The UK government has quashed concerns it may stop increasing the state pension in line with inflation after Brexit for almost half a million expats retired in EU countries.
In a previous policy paper, the UK pledged only to maintain the triple lock if the EU reciprocated with its own expat citizens in the UK. a stance that caused panic in the expat community, since their pensions would effectively be frozen.
But in response to a written parliamentary question on the issue, Conservative peer Baroness Peta Buscombe, undersecretary of state with the department for work and pensions, said this Tuesday the government "will uprate the UK state pension for those living in the EU in 2019-20".
UK expats who have retired to the bloc receive the so called triple lock uprating, meaning their state pension rises in line with the highest of average earnings, inflation or 2.5%.
Buscombe added: "We want to secure continued reciprocal arrangements covering the uprating of State Pensions in the EU even in the event of a ‘no deal' exit," seeming to refer to DExEU's previous statement.
The UK state pension "will continue to be payable worldwide following the UK's departure from the EU," she said.
Analysts at AJ Bell estimate it will cost the government around £400m a year to do this.
In the event of a no-deal Brexit and a EU refusal to reciprocate, it is unclear what will happen to the pensions of British expats after 2020.