Brit pensioners in EU don’t trust government’s three year uprate guarantee

Published:  19 Sep at 6 PM
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In spite of the UK government's promise, British expats in Europe are still fearful over their state pension uprates.

It seems the recent announcement by the then UK Work and Pensions Secretary Amber Rudd that UK state pension uprates would continue to be paid to British retirees in Europe for three years isn’t being regarded by those affected as being set in tablets of stone. As a result, the comparatively short period of time is causing added anxiety amongst British expat pensioners across Europe.

Together with the devastating fall in sterling’s value and the certainty that Brexit in any form will see further deterioration in exchange rates, many British state pensioners in EU member states are seeing the announcement as yet another government-sponsored slice of bad news. The fact of the matter is that, although the British government can and does say whatever it pleases at this juncture, matters such as pension payments and uprates must be renegotiated with every EU member state which holds UK expat retirees. Such negotiations are far less than straightforward and it’s not even guaranteed they’ll happen at all.

Should this be the result, British retirees will lose the ‘triple lock’ annual increase and be left to manage as best they can after being used yet again as pawns in political manoeuvering. Should pension incomes not be inflation-linked over pensioners’ lifetimes as in the majority of non-EU retirement destinations at present, grinding poverty or repatriation to the UK will be the reality facing a huge number of elderly Britons who’ve paid social security charges for their entire working lives in the hope of a comfortable retirement. Given the manner in which British expats have been ignored during the past three years’ Brexit negotiations, it’s no wonder the ‘three year uprate guarantee’ is causing even more anxiety wherever in Europe UK state pensioners are located.
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