Spain-Andorra Social Security Agreement

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Spain-Andorra Social Security Agreement

When a Spanish person or resident in Spain asks to establish their residence in a different country, one of the most general questions that may arise is whether Spanish social security contributions and benefits are also valid for the Andorran woman. That is, if retirement, health coverage and other types of insurance are consumable in both countries when changing residence or if previous contributions have been in vain. Or even more briefly: if both systems are compatible.

In this article we have proposed to address this issue, based on the agreement that the Spanish Social Security maintains with the Andorran. At the time we already talked about the bilateral non-double taxation agreement between Spain and Andorra, but this time we will talk about Social Security Agreement between Spain and Andorra.

This agreement and the Administrative Agreement for its application were signed on November 9, 2001 and have been in force since January 1, 2003 and have been published in the Official State Gazette of December 4, 2002, and it applies to people who work or have worked in one or both countries and to their relatives and survivors.

Benefits included in the Agreement

According to the Spanish Social Security itself and, taking the general information of this agreement, it has application on the following benefits:

  • Spain's social security benefits:
    • Health care for maternity, common or professional illness and accident whether or not at work. 
    • Financial benefits for temporary disability derived from common illness and non-occupational accident. 
    • Economic maternity benefits. 
    • Permanent disability, retirement, death and survival benefits. 
    • Economic benefits derived from work accident and occupational disease.
  • Andorra social security benefits:
    • Health care in cases of maternity, common illness and work accident. 
    • Financial benefits for temporary disability derived from common illness and work accident. 
    • Economic maternity benefits. 
    • Invalidity, retirement, death, widowhood and orphan benefits.

Agreement operation

Operation of the Social Security Agreement between Spain and Andorra

To understand the functionality of this agreement, we can summarize it in these following four important points:

  1. To acquire the contributory benefits provided in the Agreement, you can add the insurance periods completed in Spain and Andorraas long as they don't overlap with each other. 
  2. Contributory economic benefits may be received regardless of whether the interested party resides or is in Spain or Andorra
  3. Each country will pay its own benefits directly to the beneficiary. However, the first payments of the pension may be discounted the amounts owed in debt with the social security of the other country, if any.
  4. People who meet the requirements of the laws of both countries to be entitled to a contributory pension, they will be able to receive this from each one of them.

In addition, it is necessary to know that:

  • The periods of insurance credited before the effective date of the Convention, in either country, are taken into accounta for the determination of the right to benefits recognized under it.
  • The application of the Convention allows the examination of right to contingency benefits that would have taken place prior to the date of its entry into force, although the payment of the same will not be made in any case for periods prior to its validity (they would be new periods).

So the clear and simple answer is that yes, you can reside in Andorra taking advantage of Spanish quotes and vice versa, adjusting with the legislation and with the mentioned requirements. Which means, in turn, that you can to retire in Andorra after having been listed in Spain, receiving payments from both jurisdictions according to their acquired rights.

However, despite this, We recommend discussing the issue with professionals in the sector, experts at the international level and from the countries mentioned to be able to optimize each case while always being under strict compliance with the relevant legislation. Let us now go on to describe each of the types of benefits and assistance.

Healthcare

Referring to the provisions of the agreement, health care is recognized by the country in which the worker is insured or for the pensioner by the country that pays the pension, in accordance with its national legislation. For this, the insurance periods of both countries are totaled, when necessary, provided they do not overlap.

Thus, in general and normal terms, the country that recognizes it provides services, but also they can receive it when they move or reside in the other country in the following cases:

  • Workers insured in one country as well as their families who move to the other country temporarily and who immediately require health care. 
  • Workers insured in one country and sent to work in another for a period not exceeding two years or 1 year in the case of self-employed workers, as well as their next of kin. 
  • Relatives of an insured worker in one country residing in the territory of the other country. 
  • Pensioners from one country and their relatives who are or reside in the territory of the other country. During the temporary stay they are entitled to immediate need benefits. 
  • Sick workers who have been authorized to move to the other country.  
  • Workers residing in one country and working in the other country may receive healthcare in either country.

Health benefits are served in the country where the beneficiary is located, and as established in the health legislation and in the Public Health Services of that country, during the time authorized by the Institution of the country where the worker is affiliated or who pays the pension and charged to said Institution.

