On 31 January 2020 the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (United Kingdom) left the European Union (EU). Nevertheless, for the time being European law continues to apply in relation to the United Kingdom. This follows from the withdrawal agreement negotiated between the EU and the United Kingdom, which entered into force on 1 February 2020.
The withdrawal agreement provides for a transition period ending on 31 December 2020, which may be extended once by one year or by two years if the UK and the EU agree on this by 30 June 2020. During the transition period European law, and thus the regulations coordinating social security under European law, continues to apply in relation to the United Kingdom. Therefore, there will be no changes for insured persons who become eligible for a pension for the first time or who again file their pension claim until 31 December 2020 or for persons already drawing a pension.
For the period after the end of the transition period the withdrawal agreement also provides for provisional protection in the area of social security and protection of legitimate expectations for persons who already had a prior transnational connection with the United Kingdom and the EU Member States.
The EU and the United Kingdom have expressed their willingness to review their mutual relations in the course of 2020 for the time of the transition period. The further development of future relations in the field of social security remains to be seen.
Therefore, it is important to note that rights in relation to the German pension insurance scheme are for the time being protected by the Brexit deal through the withdrawal agreement.
It has yet to be determined on the basis of further developments which regulations will be applicable after the end of the transition period to persons who are insured on the basis of their place of residence, the employment or occupation they pursue, or their employer‘s registered head offices in Germany, the United Kingdom, or another country where European law is applied.