Brit expats in Greece urged to seek pension advice: Green

Brit expats in Greece urged to seek pension advice: Green

British expats in Greece who are worried about their pension arrangements have been urged to contact financial advisers.

On 30 June, the department for work and pensions said it would attempt to contact people who draw British state pensions from Greek bank accounts, and help them switch these payments to a non-Greek bank account if they wish.

There are an estimated 100,000 expatriate British pensioners across the world; 1,962 of them in Greece (as at the end of 2014, according to DWP figures).

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Amid the continuing financial crisis, the Greek government has introduced capital controls which limit cash machine withdrawals and prevent money being moved abroad.

Nigel Green, chief executive of financial advisory firm deVere Group, said: “One of the most pressing issues for British pensioners living in Greece is likely to be their state pensions.

“This is because even though their state pension credits are from the UK, due to the state pensions reciprocal agreement with Greece, it is the Greek government that is ultimately responsible for paying this to those eligible pensioners resident in Greece.”

He asked whether, in the middle of the Greek saga, these pension pledges would still be honoured, adding: “In times of growing uncertainty, this is where a professionally devised, implemented and managed and internationally-focused financial strategy is likely to prove invaluable.”

Adviser view

David Finan, director of Cumbria-based Jardine Finan said: “The Treasury is clearly aware of the situation and taking steps so people will receive their money through other arrangements.

“The problems of Greece have been well-known for at least five years, so if I had retired there I would have made sure I had arrangements in place long before now.”