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SOCIAL SECURITY : COMMISSION OUTLINES ANNEXES TO FUTURE REGULATION.

On 3 July, the European Commission proposed a draft regulation to amend the annexes of the future regulation for the coordination of social security schemes, ie Regulation 883/2004, which is intended to replace the legendary 1408/71, once work on the implementing regulation will have concluded. This is the last step in a gigantic reform of this regulation, which is considered the bible for trans-border social security entitlements.

Some of these annexes (I Part 2, VI, VIII, IX and XI) contain provisions which correspond to equivalent provisions in Regulation 1408/71 but need to be supplemented or updated due to the accession of new member states (the 12 or the two latest newcomers).

Others are new, such as Annex I, Part I (advances of maintenance payments) and Annexes III and IV (specific rules applicable to health care benefits). Lastly, Annexes II (bilateral convention provisions that remain in force) and X (special non-contributory cash benefits) corresponding to Annexes III and IIa of Regulation 1408.

THE ESSENTIAL CORE

Annex I concerns advances on maintenance payments (Part I) and special childbirth and adoption allowances (Part II). These advances and benefits are not considered as family benefits' within the meaning of the regulation and therefore are excluded from the scope of application of the regulation (Article 1z). The change consists of adding a certain number of benefits onto the annex lists.

Annex II focuses on bilateral conventions between member states that remain in force (Article 8 (1) of the regulation). If the regulation replaces any social security conventions between member states, these conventions may continue to apply provided that they are more favourable to the beneficiaries, or if they arise from specific historical circumstances and their effect is limited in time. The annexes mentioned are largely similar to conventions that already are included in Annex III of Regulation 1408/71.

Annex III provides for a restriction of rights to benefit in kind (health care) for family members of a frontier worker. An exception to the general principle is the case whereby family members of a frontier worker who temporarily resides in another competent member state which is included on the list of Annex III shall only be entitled to reduced benefits (treatment which becomes necessary on medical grounds during the stay) (Article 18 (2) of the regulation). The change consists of adding a certain number of member states.

Annex IV extends the right to benefits in kind for pensioners returning to the competent member state (Article 27 of the regulation). Pensioners and their family members who reside outside the competent member state are normally entitled to receive full health care (and not reduced as normally the case) when they reside in the competent state, provided that the member state concerned is included in this annex. The amendment consists of adding a certain number of member states.

Annex V has not been amended, since no member state has requested its amendment.

Annex VI concerns the identification of type A legislation which is subject to special coordination (Article 44 (1) of the regulation). The amount of the invalidity benefit is therefore independent of the duration of the insurance periods or periods of residence. As a general rule, a person who is entitled to type A benefits will receive a full invalidity benefit from the member state under whose legislation the entitlement arises. The amendment consists of adding the specified legislation of the member states concerned.

Annex VII specifies the calculation of the degree of invalidity. As a general rule, where a person is entitled to invalidity benefits from more than one member state, each member state independently assesses the degree of invalidity (Article 46 of the regulation). But for some countries (included in this annex), a decision concerning invalidity taken by a member state shall be binding on another member state where concordance of conditions relating to the degree of invalidity between the legislations of the member states concerned is recognised. This annex currently concerns concordance between four member states: Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg. Due to recent changes in Luxembourg's national legislation whereby it no longer ensures concordance of benefits, Luxembourg should no longer be contained in the list.

Annex VIII specifies situations whereby the insured person waives the pro rata calculation of benefits or in the case whereby the calculation is not applicable (Article 52 (4) of the regulation). The amended version of Annex VIII has been partially agreed during negotiations in Council on the proposal for Annex XI, with the exception of Bulgaria and Romania. This change consists of adding the relative information about these two countries.

Annex IX concerns clauses addressing overlapping benefits in member states aimed at preventing a person being entitled to two or more benefits in respect of the same period (Article 54 of the regulation). The amendment consists of adding specified legislation of some member states.

Annex X concerns special non-contributory cash benefits (Article 70 of the regulation). Unlike the other benefits to which the regulation applies, special non-contributory cash benefits are not exportable. (This often gives rise to numerous disputes at the EU Court of Justice). In other words, they are only payable when the recipient resides in the member state which pays the benefit. The entries in the annex are largely similar to the entries in Annex IIa of Regulation 1408.

Annex XI concerns special rules for the application of the legislation of member states (Article 83 of the regulation). A proposal for Annex XI has already been presented and is currently before Council (at the same time as the implementing regulation). This amendment consists of adding the relevant information concerning Bulgaria and Romania.
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Title Annotation:European Commission
Publication:European Report
Geographic Code:4E
Date:Jul 11, 2007
Words:939
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