Ongoing UK political chaos sparks fears amongst British pensioners in Europe

Published:  5 Sep at 6 PM
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Even although British expats in Europe have now been promised uprated state pension for three years post-Brexit, the present political chaos suggests the good times won’t last.

Around half a million UK pensioners in Europe are being informed about the three-year uprate by text message, with a good few thankful for crumbs from the government’s table but the remainder still concerned about the parlous state of sterling and the short term of the increase. Politico/financial experts also have their concerns about the duration of the largess, as it doesn’t seem to guarantee pension security for longer than the stated time frame.

An annually uprated UK state pension has been the mainstay as well as the right of many Brit expat retirees living in EU member states, with payments increasing year on year, tied to whichever is higher out of wage levels, 2.5 per cent or the rate of inflation. Given that inflation is indeed rising fast across Europe, removing this ‘triple lock’ payment will result in many UK pensioners no longer being able to afford to live in their chosen destinations. A rush of poverty-stricken retirees arriving in the UK from all over Europe is likely to swamp both social services and the NHS.

Tory politicians are already hinting the expat ‘triple lock’ annual increase may well be slashed to a ‘double lock’ payment in the not too distant future, using the argument that expatriates are paying taxes to foreign governments rather than to the British taxman and carefully leaving out the amount of taxes they’ve paid in the UK throughout their working lives as well as their social security contributions. The British government says a new arrangement involving the EU is in the negotiation stage, but believing any announcement from the present mob seems at present to be unwise at best. There’s only one certainty at the present time – the further decline in the value of sterling against the Euro combined with the effect of inflation in favourite British retirement destinations is certain to wreck the retirement plans of a high number of British expats.
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