Would-be Brit expats urged to check their destinations for frozen pensions

Published:  1 Oct at 6 PM
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Would-be British expat retirees are being urged to check their favoured destination as to whether it’s subject to frozen UK pensions.

As Brexit day approaches yet again, many Brits are finalising their plans to leave the UK to its own devices and settle down for a comfortable retirement elsewhere in the world. Many will be relying on the British state pension for their everyday needs, even although it’s now considered ungenerous at best. In the rush to leave, it’s possible a good few haven’t taken into account the harsh fact that Brit expats in the majority of overseas retirement destinations are blocked by the UK government from receiving the annual pensions uprate linked to inflation. Those who’re aware they’re giving up their rights may consider it’s a very small amount each year and imagine they’ll manage without it.

In spite of what might be considered as reassurance from the UK government that uprating in EU member states will continue, at least for a while, British expatriates in EU member states are at as much risk as those going to Australia, New Zealand and other former Commonwealth countries with which the UK has no social security agreement as regards uprated pensions. Britons already retired in popular EU countries such as Spain, Italy and Portugal as well as in EEA countries are under no such delusions due to their treatment to date by parliament, and are angry that they may well be left with frozen pensions as a result of Brexit.

In addition, given the political and economic instability now evident across the world, currency fluctuations are a threat many newly arrived expats may not have factored into their budget calculations. A recent survey indicated only 24 per cent of those planning to retire overseas were aware of the frozen pensions issue, with 20 per cent having no idea at all of the risk to their income should they choose the wrong location. As many as half a million British pensioners living overseas are not receiving the increases they’d been expecting, with cost of living increases set to soar in many European expat communities as well as in formerly cheap destinations such as Thailand.
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