How Brexit affects expats

European Union, EU, older expats, retired expats, pensions,

Older expats living in warmer European countries will eventually be affected by the vote to leave the EU...

The UK referendum vote to leave the EU will eventually affect the large numbers of British citizens living and working in the EU.  Many older people have moved to the warmer climes of southern Europe to enjoy the latter years of their life.

The good news is that while Britain negotiates its exit under article 50, nothing will change for British expats abroad because the UK will remain part of the EU during this period, likely to be at least two years.

The Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has said nothing would change for Britons in Spain while an exit was being negotiated - they will have the same rights they have enjoyed as EU citizens because they are still EU citizens.

What happens after Britain exits the EU depends on the type of deal our Government agrees with the EU.

Expats looking to work in member states could fall foul of the rule which exists in some EU countries, which says that you can only be hired if no other suitable candidate has been found within the EU area.

However, older retirees are the biggest group of British expats living in other EU countries and many use their pensions to fund their lives in the sunshine. These pensions will be affected by any currency swings, reducing in value as the pound depreciates post the referendum.

More worrying in the long term is whether their state pensions will be up-rated annually. At the moment UK citizens who live in the European Economic Area (and Switzerland) have their state pensions protected against inflation.

Following the Brexit vote, the UK government will decide whether this will continue or whether UK pensioners living in EU countries should have their pensions frozen.

At the moment, UK pensioners in the rest of the EU see their pension go up every year because of the single market principle which means pensions and other social security payments rise if you live in an EU member state. This mutual arrangement between the UK and the rest of the EU is now likely to form part of the renegotiation process.


Tags: retirement Expats pensions

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