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Rights, International Agreements

Provisions of the Agreement on the EEA on Social Insurance, cf. Article 29 of the agreement and EU Regulation no. 1408/71, apply when individuals move between countries in the EEA or work in the EEA and insure their Social Security. The social security systems of the member states are not united, but rather the goal is to ensure coordinated and continuous application of the legislation of the member states in the field of social security to prevent those changing residence or starting jobs in another EEA country from losing their rights.

EEA regulations cover the following categories of social insurance:

The following compensation categories are harmonized:

  1. Sickness and maternity benefits
  2. Invalidity benefits, including those intended for the maintenance or improvement of earning capacity
  3. Old age benefits
  4. Survivors benefits
  5. Benefits in respect of accidents at work and occupational diseases
  6. Death grants
  7. Unemployment benefits
  8. Family benefits

EEA regulations cover the following payments from the Social Insurance Administration:

The EEA regulations cover all benefits and payments under the Social Security Act.

Compensation and payments of annuity insurance, including old age pensions, invalidity pensions, age-related invalidity supplements, invalidity insurance, invalidity allowances and child pensions.

Note that the regulations do not cover payments and compensation under the Act on social assistance. These rights are therefore not paid outside of the country. The same applies to compensation and payments regarded as social assistance in other EEA countries, but not social insurance.

EEA regulations covering the following individuals:

Wage earners, self-employed individuals and students subject to/once subject to the legislation of a member state, who are EEA citizens, and family members of these individuals.

The citizens of states other than EEA states residing legally within the EU have fallen under EU Regulation no. 1408/71 of June 2003, regarding the EU states (with the exception of Denmark). This does not apply to the EFTA-EEA states of Lichtenstein and Norway. This means, regarding Iceland, that only citizens of EEA states enjoy the right of the EEA rules.

There is an exemption under the EEA Agreement from the condition of three years' residence for invalidity pensions, invalidity allowances and old age pensions if residence in other EEA countries is involved. Then one year of residence suffices if there have been two years of residence in another EEA country.

Pension payments from other countries

Those who have lived or worked abroad could be entitled to pension rights in the relevant country. It is important regarding such rights and the application process whether an agreement covering pension insurance is in force in the relevant country. The Social Insurance Administration is a communications centre for pension applications in states with such agreements.

Individuals living in Iceland who have previously lived or worked in other EEA countries and accrued the right to a pension there have the right to have a pension paid from each country upon reaching retirement age or when invalidity is involved, after fulfilling other conditions.

It is possible to apply for a pension from all countries within the EEA at the Social Insurance Administration/Communications Centre in the relevant person's country of residence. The Social Insurance Administration's application forms for pension benefits requires information about residence and working time abroad. When a country in the EEA is involved, special EEA application and information forms must be filled out and then sent to the communications centre in the relevant country that determines payments in accordance with entitlements under the regulations in that country and EEA regulations.

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