Retired expats told to prove they are alive

Published:  23 Apr at 12 PM
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An estimated five million Brits reside abroad and many of them are retirees who are claiming UK pensions; however, the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has the problem of knowing whether the correct person is drawing the funds as some countries do not share certain information.

Around £45m is said to be paid out to Brits who have retired to other countries but have since died, and it is their family members who are continuing to cash in pension cheques that should have been stopped immediately after the death.

Some countries openly inform an individual’s country of origin when he or she passes, meaning the issue is rarely a problem. But other countries, including France, do not share such information resulting in the DWP not knowing if the pensions are being claimed legitimately or not.

This has led to the British government introducing a new policy that requires a pension-drawing individual living abroad to prove they are not dead.

The new procedure will involve a form being sent to the pensioner, who will then have to sign it in front of witnesses. Because of security concerns, only paper forms will be issued and they will be posted to the retiree’s registered address.

If the fully completed form is returned to the UK government within the required timeframe, the individual concerned risks having his or her pension cut off.
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