UK State Pension after Britain's possible exit from EU?


(Kit Wells) #1

Just an idle thought - if the UK does leave the EU will I still get my State Pension paid as I'll no longer have EU ties with the UK? I don't know if this has been addressed before in this forum and, possibly, there is nothing to worry about, but I wouldn't like to think that Iain Duncan Smith (both of him) will take delight in depriving me of this life sustaining dosh.

(Brian Milne) #2

The arrangements were partially in place and some have even been stopped. such as Canada where I have a lot of family among them quite a few born in Scotland who went to join other relatives as adults, including some who retired to join their children. They were writing letters in protest some time ago. Anyway, pre-EU there were reciprocal agreements, Germany did not have one but whilst I occasionally worked in Norway (OK EFTA not EU) they did and as far as I remember Belgium did too when I was occasionally teaching in Ghent.

(Steve Hayes) #3

Can you find this announcement please, I've just had a google and failed?

It seems to be based on "reciprocal arrangements"; does anyone what that means, and also does anoyne know if such arrangements were in place before the UK joined the EU.

(David Evans) #4

Such a chestnut, this, david, as regards civil-servants creaming off generous pensions.... I could have earned 3 times my salary, at my level in the end, in the private taxation sector as opposed to within the Civil Service (and not forgetting civil-servants also pax their taxes in their entirity!)but stayed on because I wanted to remain in the secure pension package I had been paying into all my career. What's lucky, entitled or jammy about that?

(Carol Lavinia Fraser) #5

IDW has already announced it will be treated like those expats in Canada and Australia and will be frozen. The amoral IDS strikes again. God preserve us from failed political leaders

(Brian Milne) #6

I anything, in line with the WFP business I would say the auguries for France are not good because the overseas countries are as you say, the thing that made us into inhabitants of a tropical paradise in DWP terms.

(Paul Williams) #7

The countries where pensions are uprated are an ecletic lot ... see . I think it was all to do with making agreements with individual countries at a time of currency controls. It would be nice to know which European countries had reciprocal arrangements pre-European Union. The situation in Australia et al is absolutely scandalous, and obviously the UK is not seeking to do anythimng about it. One of the biggest arguments why UK expats need parliamentary representation ... but I digress.

For us in France, however, the auguries seem to be good because the French overseas territories are included in the list of reciprocal countries. UK civil servants wouldn't then leave France out after a Brexit ... would they?

(Brian Milne) #8

Deutsche Bank's investment arm is the one that is most at risk with up to 10,000 jobs at risk, however the City and Wall Street will be the worst hit by the fall out if economists are right. It looks like DB are being clever and protecting themselves at home and sacrificing foreign earnings. That might mean that £ might buy less €s which would not please me given how little my basic rate pension covers.

Weimar period inflation is not likely given the way contemporary finance is protected, but that we 'civilians' may well get the full brunt of what might happen goes without saying. In terms of putting it all into an historic context, we are in a political period of the kind that has inevitably led to conflict and right now with the Middle East it is right on our doorstep already, I have been very carefully looking at what has been happening and said beside Putin and Obama at the General Assembly and whilst they may well end up collaborating to put an end to the open Isis threat, what other nations are beginning to fear gives reason for worrying about the future - perhaps not ours because a fair few of us won't be around as long as it might be before it all goes to blazes.

Anyway, the economics are saying it will harder before it gets better if there ever is a recovery. The likes of IDS are simply rubbing salt in the wounds.

(Joe Moore) #9

By Jove, I think you’re right!

(Peter Scawen) #10

We can be quite certain that if the UK leaves the EU and with IDS still I/c DWP the State Pension will no longer be index linked for EU residents. That is almost definite irrespective of who is in political power at the time.

So what to do:

1) If you are like me, already retired, then you know your future income and if you do not have any discretionary income at some time in the future, and assuming as seems likely that the QE policy pursued by all Gov'ts will eventually lead to Weimar style inflation, one must downsize now or find some way to significantly reduce your out goings.

2) If you have not yet retired, then you have time to plan your future making sure you have enough capital to buy yourself an adequate life style with enough spare resource to deal with inflation. If my maths is correct even a 2% annual inflation will mean that you have to double your income (more or less) if you live 30 years post retirement

The only good news????, is that there are persistent rumours about the impending financial collapse of Deutsche Bank and if that happens, then the fall out in the Euro zone would be enormous with a potential collapse of the Euro which potentially means our UK based income will buy us more Euros, ignoring the local inflationary impact of course.

May I suggest you choose your political/ religious icon and pray furiously, long and hard, cross fingers and any other act that gives you solace.

