Social Security goes Digital – Impact on A1s?

13 July 2017

Charlotte Stewart discusses the quicker and easier exchange of social security information throughout the EU and beyond following the latest developments from the EU Commission.

The EU Commission launched the Electronic Exchange of Social Security Information system (EESSI), a new IT platform that will electronically connect the social security institutions of EU Member States plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland at the start of July.

The tool marks a critical milestone in modernising social security coordination as it replaces the current paper-based exchanges between social security institutions, to allow for a quicker, easier and more secure exchange of social security information throughout the EU and beyond.

The new system will make it easier to combat fraud and error, as national social security institutions will use standardised electronic documents in their own language, ensuring that the data they exchange is correct and complete.

The new tool will also benefit citizens who have lived and worked in several of the participating countries, and who will see their social security benefits calculated quicker and more efficiently.

Countries will have two years to connect their national systems to the central IT platform. By July 2019, full electronic exchange of social security data in a simple, speedy and secure way will be a reality across Europe and the Commission will continue supporting Member States with the deployment and maintenance of the system over the next years.

For employers, they will likely see an impact on any Certificate of Coverage applications made, particularly in relation to EU member states, where HM Revenue & Customs will be able to quickly link up with overseas institutions to ensure that the information provided on the application forms is accurate. Any false or inaccurate information provided could result in penalties or the application being declined, with social security being required to be paid in the host location at the risk of upsetting employees.

However, the advantage is that the current delays being faced by employers in receiving back A1 certificates should be reduced.

The potential impact on a post-Brexit Britain? Watch this space!

AAB are specialists in international social security and can provide guidance around when social security is due and where, and ensure that A1 certificates are obtained when available in a cost and time efficient manner. If you require any assistance with your social security planning or A1 applications please do not hesitate to get in touch with Charlotte at Charlotte.Stewart@aab.uk, or via your usual AAB contact.

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