BREXIT - PENSION PROTECTION PROMISE
BRITISH Ambassador to Spain, Simon Manley has reassured expats they should continue to see an annual increase to their pensions post-Brexit.
He turned to social media on Monday to address a central issue which affects many British residents, and is part of the ongoing negotiations with the European Union.
A week ago, Mr Manley wrote an open letter – widely reported in the media – to British nationals in Spain concerning the talks between the British government and the EU and the UK’s departure from the bloc, stressing the issue of citizens’ rights for both sides were “a priority”.
On Facebook, he said in the offer put forward by Britain on June 26: “We said we wanted to continue to see the annual in- crease to the British state pension for those who live in the EU - a process known as uprating – and we wanted to see reciprocal agreement that issue.”
Mr Manley added: “So if you are a British state pensioner living in Spain, you should continue to see an annual increase to your British state pension even after we leave the EU.”
He said negotiations with “our EU partners”, including the issue of citizens’ rights, resumed at the end of August and expats would continue to be informed on the outcome of the talks.
A total of 550,000 British pensioners, 4% of all recipients of the State Pension and half the pensioners living overseas, are currently adversely affected by the government’s frozen pension policy.
This means that rather than the annual uprating received by UK pensioners their pension is frozen at the level first received for the rest of their life abroad.
In practice this means that their state pension decreases in real terms value year-on-year.
More than 95% of the ‘frozen’ pensioners live in Commonwealth countries such as Australia, Canada, South Africa and New Zealand, but also India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, many Caribbean islands and all African countries.
The countries where the pension is increased each year include the USA, all EU countries, Barbados, Bermuda, Israel, Jamaica, Mauritius and the Philippines.