Somewhat tongue in cheek

Peter S

(Brian Milne) #11

The problem is that the EEA consists of the 28 members of the EU plus three of the four EFTA countries. Trade and working people and their families will still be able to enter the UK as employees, job seekers and dependents of a citizen of the EEA under the 1994 agreement. In order to trade with the EEA member states the UK would need to sign new trade agreements with all of the 27 EU members and three EFTA members (all of whom plus Switzerland have treaties with the EU) and given the rebuff of leaving the EU it is easier to say that the UK would get such agreements that actually getting them. Some countries have said unofficially that if the UK leaves the EU then they have no intention of making any other agreements, which the Europhobes are all omitting to tell the public. Either way, trade with Europe would be entirely under EU/EEA regulations without any participation in decision making, no grants or rebates and yet quite large payments for the EEA membership. If the UK then left the EEA the country would be bankrupt very quickly, some economists think that with capital flight and transference, especially if finance houses leave the UK, that could begin after as little as 24 months. Food for thought.

(Joe Moore) #12

Let’s hope interest rates recover then. Do you have any thoughts about European Economic Area? It might be an option to keep trade flowing and some money still going to Brussels.

(Brian Milne) #13

That is a useful piece, thanks Steve. Whilst perusing myself I found complaints from people in the USA asking why their pensions had been frozen, so am somewhat befuddled or is it the pension service that is at odds with itself and the information it provides?

As for the deferring advice, that is what I did by 10 years with my German pension then proceeded to get ill and raise the risk of not living to draw it, so think about it unless anybody has 99% certainty that they will go the distance. The 1% covers road accidents, Martians with death rays and any other percentage unlikely events. I am opting for a lump sum at that time, so that I can put it in an account that pays interest so that my family can benefit from it come the time (if anything is left).

(Steve Hayes) #14

Well if the UK leaves what the EU says won't have any effect.

But it's not automatic, they are uprated in some countries (eg Barbados) and not others (eg Trinidad)!. USA yes, Oz NZ SA no.

But if inflation takes off then lots (lots) of retired people will have to turn into economic returnees and come back to UK which would be costly, far more expensive than young and middle aged families coming from Syria.

I found an article, The International Consortium of British Pensioners (ICBP) says the UK was the only country in the Organisation for Economic Development and Co-operation (OECD) that does not up-rate their state pension for all pensioners regardless of where they live.

(Brian Milne) #15

No. As and when (if I survive until then) I take my pension from another EU country I paid into, I get an annual increase linked to people in the country's rises. My OH has had her 'forecast' as it stands from her country which although not EU and only private (no state pension at all really) also has annual supplements. A freeze as discussed a couple of years ago would be in the case of the UK leaving the EU and given that IDS is very anti-EU it is possible although the UK is not proposing to leave the EEA which would mean that the argument for freezing it would have to be very convincing or else it would be in the ECJ very quickly. A top employment lawyer, I think it was Joanna Blackburn of Mishcon de Reya but stand to be corrected if wrong, has said that any attempt to freeze pensions within the EEA freedom of movement framework would lead to legal address and a couple of other lawyers are saying that any more UK defiance of EGJ judgements and the UK's position in the Council of Europe would be at risk. The real question must be how far the people who want the UK to be what it was a long time ago again (in their dreams) are willing to go.

(Brian Milne) #16

I imagine, he was actually a rough old sod with a proper work in the fields and as a metal worker who tried to help victims of a Tsarist purge and lost his job for it, so nearly left to go to the USA! Pity he went sour under Stalin given he did some good things earlier. But he stayed personally humbled rather than join the political elite.

Unlike the rest of them. Even Gorbi's villa is hardly little as I remember from the bus tour... Putin was never even a proper soviet type, even as a KGB man, he came into public life straight after the end of the Soviet Union with lots of money, a big foreign car and all the trimmings.

(David Rosemont) #17

I had a friend who lived in a flat in Moscow that had been Kruschev's. It was quite modest in fact, unlike Putin's monster onthe Black Sea.

(Brian Milne) #18

The sentiment and whatever came of those who first sang it and believed in it are so far apart David. I used to regularly shop in East Berlin and still have one of their little flags. It is a souvenir, but it does not mean I believe in the appalling Grotewohl, Stoph followed by Honecker dictatorship that fortunately crumbled under Krenz.

(David Rosemont) #19

Something to cheer you up Brian- I still have a disk (vinyl) of this I bought in Gym in 1962

(Brian Milne) #20

That has been a perpetually open question and yet it has always been the richest who are proportionately least affected by high taxation personally, although their 'business' might be, and are also the most adept at avoidance of payment by means legitimate and sometimes otherwise, Lord Ashcroft being a very obvious example at present, then the bill will be footed by the rest of us and for some that is harder than for others, however taxation is never altruistic so we pay and suffer. The ex-civil servants, ex-MPs, paid off executives with pension clauses in their contracts and so on will never know what we may, yet if they decide to 'retire' to the Virgin Isles or wherever with their privately invested or statutorily weighted pensions they do not need to share these thoughts. Ironically David, it is often thee and me who have worked hardest physically and mentally to achieve what we have who are those who are the least well treated and honoured by those who in many case reap the real benefits of what we have done.