2010 - The new EU Social Security Regulations – preparations, anticipated issues and risks

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  • Before I begin I would however like to share some demographic and macroeconomic statistics that would help in understanding the Maltese situation. Malta has a total average population of approximately 415,000 with a per capita GDP of approximately €13,832 (2008 figures). During the third quarter of 2009, Labour Force Survey estimates indicate an employment rate of 55.1% and an unemployment rate of 6.9%. In fact during the third quarter of 2009 the number of persons employed stood at 162,567. The number of unemployed persons totalled 11, 986, whilst the number of inactive people stood at 175,581. NEXT SLIDE
  • 2010 - The new EU Social Security Regulations – preparations, anticipated issues and risks

    1. 1. The new EU Social Security Regulations – preparations, anticipated issues and risks The views of a micro-stateJoe Camilleri – Director General (Social Security)May, 2010
    2. 2. What shall we talk about today? outline the main reasons for the need of new regulations; look into the preparations; expected issues; risks.
    3. 3. 1. The need and ethos of the New Regulations
    4. 4. The aim of the Regulations• To simplify• To modernise• To consolidate• To clarify• To incorporate ECJ case law• To enhance administrative co-operation• To increase flexibility• To Improve protection of citizen’s rightsNOT to introduce any extensive new rights
    5. 5. The principal areas of change• Personal scope• Legislation Applicable• Material – Sickness – Pensions – Unemployment Benefits – Family Benefits• New measures for debt recovery
    6. 6. Transition from 1408/71 to 883/2004 - How will it work? JULY MAY DECEMBER MARCH 2009 2010 2010 2012 …………………………………. …………………………………. TRANSITIONAL PERIOD TRAINING, INFORMATION PERIOD Implementing Regulations Regulation adopted become applicable EESSI Starts to function
    7. 7. The Maltese Islands Demographics and macroeconomicsNominal GDP (€ million) 5,702.6GDP per capita (€) 13,832Population 412,227Labour force (thousands) 173,388Employment rate (%) 55.1Unemployment rate (%) 6.9Social Security expenditure 29% of GDPData for 2008 or latest available.Sources: Economic Survey November 2009/National Statistics Office
    8. 8. Administration of co-ordination in MaltaFor Social Security• International Relations Unit with only a handful of officials;• Front office workers at district office level;For Health (in-kind benefits)• The entitlement unit of the Health Division
    9. 9. Peculiarities of being small• its easier with respect to preparations;• it is easier to obtain information in an informal environment (all involved know each other on a personal basis);• it’s a problem if you lose one of your people – since in essence you may be losing a substantial part of your knowledge on the subject• it is more difficult to build experience since a specific case may not be encountered for a long time if ever
    10. 10. Preparations - TrainingTraining of staff within DSS; – Attendance to thematic seminars – In-house training before coming into force – Sub-contract of expert from UK to help in meeting the requirements of our obligationsTraining and information sharing with otherrelevant entities officials to explain the newRegulations;
    11. 11. Preparations – Info-campaignInfo campaign;• Drawing up of information for website;• introducing leaflets;• Meetings with employers/accountants & auditor firms to explain the new procedures and the Regulations• Distribution of EU Commission’s booklet of “The EU provisions on social security”;• Spots on tv and radio programmes to explain the new Regulations
    12. 12. Preparations – Electronic exchange• Internal analysis of the best option;• Establishing a project management team to steer the project forward;• Decide on best way forward with regards to local IT set-up
    13. 13. Expected Issues• Reg 883/2004 has not addressed all substantive issues;• No agreement on what certain provisions of 883/2004 mean;• Introduction of electronic exchanges – can it be achieved?• Implementation of some new provisions more complex than anticipated, e.g. legislations applicable, health, UB and debt recovery;• Agreement on transitional provisions;• ECJ judgements – are the principles compatible/ well-explained?
    14. 14. Expected Issues - administrationReal problems of implementation• Somewhat surprise and concerns of staff regarding the SEDs;• Should we continue to use our electronic e-form system OR should we use the SEDs?• What is the impact of different methods of information exchange on a small organisation such as the DSS?• Are there added administrative burdens? – it seems so!
    15. 15. Expected Issues - administrationThe new Regulations capture principles which emerge from case-law;• These principles are to some extent still vague or unclear;• In certain instances there is no consensus on these principles and hence this can also create uncertainty;• What about the guidelines which still need to be clarified in certain areas – (eg for us on the issue of International Transport Workers);
    16. 16. Expected Issues – electronic exchangeEESSI• Should we continue to use our electronic e-form system OR should we use the SEDs?• What is the impact of different methods of information exchange on a small organisation such as the DSS?• Can we justify funding for a new system?
    17. 17. Expected Issues – enhanced cooperation• Issues here as still not clear – for example in Article 87 (8) of BR we have reference to “a relevant change in a situation” – what is a relevant change?• Who will decide it is a relevant change and how?• Re-write of the guidelines for interpretation – but there again we need more in-depth discussions
    18. 18. Risks• Regulations do not comprehensively cover emerging trends – long term care, types of employment (part-time), new forms of mobility, early retirement, etc• Unclear guidelines/open interpretations• New Regulations could be manipulated to the advantage of certain employers;
    19. 19. For further information kindly contact ourSocial Policy Information Centre, SPIC on 159 www.msp.gov.mt social.security@gov.mt My e-mail: joseph.b.camilleri@gov.mt

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