Brexit 

Brexit could hit 900,000 expat pensioners in the pocket

Brexit could hit 900,000 expat pensioners in the pocket

Around 900,000 British citizens living in the European Union are facing pension uncertainty, since receiving state pension in other countries is part of existing treaties, which are threatened by Brexit, Aviva has warned.

According to new figures published today (16 April) by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), there are 784,900 Brits living in the EU.

Adding to this number the 112,000 British citizens living in Ireland, there are 900,000 Brits living abroad in the EU.

Of this total, 220,000 are aged 65 plus.

Spain leads the top five of EU destinations for British citizens living in the EU, with 293,500 people.

France is in second place (152,900), followed by Ireland (112,000), Germany (96,500) and the Netherlands (45,300).

According to the provider, existing EU treaties support the accumulation and receipt of the British state pension, for British citizens living elsewhere in the EU.

This means that contributions towards another EU country's state pension system during the individual's working life can be used to enhance the saver's entitlement to a British state pension.

Currently, an EU citizen only needs to make one state pension claim at retirement, regardless of their working history within the EU.

Also, a British citizen in receipt of a British state pension elsewhere in the EU, will see their pension payments increase in line with recipients who are resident in the UK – currently governed by the triple lock.

Under the current triple lock system, the state pension increases each year in line with whichever is the highest: consumer price inflation (CPI), average earnings growth or 2.5 per cent.

This year, the state pension has gone up in line with consumer price inflation, which hit 3 per cent in September.

Alistair McQueen, head of savings and retirement at Aviva, said: "There are 347 days to go until the UK leaves the EU.

"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."

maria.espadinha@ft.com

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