May’s Brexit deal ignores British expats’ state pension arrangements

Published:  29 Nov at 6 PM
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Close to a million UK expat pensioners living in the EU are still in pension limbo.

British PM Theresa May’s Brexit deal fails to guarantee British expats’ state pension arrangements, leaving up to a million British citizens living in Europe afraid for their future pension payments. In her address to parliament last Monday, May said negotiators still need to work on the details of arrangements related to benefits including pensions in respect to the UK’s future trading relationship with the European Union. The controversial deal is due to be voted on in parliament on 11th December and will, if agreed, rubber stamp an agreement which contains no means of protection for the current and future pension rights of all British retirees in the 27 remaining EU member states.

From figures released by the UK Office of National Statistics, almost a million Britons are at present living in the EU, at least 220,000 of whom as over the pensionable age of 65. At present, long-standing EU treaties guarantee pension rights for British expats as well as health cover, along with the right to set another EU country’s social security payments towards a UK state pension. In addition, UK state pensions paid in EU countries are subject to the annual ‘triple lock’ increase, but post-Brexit payments are likely to be frozen at their present level.

Adding the above to the equally controversial passporting problems, due to which pension payments may not be able to made at all, especially if they’re work-related or private, British retirees living overseas have every right to be concerned about their futures once Brexit is a reality rather than just a threat. Action groups in the EU and the UK are still lobbying parliament, particularly as regards frozen pensions, but media reports suggest no-one on either side of the government is listening.
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