Brexit Talks Green Light Expat State Pension Cost Of Living Rises


British expats in Europe do not have to fear the freezing of their state pensions after Brexit, says the UK government.

Any British state pensioner living in the EU after Britain pulls out will continue to receive cost-of-living increases to their pension as normal.

The fear was state pensions would not increase with inflation from March 2019.

But those concerns are now allayed for expats in the European Economic Area (EEA) – which covers all EU states plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. Pensioners in Switzerland will also receive the annual increase.

No frozen state pensions for Brits in Europe

Tens of thousands of state pensioners in former Commonwealth countries have suffered this fate, which eats away at their spending power.

Popular expat destinations such as Australia, Canada and New Zealand will not be included in the measure to uprate the state pension even though they have campaigned against the unfairness for years.

Increasing the state pension in line with inflation is one of the few points British and EU negotiators have agreed so far in the Brexit talks.

But the news is a relief for hundreds of thousands of British state pensioners across Europe.

The negotiators also rubber-stamped rules that national insurance contributions made in the EU will continue to count as qualifying years towards the full British state pension.

MPs still to vote on measure

James Walsh, of the trade body Pensions & Lifetime Savings Association, said: “The UK and EU have agreed that the UK will continue paying and uprating state pensions to UK citizens living in EU countries after Brexit – and vice versa.

“This means, for example, that British pensioners living in Spain will continue to get the same annual inflation increases they would have got in the UK. The same will apply to Spanish pensioners resident in Britain.

“The fact they have been agreed so early in the process indicates the measure is uncontroversial which will come as a relief to pensioners across the EU.”

Although agreed across the negotiating table, the state pension cost of living increase still must be ratified by MPs in Westminster and the EU, which is not expected to be a problem.

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  1. If the UK is prepared to change its rules to satisfy the British expats living in the EU, there should be nothing to stop them except their ongoing intransigence to changing the rules, so that all UK pensions are paid equally and fairly, without the discrimination which now exists and is incompatible with the Commonwealth Charter, which states “the Commonwealth is implacably opposed to all forms of discrimination, Surely “all forms” include the legal forms of discrimination with which the UK Government won its case against us expats, in the European Court of Humans Rights in 2009? This UK pension policy has to change otherwise the UK may find itself ostracised from its Commonwealth.

  2. But still the UK pensioner living in, for example, Canada, Australia or Thailand is frozen…no index linking ever….a disgrace and an indictment on all parties in Westminster.

  3. For years the UK has stated that “no further agreements” will be made with any country on UK state pension issues. Now, at a stroke, we see state pension agreements with 27 countries. Obviously the reasons for the UK not uprating its pension worldwide were not reasons – they were excuses & lies. They just proved that by saying they’ll uprate the pension of UK expats in all EU countries!
    “Why them, not us?” say those existing frozen pensioners, who make up approx 50% of UK expat OAPs, but only make up a pitiful 4% of UK OAP total. Can you blame them? Can you really blame?
    The answer is a resounding two letter word beginning in N.
    No! No! No! No! No!
    You can’t blame them for a millisecond!

  4. Sincerity, Integrity, Reliability”, all elements of character which our Prime Minister has yet to demonstrate she has after declaring repeatedly “The government I lead will be relentless in tackling burning injustice – injustice is a scar on the soul of our nation. Fighting against burning injustice – that will be the mission of the Government I lead.”

    Apparently our Prime Minister is blissfully unconcerned about the “burning injustice” of continuing to freeze the pensions of more than half a million of her pensioners while she conveniently “bends the rules” to appease UK pensioners living in EU countries after Brexit.

    Wake up, Mrs. May. Either you must take action to restore pension parity to those (frozen) pensioners you refuse to talk about or you must accept that “the scar of injustice” will remain on the soul of the nation – and on your own reputation.

  5. So it’s OK for some eh? The frozen 4% have been fighting for decades to end the scandal that sees their state pensions frozen, decades of increases in cost of living which means the state pension is worth less and less each year and this has a knock-on effect on any other pensions one has because it means they are also stretched in a vain effort to make up the short fall. It is OUTRAGEOUS that the 4% are penalised just because of where they live, they have paid for their state pensions under the same terms as everyone else and should receive an indexed pension, the same as everyone else. A state pension is not a gift from the government it has been paid for over a lifetime and the government has no right to dictate who gets their pension indexed because ALL are entitled to be treated the same.

  6. One has to wonder why this disgraceful penalty to some citizens has ever existed in a democratic society that professes to honour equality and respect for all citizens.
    Well it is not happening while this discrimination is allowed to continue.
    I made a Freedom of Information request to the cabinet over the politicians failing to follow their Code of Conduct but never had a responsible reply. See here:
    This along with the Commonwealth Charter that Jim Tilley mentioned is unacceptable from the UK Government and in my view is denial of Her Majesty the Queen who signed it, an embarrassment to her and contrary to their sworn allegiance to her.
    The Government are only too eager to point the finger elsewhere when any question of inequality and unfair treatment is seen abroad but ignore their own blindness.

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