Brexit State Pension Doubt For British Expats In Europe

Almost a million British expats living in Europe are facing an uncertain financial future after Brexit because no one yet knows what will happen to existing treaties.

State pension payments depend on reciprocal treaties between the UK and each foreign country agreeing to pay each other’s expats social security benefits.

The latest figures show around 900,000 British expats live in the European Union.

Out of this number, 220,000 are aged 65 or over, so qualify for the state pension.

Most British expats live in Spain (293,500); France (152,900) then Ireland (112,000), Germany (96,500) and the Netherlands (45,300).

Because Britain has reciprocal agreements with each EU nation, social security contributions paid in one country can go towards the state pension in the UK.

Crucial countdown

That means an individual in the EU need only make one application for the state pension in the country regardless of where live and any contributions gained in another country are automatically included in the entitlement.

British expats in the EU also see their state pension rise in line with the cost-of-living at the same rate as if they lived in the UK.

Alistair McQueen, head of savings and retirement at pension provider Aviva, said: ” There are many issues to be agreed between now and then – one of which is the future of the state pension for the 900,000 British citizens living in the EU.

“To date, both sides – the UK and the EU – have expressed a desire to see the continuation of the current state pension rules. But this desire comes with the oft-quoted caveat that ‘nothing is agreed until everything is agreed’.

“For now, it is business as usual for Brits working and retired elsewhere in the EU. Time will tell where we end up in 347 days’ time.”

Lords defeat for Tories

The government lost a first Brexit vote in the Lords 348-225 on proposals that ministers should continue to discuss a continuing customs union with the European Union.

The Tories have a minority in the Lords and expect to lose most Brexit related votes that go before the Peers.

The upper house is discussing the details of the EU Withdrawal Bill.

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