More and more Europeans are working in different countries of the European Union (EU) during their working life. The member States of the EU are basically free to design their national systems of Social Security. However, the national systems of Social Security are co-ordinated by the European regulations on the coordination of social security systems. The so-called co-ordinating social security rights should primarily guarantee free movement of the workers and make sure that they have no disadvantages when moving within the EU. In case of doubt, national regulations have to be interpreted to make sure that the right of free movement can be exercised without any restrictions.
Member States of the EU are: Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Czechia, Hungary, Cyprus.
Furthermore European regulations on the coordination of social security systems apply within the framework of the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA) also with respect to Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein and are applicable, in addition, to Switzerland by virtue of the Agreement on Free Movement between the EU and Switzerland.
As far as in the following remarks the term “Member State” is used, it refers also to Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.
The most important basic principles of the European regulations on the coordination of social security systems are:
- Citizens of all Member States are treated equally;
- Insurance periods completed in all Member States are aggregated for entitlement to benefits;
- Benefits are paid in the Member State where the insured person is resident.
- European regulations on the coordination of social security systems are supranational legislation and are directly applicable in every Member State. Thus, persons who were occupied in several Member States are not penalised.
They apply for:
- citizens of a Member State, independently from their residence;
- refugees pursuant to the Geneva Convention on Refugees of 28th July 1951 being resident in a Member State;
- stateless persons pursuant to the Convention relating to the Status of stateless Persons of 28th September 1954 being resident in a Member State;
- survivors of a citizen of a Member State independently from their citizenship and residence;
- survivors of a stateless person or refugee independently of their citizenship if they are resident in a Member State;
- survivors who are citizens of a Member State, refugees or stateless persons (independently of the citizenship of the deceased).
On 1st June 2003 the field of application of the European regulations on the coordination of social security systems has been extended also to citizens of States, which do not count among the Member States (Third Country Nationals). A requisite is, however, that the so-called Third Country Nationals are legally resident in a Member State.
For the implementation of the European regulations on the coordination of social security systems within the compulsory pension insurance scheme, so-called Liaison Offices have been established in Germany. Division of responsibility of the Liaison Offices within the regional institutions of the Deutsche Rentenversicherung is country-related. In addition, there are Liaison Offices within the two federal institutions of the Deutsche Rentenversicherung.
As institution at regional level the
Deutsche Rentenversicherung Schwaben
is generally the responsible Liaison Office with respect to Malta.
Furthermore, at federal level both of the federal institutions
Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund (Ruhrstraße 2, 10709 Berlin) and Deutsche Rentenversicherung Knappschaft-Bahn-See (Pieperstraße 14 - 28, 44789 Bochum) act as Liaison Offices with respect to all countries of the EU.
Thus the Deutsche Rentenversicherung Schwaben, in particular, is one of your possible partners to contact for issues relating to the German statutory pension insurance if you:
- are resident in Germany and your last contribution outside Germany was paid into a Maltese pension insurance institution;
- are resident in Malta;
- are a Maltese citizen and resident outside the EU;
- are a German citizen resident outside the EU and the last contribution to a Member State outside Germany was paid into a Maltese pension insurance institution;
- are not a citizen of a Member State resident outside the EU and the European regulations on the coordination of social security systems are applicable because when completing the periods you were a citizen of a Member State or stateless or a refugee and the last contribution to a Member State outside Germany was paid into a Maltese pension insurance institution.
In its capacity as responsible Liaison Office within the compulsory pension insurance in Germany, the Deutsche Rentenversicherung Schwaben offers you numerous services:
- it treats your application for a pension benefit from the German pension insurance;
- it remits your application for a Maltese pension to the Maltese pension institution responsible for you, if you are resident in the Federal Republic of Germany;
- it treats your application for Rehabilitation benefits (rehabilitation measures) if you are resident in the administrative district of Schwaben;
- it pays your German pension to Malta if you are resident there;
- on request it communicates the periods recorded for pension purposes in the German insurance account and informs you, within the framework of the pension information services, about the monthly pension you would be entitled to at present, provided the further requirements are met.
Of course, the Deutsche Rentenversicherung Schwaben responds also to your individual questions about the statutory pension insurance in Germany.
Within the general consulting service, the institution gives you advice - if necessary with the aid of the English-speaking clerks of the in-house Translation service.
The responsibilities of the three Liaison Offices to Malta of the Deutsche Rentenversicherung and the relations between them are based on complex legal provisions.
The general principle, however, is valid that responsibility for the insured persons to whom has been assigned a German insurance for the first time until 31st December 2004 remains with the institution where they were insured at that time. For insured persons who completed insurance periods also in Malta or who are resident there and on 31st December 2004 were insured with a Landesversicherungsanstalt (LVA) the Deutsche Rentenversicherung Schwaben is responsible Liaison Office with respect to Malta. This does not apply to persons who on 31st December 2004 were insured with the LVA für das Saarland or are living in Saarland.
Insured persons, who receive an insurance number for the first time from 1st January 2005, will be spread to the institutions of the Deutsche Rentenversicherung according to a rate fixed by the legislator: 55 percent of the insured persons are assigned to the regional insurance institutions, 40 percent to the institution Deutsche Rentenversicherung Bund and 5 percent to the Deutsche Rentenversicherung Knappschaft-Bahn-See. This assignment has also determined the responsibility of the Liaison Offices.
If you don’t know which of the three German Liaison Offices to Malta is responsible, you may address your information requests or applications to the Deutsche Rentenversicherung Schwaben which ensures the eventual transfer to the competent Liaison Office.