UK expats’ pension rights missing from PM’s Brexit deal


29 Nov, 2018

UK expats’ pension rights missing from PM’s Brexit deal

Theresa May has failed to safeguard pension arrangements for British expats within the current details of the deal reached between Britain and the European Union.

Speaking in parliament earlier this week, the UK Prime Minister said that the government still needed to "negotiate some of the arrangements in relation to certain benefits, such as pensions, under the future trading relationship".

As revealed last Sunday, leaders of the 27 EU member states approved the Brexit withdrawal agreement and sanctioned the political declaration of future relations between Britain and the EU.

The polemic arrangement, on which UK parliamentarians will vote on 11 December, will, if voted through, rubber stamp an agreement that does not shield current or future pensions right of UK expats in the European Union.

According to Office for National Statistics figures, there are 900,000 Brits residing in the EU. Out of this total, some 220,000 are aged 65 or over.

Existing EU treaties, as per an International Investment report, back the accumulation and receipt of the UK state pension for British citizens living in the EU. A similar arrangement is in place for national health cover.

As such, contributions towards a state pension system in another EU country during a person’s working life can be utilised to boost the saver’s entitlement to a British state pension.

As it stands, an EU citizen needs to only make one state pension claim at retirement, irrespective of their working history within the European Union.

A British citizen in receipt of a British state pension within the EU will also see increases to their pension payments in line who UK residents, which is at present governed by the triple lock.

However, concerns by British expats throughout Europe that their pensions may be frozen will be fuelled by the Prime Minister’s latest announcement.

A number of action groups are lobbying the government to change its rules and support the thousands of frozen pensions all over the world.