The former pensions minister, Ros Altmann, has warned thousands of British pensioners living in the European Union that they may lose out on state pension increases as a result of Brexit.
According to Ros Altmann, the UK Government has so far only agreed to pay pension increases on a reciprocal basis with other EU member states, effectively requiring them to commit to paying British pensioners’ increases.
This is a common arrangement already present among a number of non-EU nations, however, Ms Altmann has said that this reciprocity was not guaranteed.
She believes that there is less of an incentive for EU countries to follow this convention because there are far more Brits retiring abroad than there are EU citizens retiring in the UK.
“Evidence cited by the Commons Brexit Select Committee reports there are 190,000 UK pensioners living in Spain, France and Ireland, whereas there are just 5,500 pensioners from the entire EEA living in the UK,” she said.
“Such imbalances clearly put any reciprocal arrangements at risk and leave British pensioners exposed to significant losses.”
Trying to provide some security to overseas pensioners and workers, a Department for Work and Pensions spokesperson said: “The UK leaving the EU will not affect entitlement to continue receiving the UK state pension if you live in the EU, and we are committed to uprate across the EU in 2019/20.
“We would wish to continue uprating pensions beyond that but would take decisions in light of whether, as we would hope and expect, reciprocal arrangements with the EU are in place.”
A number of experts are encouraging expats to review their savings and pension affairs in light of the UK’s departure from the bloc to ensure they enjoy financial well-being in the future.