BREXIT information

BREXIT: What needs to be known?

Lithuania is intensively preparing for two possible scenarios of British withdrawal from the European Union (EU) - with or without a cooperation agreement. If a cooperation-based agreement on withdrawal is approved on March 29, no decisive changes will happen, but what will change if the second scenario is confirmed and the UK (UK) withdraws from the community without any agreement (NO-DEAL)?

 Select a topic of interest:

Working in Lithuania

I am a UK citizen living and working in Lithuania. Do I have to continue working here to maintain my rights?

  • If an agreement is reached on the UK's withdrawal from the EU Treaty, according to the provisions of this treaty, the transitional period will be set up by 2020. During the transitional period, EU legislation on the free movement of workers will continue to be applied.
  • If the UK leaves the EU without a withdrawal agreement, amendments to the law "On the Legal Status of Aliens" will be made and, hence, will govern the legal position of UK citizens and their family members living in Lithuania and visiting Lithuania after "Brexit". In the draft of this law, the transition period lasting until 31 December 2019 is proposed. During this period UK citizens will be able to apply for the renewal of the documents authorizing legal residence in Lithuania.

I am a UK citizen. I live and work in Lithuania as a family member of a Lithuanian citizen. Can I stay and work in Lithuania after "Brexit"?

  • Yes you can. Family members of a Lithuanian citizen who have UK citizenship will be able to stay and work in Lithuania after "Brexit". Family members of a Lithuanian citizen who live in Lithuania on the basis of family unification are not required to obtain a work permit.
  • If an agreement is reached on the UK's withdrawal from the EU Treaty, according to the provisions of this treaty, the transitional period will be set up by 2020. During the transitional period, EU legislation on the free movement of workers will continue to be applied and therefore, one will be able to stay and work in Lithuania under the same conditions as before "Brexit".
  • If the UK leaves the EU without a withdrawal agreement, amendments to the law "On the Legal Status of Aliens" will be made and, hence, will govern the legal position of UK citizens and their family members living in Lithuania and visiting Lithuania after "Brexit". In the draft of this law, the transition period lasting until 31 December 2019 is proposed. During this period UK citizens will be able to apply for the renewal of the documents authorizing legal residence in Lithuania. It is also proposed that UK nationals would be allowed to work in Lithuania without a work permit.

Healthcare

What should be known by the British who live in Lithuania?

  • If an agreement on UK withdrawal from the EU is not reached, the British living or visiting Lithuania will not be able to receive health care services, the costs of which would be covered by the Compulsory health insurance fund. UK citizens who come to Lithuania for a visit or in order to study should take care of private health insurance.
  • In addition, British students studying at Lithuanian higher education institutions would lose the opportunity to receive emergency medical assistance with the EHIC after 29 March - they would have to take care of private health insurance.
  • The British, who live in Lithuania with EU citizen certificates and already have the right to compulsory Lithuanian health insurance, will be able to continue to participate in the compulsory health insurance system. This means that if a Briton works and pays social security contributions in Lithuania, one's right to health care will not change. One will continue to be covered by compulsory health insurance in Lithuania and will be able to use all of its guarantees.

Social security

Old-age pensions

What will happen to my retirement pension in the UK if, after leaving the European Union (EU), I will come back to live in Lithuania?

  • If an agreement is reached on the UK's withdrawal from the EU Treaty, according to the provisions of this treaty, the transitional period will be set up by 2020. During this period the EU Regulation (EC) Nr. 883/2004 and Regulation (EC) Nr. 987/2009 (later – Coordination regulations) on the coordination of social security systems will continue to be applied. One of the most important principles of these regulations is the export of social security benefits. Thus, if a person in the UK receives a retirement pension before "Brexit" and returns to Lithuania after "Brexit", the UK pension will continue to be paid. At the end of the transitional period, negotiations will begin on an international agreement with the UK in the field of social security, which will set out new requirements for payment of the benefits.
  • If the UK leaves the EU without a withdrawal agreement, the issue of UK-designated pensions in Lithuania will be dealt with under UK national law.

What will happen to my retirement pension in Lithuania if I come back to the UK after "Brexit"?

  • If an agreement is reached on the UK's withdrawal from the EU Treaty, according to the provisions of this treaty, the transitional period will be set up by 2020. During this period the EU regulations on the coordination of social security systems will continue to be applied. If the pension recipient moves to the UK, he will continue to be paid a pension in Lithuania.
  • If the UK leaves the EU without a withdrawal agreement, the Lithuanian pension recipient after moving to reside in UK, will continue to be paid a retirement pension if he/she has acquired at least a minimum length of employment period for the type of pension in question and if it has been acquired in Lithuania. This also applies to rehabilitated political prisoners or exiles which acquired parts of periods during detention or exile.
  • If the recipient of the pension has acquired at least the minimum length of employment period for the relevant type of pension while working in Lithuanian companies, but also has in his/her employment period accumulated the time duration of working abroad, then the pension is recalculated only on the basis of the period working in Lithuania.

Will the period of employment acquired in the UK before and after "Brexit" be taken into account when awarding a pension in Lithuania?

  • If an agreement is reached on the UK's withdrawal from the EU Treaty, according to the provisions of this treaty, the transitional period will be set up by 2020. During this period the EU regulations on the coordination of social security systems will continue to be applied. Throughout the transitional period, pensions will be awarded in accordance with the provisions of the Coordination Regulations - pension entitlements will be aggregated in the EU Member States and the UK, but each country will pay a pension separately, based on the length of employment period it has acquired there.
  • If the UK leaves the EU without a withdrawal agreement, in order to protect acquired social security rights, a bill will be drafted to amend the Social Insurance Pensions Act, where it will be stated that the length of employment period acquired in the UK prior to "Brexit" will be counted according to the pension rights set out in the Coordination Regulations – in the order that is currently in force.
  • However, it is important to note that, following "Brexit", in UK there will be no application of the procedures for validation and exchange of information currently functional according to the Coordination Regulations, so for those who plan to return to Lithuania after "Brexit" it is advisable to apply for documents which would confirm their acquired periods of employment before leaving the UK.
  • The matter of employment periods acquired after "Brexit", regarding the question of awarding pension in Lithuania, will be tackled by initiating negotiations for an international agreement with the UK in the field of social security.