Permanent disability, retirement and death and survival

According to the agreement, each country must separately examine the application for benefits as follows:

  • It will be checked if the interested party is entitled to the benefit taking into account only their own insurance periods without adding those of the other country. 
  • Also, the benefit will be calculated adding to the own insurance periods those accredited in the other country (theoretical pension). In this case, the amount of the benefit will not be in full, but according to the proportion existing between the periods of insurance completed in the country that grants it and the sum of the periods in Spain and Andorra (pro rata pension).
  • There is a exception for the cases in which the total duration of the insurance periods accredited in one of the two countries is less than one year and that by themselves do not entitle to a pension in that country. They will be assumed by the other country as their own, but without applying the pro rata clause temporis.

Finally, if the credited insurance periods in the two countries are less than one year, the general rule of totalization and pro rata will apply. The benefits calculated as indicated in the previous sections will be compared and each country will recognize and pay the benefit that is most favorable to the interested party.

For the recognition and calculation of the pension, different factors and specific conditions are taken into account according to the specific case, and that is why we insist on recommending professional treatment to determine and resolve the particular situation of each one. We will not deal with this topic in this article, as it is long and tedious, quite technical and relatively little relevant to have a general knowledge.

Other benefits

Work accident and occupational disease: The right to benefits derived from an accident at work or occupational disease shall be determined by the country whose legislation was applicable to the worker on the date the accident occurred or the disease was contracted.

Maternity and temporary disability: The economic benefits derived from said contingencies are recognized by the country in which the beneficiary is insured, taking into account, if necessary, the insurance periods of the other country, provided they do not overlap.

Application for benefits

The agreement states that requests of benefits should go to Icompetent institution of the country where the interested party resides, and will be effective in both countries if the exercise of a professional activity in the other country is alleged in the application or is deduced from the documentation submitted. Furthermore, if the interested party or its causes reside in a third country, they must send their request to the Institution of the country (Spain or Andorra) under whose legislation the latter was insured for the last time. 

In Spain they must be done in the Social Security Information and Care Center closest to your home (National Institute of Social Security), with the exception of workers included in the Special Scheme for Sea Workers which are made in Provincial Directorates of the Social Institute of the Navy.

On the other hand, in Andorra they must be done in the Caixa Andorrana de Seguretat Social.

Displaced workers

Finally, it remains to address the issue in the case of posted workers. As a general rule, posted workers are subject to the Social Security legislation of the country in whose territory they are exercising their labor activity. Now, if it is a temporary transfer, they can maintain the Spanish Social Security legislation in the terms and requirements indicated below, applicable to workers of any nationality:

  • For workers employed by others, who carry out their activity in a Spanish company and who are displaced by it to temporarily carry out their activity in Andorra, the issuance of the corresponding certificate of displacement.
  • Own-account workers Those who move to carry out their activity temporarily in Andorra must request before the Provincial Directorate of the General Treasury of Social Security or its Administrations, the issuance of the corresponding displacement certificate.
  • For workers employed by others, the maximum duration of the initial posting is two years. For own-account workers, the maximum period of initial posting is one year

If employed or self-employed workers must extend their stay in that country beyond the period regulated for the initial posting, the employer or self-employed worker must apply for the extension of the maintenance of Spanish Social Security legislation. This extension must be requested three months before the end of the authorized period and before the General Sub-Directorate for Affiliation, Quotation and Management of the RED System of the General Treasury of Social Security, always in accordance with the agreement.

In addition to this, there are some exceptions for certain specific cases that, however, exceeds the objective of this article and therefore we will not address it either.

In conclusion

In short, the bilateral social security agreement between Spain and Andorra makes the compatibility of both systems possible, both in terms of contributions and benefits and social insurance, so that one can reside in one of the two countries without losing all the rights acquired in the other, including retirement.

However, there is strict legislation and quite extensive that must be complied with, and for which each case must be treated in a concrete way, even more so when the objective is to optimize the rights and amounts charged.

That is why we recommend, despite everything, do it hand in hand with professionals dedicated to this that can guarantee the best application for your case. In Andorra Insiders We collaborate with the best experts, both nationally and internationally, who will be able to solve your case in an adapted way and offer you legal, fiscal and accounting services of all kinds. Can contact us and tell us your case by clicking here, and you can also read much of the most important services we offer here. Thank you very much for reading us.

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