UK government confirms 'no guarantee' for EU expat pensions in no-deal Brexit

Pedro Gonçalves
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UK government confirms 'no guarantee' for EU expat pensions in no-deal Brexit

Britons living in the EU have no guarantee their pensions will continue to be uprated every year in a no-deal Brexit , according to the UK government.

Currently, UK citizens who have retired to EU countries are entitled to receive annual inflation increases to their UK state pension, in line with pensioners receiving payments in the UK.

In guidance published this week the Department for Work & Pensions stated the UK leaving the EU would not affect entitlement to the UK state pension and that it was committed to uprating across the EU in 2019 to 2020.

But beyond that period uprating will depend on whether the EU reciprocates.

"We would wish to continue uprating pensions beyond that but would take decisions in light of whether, as we would hope and expect, reciprocal arrangements with the EU are in place."

In its guidance the DWP also advised UK citizens living in the EU, and receiving an annuity or personal pension from a UK firm, to check whether their payments would continue under a no deal scenario.

"If you live in the EEA and have an annuity or personal pension with a UK-based firm, your firm should have made plans to make sure you can still get payments from your annuity or personal pension, even if the UK leaves the EU without a deal," said the DWP guidance.

"If your firm needs to make any changes to your annuity or personal pension or the way it provides it, your firm should contact you. "If you have any concerns about whether you might be affected you should contact your firm."

Half of the more than one million British pension recipients living abroad are not entitled to yearly cost of living increases. Canada, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, among others, are some of the Commonwealth countries where the pensions do not see an annual bump which has sparked a campaign to change the legislation, as reported by International Investment.

 

High taxes could hasten bank moves from UK after Brexit

Britain's banking industry is going on the offensive to campaign for lower taxes as bank lobby group said that the UK risks driving banks overseas if current high levels of taxation on the industry are maintained after Brexit. 

UK Finance, which represents major lenders, issued the broadside alongside figures to help make its case, which suggested the sector currently pays £1 in every £8 of corporation tax in the UK.

The sums, based on analysis by PwC, showed banks handed over a total of £36.7bn to the Treasury in tax during the last financial year.

London banks face an effective tax rate on profits of 50.6%, above the 43.8% in Frankfurt, and 34.2% in New York.

There is also a more than 20% gap between London and the lowest taxers, Singapore and Dubai, at 23.2% and 22.7% respectively.

"At a time when domestic and international events are forcing many banks to restructure their global operations, it is important to consider the UK's competitiveness relative to other leading financial centres," UK Finance chief executive Stephen Jones said.

UK Finance said the industry's contribution to the public finances was £5.4bn up since 2014, with banks now paying the equivalent of 50.4% of their total profits in taxes.

The British government announced on Tuesday that it would implement its no-deal Brexit contingency plans in full, which will include putting 3,500 troops on standby and reserving ferry space for supplies.