Last checked: 02/01/2023

Social security

Each EU country has its own social security laws. The obligations and rights under these laws are the same for all workers in that country, whether local or from abroad.

However, EU rules coordinate national systems to make sure people moving to another EU country do not lose their social security cover (for example pension rights and healthcare) and always know which national laws apply to them.

Under EU rules, someone can be subject to only 1 country's social security laws at a time - so they must pay their social security contributions in that country only.

As a general rule, the laws of the country where the person actually works (as an employee or self-employed) apply, and contributions must be paid there. It doesn't matter where the person lives (for example if they commute) or where their employer is based.

There is an exception for workers that have been posted abroad for less than 2 years: they can stay insured and pay contributions in the country from which they are posted.

For people working simultaneously in more than 1 country, specific rules determine which country's laws apply and where they should pay contributions.

Get access to national information below.

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See also

EU legislation

Need support from assistance services?

Get in touch with specialised assistance services

Your EURES Adviser

Your EURES Adviser can inform you on working conditions as well as assist you in the recruitment procedures in your country or your cross-border region.

Electronic Exchange of Social Security Information (EESSI)

The database for Electronic Exchange of Social Security Information (EESSI) lets you search for competent authorities in the EU countries which are responsible for sickness, pension, unemployment and family benefits.

Do you have questions on operating a business cross-border, for example exporting or expanding to another EU country? If so, the Enterprise Europe Network can give you free advice.

You can also use the assistance service finder to find the right help for you.

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