexit does not affect the A1 certificate for the other countries of work. As for them, the A1 certificate is valid until the end of 2021.

Question: I have been posted to Great Britain as of the beginning of February 2020. What should I do? What if I start as a posted worker later than April 2020?

Answer: You can apply for an A1 certificate from the Finnish Centre for Pensions. The certificate will be valid until the end of the transition period, that is, until the end of 2020. We will notify of what happens after the transition period as soon as we know more.

Question: I came to Finland in September 2018 to work. My A1 certificate is valid until September 2020. Will I remain covered by British social security throughout the validity period of my A1 certificate?

Answer: Yes, your certificate will remain valid. You can ask for more information from the British authority that issued your A1 certificate.

Question: I live in Great Britain and get an earnings-related pension from Finland. Will Brexit affect the payment of my pension?

Answer: Brexit will not affect the payment of your pension.  Finnish earnings-related pensions are paid to all countries in the world, including Britain (regardless of  Brexit).

Question: If I have questions about Brexit and my social security, whom should I turn to?


  • Contact the relevant authorities (the Finnish Centre for Pensions and Kela in Finland)  and, if necessary, the equivalent authorities in Great Britain
  • If you have worked in Britain, ask for written statements of that work and store all related documents safely.

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