Information on Social Security for Associated Members of the Personnel (MPAs)
The following information on social security is intended for (future) Associated Members of the Personnel (MPAs), in particular MPAs of categories User (USER), Cooperation Associate (COAS) and Visiting Scientist (VISC), which are the categories of personnel that are administratively handled by the Users’ Office.
MPAs employed in an EU or EFTA Member State
The European Union has defined a set of regulations (EU regulation 883/2004) on the coordination of social security systems in the EU and EFTA Member States (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), which was put in force in 2010.
The EU regulation defines rights and rules for posted workers, who are employees in an EU or EFTA Member State and sent by their employers to carry out a service in another EU or EFTA Member State on a temporary basis.
The EU regulation requires posted workers to carry with them always an A1 certificate, certifying the social security situation of the employee.
According to the EU regulation, after postings longer than 24 months, posted workers can either:
- switch to the social security system of the host country OR
- apply for an extension and remain covered in the home country
The Swiss Authorities clarified that, despite the immunities and privileges of Associated Members of the Personnel (MPAs), the EU regulation 883/2004 also applies to MPAs (USER, COAS, VISC in particular), who are employed in an EU or EFTA Member State and are sent by their home institution to CERN.
As MPAs are not part of the CERN social security coverage, they have to comply with the national social security laws that are applicable to them. In particular, they have to carry an A1 certificate always while travelling to and at CERN.
The A1 certificate needs to be requested by the employee (the MPA) from the employer (the home institution).
Situation in Switzerland (all MPAs)
The Swiss Authorities also clarified that Associated Members of the Personnel (MPAs) and their family members, who are resident at CERN (resident in Switzerland or France with >50% presence) and are holders of a type “P” legitimation card, are not subject to Swiss social insurance (AVS) and may not join the latter even on a voluntary basis.
As a consequence, MPAs who are posted workers in the sense of EU regulation 883/2004 and are posted to CERN for more than 24 months, need to apply for an extension to remain covered in the social security system in their home country, as they cannot join the Swiss system.
The Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations Office kindly provided an attestation (in French and English), that affected MPAs can use as justification supporting their application for an extension to remain covered in the social security system of their home countries.
Situation in France (all MPAs)
An agreement between France and CERN was made in 1970 on the social security of CERN Members of Personnel: Accord de sécurité sociale du 30 décembre 1970.
Article 1.1 of the agreement states that
Les membres du personnel du CERN tels qu'ils sont définis par le statut du personnel de l'Organisation, exerçant tout ou partie de leur activité en territoire français, ne sont pas soumis aux législations françaises relatives à la sécurité sociale et aux prestations familiales.
(CERN Members of Personnel as defined by the Staff Regulations of the Organization, carrying out all or part of their activity on French territory, are not subject to French legislation relating to social security and family benefits.)
The agreement from 1970 is still in force and also includes MPAs, as confirmed by CERN Legal Service.
Hence, Associated Members of the Personnel (MPAs) and their family members, who are resident in France (>50% presence) and are holders of a type “P” legitimation card, cannot get a French social security number and cannot join the French social security system, similar as for the Swiss social security system.
Exceptions are only possible for French citizens and for people (formerly) employed at French institutes.
- Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council (full text)
- Coordination of social security systems (summary of regulation 883/2004)
- Standard forms for social security rights (information on A1 and other certificates relevant to social security)
- Addresses of institutions responsible for issuing the portable document A1 (pdf)
- Attestation by the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations Office (certifies that MPAs cannot join the Swiss social security system, in French and English)
- Accord de sécurité sociale du 30 décembre 1970 (agreement between France and CERN on social security stating that MPAs cannot join the French social security system, in French)