No-deal Brexit could result in EU pensions loss, govt warns

Written by Laura Blows

The government has warned that UK pensioners living in Europe, or UK pensioners with EU-pension entitlements, may lose access to their pensions in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

In its technical note for banking, insurance and other financial services if there is no deal, the government explained that European Economic Area (EEA)-based customers of UK firms currently 'passporting' into the EEA, which allows firms to carry out many activities in EEA countries in the same way as their home country, may no longer be able to access financial services such as annuities, due to these UK firms losing their passporting rights after Brexit.

The note highlighted the work undertaken by the government to minimise disruption, including its commitment to to introduce a Temporary Permissions Regime (TPR) that will allow EEA firms currently passporting into the UK to continue operating in the UK for up to three years after exit, while they apply for full authorisation from UK regulators.

However, it warned that UK authorities are not able through unilateral action to fully address risks to the EEA customers of UK firms currently providing services into the EEA using the financial services passport.

With regards to financial services firms and funds, the government stated that the regulators have set out what action EEA firms and funds currently operating or marketing in the UK via an EEA passport will need to take, and will provide further details in due course.

For any firm that does not wish to continue carrying out regulated activities in the UK, or is unsuccessful in applying for authorisation, provision will be made for them to discontinue their UK regulated activities in an orderly manner, it added.

For UK financial services firms passporting into the EEA, they will lose the ability to do that at the point of exit, the note explained.

This may have implications for their ability to meet contractual obligations with EEA-based clients, where to do so without EEA permissions would breach relevant member state rules and any applicable EU rules that apply to third countries.

The government will also be publishing a technical notice on transfers of personal data between the UK and the EU.

To view the no-deal Brexit banking, insurance and other financial services technical note in full, click here.

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