I am a UK citizen living in Lithuania and having accumulated my periods of employment here. Will I be able to apply for a Lithuanian pension after "Brexit"?

  • In Lithuania, an old-age pension may be received by a person who meets the established age and social pension insurance requirements:
    1. has reached the retirement age;
    2. has a minimum social pension insurance record for the old-age pension (minimum length - 15 years).
  • Citizenship is not taken into account when awarding a social insurance old-age pension.
  • The pension entitlement will take into account the periods of employment in other EU Member States, including the UK until "Brexit". If an agreement is reached on the UK's withdrawal from the EU Treaty, according to the provisions of this treaty, the transitional period will be set up by 2020. During this period the EU regulations on the coordination of social security systems will continue to be applied. Throughout the transitional period, pensions will be awarded in accordance with the provisions of the Coordination Regulations - pension entitlements will be aggregated in the EU Member States and the UK, but each country will pay a pension separately, based on the length of service it has acquired there.
  • If the UK leaves the EU without a withdrawal agreement, in order to protect acquired social security rights, a bill will be drafted to amend the Social Insurance Pensions Act, where it will be stated that the length of employment period acquired in the UK prior to "Brexit" will be counted according to the pension rights set out in the Coordination Regulations – in the order that is currently in force. Whether the UK will pay a pension in Lithuania according to the accumulated periods of employment in UK will depend on UK national legislation.

Allowances, child and other benefits

Will the periods of employment acquired in UK before "Brexit" be taken into account when providing sickness or maternity social insurance benefits in Lithuania?

  • Yes, in the case of sickness or maternity social insurance benefits in Lithuania, the periods of employment acquired in the UK before "Brexit" will be taken into account. If an agreement on UK withdrawal from the EU is reached, the unemployment insurance record will be aggregated according to the Coordination Regulations as it is provided in the transitional period set out in the withdrawal agreement. Otherwise, an amendment of the Lithuanian Government resolution “On the Government of the Republic of Lithuania January 25th, 2001, No. 86” provision “On sickness and maternity social insurance benefits" will be prepared. The amendment will aim to ensure that the entitlement to sickness or maternity social insurance benefits will take into account the unemployment insurance record acquired in the UK before Brexit in accordance with the Coordination Regulations.

Is it possible to get an unemployment benefit in the UK after "Brexit" and look for a job in Lithuania

  • If an agreement is reached on the UK's withdrawal from the EU Treaty, according to the provisions of this treaty, the transitional period will be set up by 2020. During this period the EU regulations on the coordination of social security systems will continue to be applied. The Coordination Regulations provides the possibility for an unemployed person who receives unemployment benefit in one Member State to seek employment in another Member State and continue to receive the unemployment benefit.
  • The Coordination Regulations lay down additional conditions for the payment of unemployment benefits to unemployed persons arriving in another Member State. The unemployed person must be registered with the UK employment service and receive the unemployment benefit for at least 4 weeks before leaving for Lithuania. Before leaving, one must apply for a PD U2 document in the UK. After receiving the document and having arrived in Lithuania, one must register at the Lithuanian Labour Exchange Office within 7 days and provide the PD U2 document issued in UK. The unemployed person will be paid the amount of unemployment benefit that has been paid by the UK institution that issued the PD U2 document. The unemployment benefit will be paid up to the date specified in the document.
  • If the UK leaves the EU without a withdrawal agreement, the issue of paying UK unemployment benefits to an unemployed person who left for Lithuania, will be dealt with according to the UK national legislation.

Am I eligible for a maternity benefit if my last job was in UK and the child is a Lithuanian citizen?

  • The maternity benefit in Lithuania does not depend on the nationality of the child. The right to maternity benefit for the period of pregnancy and childbirth shall be granted to a person who:
    1. is covered by maternity social insurance;
    2. in accordance with the procedure established by law, is issued for pregnancy and maternity leave, except in cases when the insured person is treated as a person who has been issued a pregnancy and maternity leave, as well as the cases provided for in Paragraph 2 of Article 16 of the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance;
    3. prior to the first day of pregnancy and childbirth leave, has at least 12 months in the last 24 months of maternity social insurance record. If your social insurance record in Lithuania is not enough to qualify for a maternity benefit, the length social insurance record you have acquired in the UK before "Brexit" will be taken into account.
  • The basis for granting maternity benefit is an electronic certificate of pregnancy and childbirth leave issued in accordance with the established procedure.
  • If an agreement on UK withdrawal from the EU is reached, the maternity social insurance record will be aggregated according to the Coordination Regulations as provided for in the transitional period set out in the withdrawal agreement. Otherwise, an amendment of the Lithuanian Government resolution “On the Government of the Republic of Lithuania January 25th, 2001, No. 86” provision “On sickness and maternity social insurance benefits" will be prepared. The amendment will seek to ensure that the maternity social insurance record acquired in the UK prior to "Brexit" will be taken into account according the procedure laid down in the Coordination Regulations when determining entitlement to maternity benefit.

Will social security benefits that were granted in Lithuania before "Brexit" be exported to the UK

  • Yes, the social security benefits granted in Lithuania prior to "Brexit", will be exported to UK and paid until the right to the benefit ends.


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Information updated: 2019-03-13
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