A person covered by the (EEC) Regulation on the coordination of social security systems when moving within the EU/EEA does not lose his or her right to social security. If a person wants to move and live in another Member State or work there temporarily, then he or she will not lose the contributions made in Latvia and, consequently, the right to social services.
Each Member State has its own rules of law which apply to the determination of pension rights; for example, as regards contribution rates, retirement age, the required length of insurance, and other conditions.
Special legal provisions have been developed to coordinate the various social security systems of all EU/EEA Member States. As of 1 May 2010, a new Regulation No. 883/2004 on the coordination of social security systems (hereinafter - Regulation No. 883/2004) is applied, which replaces the previous Regulation No. 1408/71 on the application of social security systems to employees and their families moving within the Community (hereinafter referred to as Regulation No 1408/71). Implementing Regulation No. 987/2009 laying down the procedure for implementing Regulation No. 883/2004 (hereinafter referred to as Regulation No. 987/2009), replaces the previous Implementing Regulation No. 574/72 laying down the procedure for implementing Regulation No. 1408/71 (hereinafter referred to as Regulation No. 574/72).
Regulation 883/2004 applies to nationals of the Member States, stateless persons, refugees residing in a Member State of the EU/EEA Member States who are or have been subject to the legislation of one or more Member States, as well as their family members, and their survivors.
As of 1 January 2011, Regulation No. 883/2004 also applies to third-country nationals, as well as to their family members and survivors, provided that they are legally resident in the territory of a Member State and are not linked to a single Member State.
Old-age pension and service pension
If a person becomes entitled to a Latvian old-age or service pension, taking into account only Latvian insurance periods, the pension shall be calculated in accordance with the national law. If the Latvian insurance period is not sufficient to create the right to receive a Latvian old-age pension, then the insurance periods of other EU/EEA Member States are also taken into account in determining eligibility, but the pension is calculated taking into account only the pension capital accumulated in Latvia.
The retirement age varies between EU/EEA Member States, so it is possible that a pension for periods of insurance may be awarded earlier in one Member State than in another.
If a person's right to a survivor's pension arises taking into account only the length of insurance in Latvia, the pension shall be calculated in accordance with the national law. If the Latvian insurance period is not sufficient to acquire the right to receive a Latvian survivor's pension, the insurance periods of the deceased breadwinner in other EU/EEA Member States are also taken into account in determining eligibility, but the pension is calculated taking into account only the deceased's Latvian pension capital.
If a person's right to a Latvian group I and II disability pension arises, taking into account only Latvian insurance periods, then the pension is calculated in accordance with the national law. If the Latvian social insurance period is insufficient to claim a group I or group II disability pension from Latvia, the insurance periods in other EU/EEA Member States shall be taken into account when determining the eligibility to the pension. In cases where a person has been insured against disability during the five years prior to the determination of disability in Latvia, the pension is calculated taking into account only the Latvian insurance period and salary subject to insurance contributions. On the other hand, if a person has not been insured in Latvia during the five years prior to the determination of disability, then the amount of the pension is determined by calculating the proportional share according to the ratio of the Latvian insurance period to the total insurance period in the EU/EEA Member States.
If a person has been assigned a disability group III, then the right to receive a Latvian disability pension depends on the type of legislation (A or B) the person has been subject to in another EU/EEA Member State. If it has been type A legislation, the disability pension will only be granted by the EU/EEA Member State whose legislation the person was subject to at the time of the disability (incapacity for work). If the person has been subject to type B legislation, the pension is granted by each participating EU/EEA Member State, by determining eligibility and in accordance with the national law or by aggregating insurance periods.
Insurance periods of less than one year
Regulation No. 883/2004 stipulates that the State is not obliged to grant a pension for an insurance period of less than one year. However, if there is an insurance period of less than one year in Latvia after 1 January 1996, a Latvian old-age pension or a survivor's pension for the Latvian pension capital may be granted if the pension eligibility arises as a result of aggregation of insurance periods in all EU/EEA Member States. Also, in determining the right to a Latvian pension, an insurance period of less than one year in another EU/EEA Member State may be taken into account.
Procedure for notification and contesting the decision
Regulation 987/2009 requires each institution of an EU/EEA Member State to notify the applicant of its decision. The decision shall specify the period for contestation. If it is a decision to refuse a pension, the reason for the refusal shall also be indicated. On the other hand, when the institution of the place of residence has received information from all the institutions of the Member States on all the decisions taken, a summary of the decisions is sent to the person. Consequently, the right to challenge a decision arises twice: both when receiving a decision from the institution of the Member State concerned and when receiving a summary of the decision.
A person must submit a pension claim to the competent institution of his or her place of residence. If the person permanently resides in Latvia, the request can be submitted to any SSIA branch. On the other hand, if a person permanently resides in another EU/EEA Member State, the Latvian pension application is submitted to the competent institution of the respective Member State, which will forward it to the SSIA.
When submitting a pension claim, a person must enclose documents certifying the length of insurance, as well as indicate the periods of employment and equivalent periods in all EU/EEA Member States. For this purpose, the person fills in form E207 (Certificate of insurance history of the insured person).
A pension claim submitted to the competent institution of one EU/EEA Member State is also forwarded to the competent institutions of the other EU/EEA Member States where the person was insured. Institutions shall exchange the necessary information in order to take a decision on a pension.
If the pension applicant:
- living in an EU/EEA Member State, then the granted Latvian pension shall be paid to the bank account indicated in the pension application in the country of residence.
- wishes to move permanently to another EU/EEA Member State, they may request the export of the granted pension to their new place of residence. In this case, the application for export of the pension must be submitted to any SSIA branch, SSIA International Services Division, or competent institution of the place of residence. The bank account details must be indicated in the application: bank name, bank address, BIC/SWIFT code, IBAN account number.
- If the person has already departed for permanent residence abroad and wishes for the pension granted in Latvia to be paid in the future, the above-mentioned request should be sent by post or submitted by an authorised person, including a notarial certification prepared no later than a month before submission and certifying that the beneficiary of the pension is alive.
To ensure the further payment of pension, the mentioned documents should be submitted to SSIA each year during the period from October 1 until December 15.
If the person departs for a permanent residence in any of the Member States of the European Union and European Economic Area, or if SSIA does not have information on the person’s permanent residence, SSIA division should receive information on the person’s place of residence so that the person could continue receiving the additional payment to the pension.
- Use of the capital accumulated in 2nd pillar pension
- Old-age pension
- Submission of documents on length of insurance period