Brit expats in Europe in no rush to repatriate

Published:  6 Sep at 6 PM
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In spite of predictions of a mass exodus from Europe, expats living in European Union states seem to be in no hurry to up and leave.

A report for the UK’s Office of National Statistics, (ONS), has stated the number of UK expat pensioners leaving the UK for sunnier climes is still rising despite the uncertainties caused by Brexit. In contrast, recent media reports suggest the exodus is going the other way, with increasing numbers of EU citizens working in the UK deciding to either repatriate or find suitable jobs in EU states.

Department of Work and Pensions data shows around 340,000 British state pensioners at present resident in EU member states, with the ONS pointing out the triple lock scheme has benefited expat retirees as well as those in the UK. However, it adds, the spending power of pensioners overseas has fallen considerably due to fluctuations in the sterling exchange rate.

British expat pensioners may be feeling more secure since this week’s revelation that British pensions will still be paid, although there’s no mention as yet regarding the normal annual increases, nor are there guarantees that pensions paid to those living in EU member states will not be frozen the minute the UK leaves the European Union.

Senior analysts believe the expected expat exodus’s delay simply means British retirees considering repatriation are waiting official clarity on how Brexit will affect their finances. Experts consider the ‘wait and see’ approach has its merits, but warn against underestimating the value over many retirement years of the annual increases.

For those living longer because of their lifestyle choices, the total received could run into tens of thousands of pounds, and is therefore worth retaining, even if it means relocation to the UK. Unfortunately, the elephant in that particular room is the strong possibility of a hard Brexit causing inflation in the UK to soar, thus wrecking even the most carefully planned retirement budget.
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