UK government writes to pensioners living in EU/EEA to guarantee payment of state pension

The UK government is writing to British pensioners living in the EU to reassure them that their state pensions will continue to be paid when the UK leaves the EU, even in the event of a no deal Brexit. The letters will be sent to more than 363,000 pensioners next week, to tell them that their pensions will continue to be paid and will also continue to be uprated for at least a further three years: an increase of at least 2.5 per cent per year for the duration of this Parliament.

The government says it will then seek to negotiate a new arrangement with the EU to ensure that the uprating continues beyond 2023. The current arrangement will also apply to UK pensioners living in the EEA states that are not also EU Member States (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway); and to those living in Switzerland.

Recipients of the letter will be told that they do not need to take any action to be sure their pension will continue to be paid, although a new dedicated call centre has been established to answer any queries they may have.

Work and Pensions Secretary Dr Therese Coffey said that UK pensioners living in Europe who have been paying 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,” she continued. “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.”

But the government has already been criticised for failing to guarantee to index-link these pensions in future. The value of pensions paid to UK pensioners living in the EU and EEA states has fallen by roughly 20 per cent since 2016 as a result of the fall in the value of Sterling since the EU Referendum.

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