UK nationals living in EU promised state pension increases in no deal Brexit

The Brexit Secretary, Stephen Barclay, has pledged to keep increasing the state pensions of UK nationals living in the European Union, even in the event of a ‘no deal’ scenario, but only if the EU reciprocates.

In a policy paper, Citizens’ Rights - EU citizens in the UK and UK nationals in the EU, the Brexit Secretary said the UK government will continue to “pay an uprated UK state pension to eligible UK nationals living in the EU”.

However, he stated that if the EU does not reciprocate, then the UK will need to strike individual deals with each of the 27 member states.

AJ Bell has warned that if a deal isn’t reached, either with the EU as a whole or individual member states, valuable state pension ‘triple-lock’ increases could be lost. Around 470,000 UK nationals living in the EU risk having their state pensions frozen.

Commenting, AJ Bell senior analysist, Tom Selby, said: “Today’s statement from the Brexit Secretary lays bare the uncertainty facing almost half a million UK nationals who live in the EU and are currently eligible for valuable state pension increases.

“At the moment these people receive the generous ‘triple-lock’ uprating, meaning their state pension rises in line with the highest of average earnings, inflation or 2.5 per cent. While the Government has strongly signalled its desire to continue paying these increases in the event of a No Deal Brexit, this will only happen if the EU reciprocates by uprating the state pensions of EU nationals living in the UK.

“If a deal with the EU as a whole cannot be reached then the UK will likely have to negotiate reciprocal deals with each of the 27 member states. This could be a painfully drawn out process with no guarantee of success.”

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