Govt sends state pension letters 'reassuring' EU expats

The government has issued letters to more than 363,000 UK pensioners living in the EU “reassuring” them that their state pension will continue to be uprated for three years in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

State pension payments will continue to be uprated by at least 2.5 per cent per year “for the duration of this parliament”, which is worth around £200 per person annually.

The government also said that that it plans to negotiate a new arrangement with the EU to try and ensure that state pension uprating continues to uprate past the three years.

The letters will also inform expats that they do not need to do anything to continue receiving their state pension.

Commenting, Work and Pensions Secretary, Thérèse Coffey, said: “Pensioners in Europe who have paid into the system for years deserve peace of mind over their future finances.

“Not only are we providing much-needed reassurance for hundreds of thousands of retirees, we’re ensuring we are fully prepared for leaving the EU on 31 October.

“No matter the circumstances of Brexit, we’ve made sure that pensioners do not need to take any action to continue receiving their hard-earned state pension.”

However, when it was announced that state pensions would be uprated for three years, Royal London director of policy, Steve Webb, said that government attempts to reassure UK pensioners living in the EU would “have the opposite effect”.

“They have received repeated assurances that their pensions would be increased each year regardless of the outcome of the Brexit process,” he added

“The announcement of a time-limited guarantee will be deeply worrying to British expats living in the EU.”

There are currently around 500,000 UK citizens living in the EU and benefitting from the state pension triple-lock, which increases state pension income in line with the highest average earnings, inflation or 2.5 per cent annually.

The uprating will also affect those living in the EEA states and Switzerland.

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