The short answer to how will Brexit affect my benefits (at the time of writing this blog post) is nobody knows!
There are still very few plans in place to deal with the decision of the British people wanting to leave the EU. In fact, very few of those ‘in control’ of the country thought it would happen!
There is no doubt whatsoever that many things will change within the United Kingdom benefits system in the future. There will always be benefit changes whether we would have stayed in or left the EU.
The main difference having had the Brexit referendum is the lack of a government roadmap for the future. You might say that uncertainty rules at this point in time!
And the economy?
No one can say for sure what will happen to the UK economy in the long term. It is all guesswork and hope.
They said millions in extra funding per week would go to the NHS. Yet, does it really exist? We believe it never did exist in reality. It was a good sound-bite for some politicians during the campaign. But, now we are entering the real world of post-Brexit Britain.
So, What Will Happen to Your Benefit Rights?
The overriding mission for our team is to explain the benefits system and what is available – in a language that most claimants will understand. We are not part of the government. Nor do we support any political organisation.
Our aim is to provide clear information about the welfare benefits system and to get your rightful entitlement to them.
The situation and provision of benefits as it they exist at the moment will see no change in the near future. What is law now will remain so until changed by the government.
In an orderly transition for EU to self-governed status, we envisage no changes other than those already on the books. They include Pension age changes and the continuing incursion of Universal Credit across the country.
A worsening of the economic system could very likely change those exact suppositions. Watch this space… as they say!
Expats Abroad and Pensions
The main immediate changes to those claiming benefits will affect those who are in receipt of government and private pensions, but live abroad.
If you receive any form of pension paid in UK currency (Sterling GBP) you will convert it into the currency where you now reside – Europe or otherwise.
Thus, there will be considerable disruption to how much you actually receive after the currency conversion using one of the expat banking systems.
Currency fluctuation has always been a risk for those who choose to live abroad. But, the risk increases with the present state of international currency markets.
There should be no other effect on benefit payments in the immediate future. As for the distant and long term future, no-one knows. There is no government policy on how to react to Brexit. There is no roadmap in reality, only supposition.
One of the ‘promises’ made in the Brexit was that the Pension Triple Lock would remain in place whatever the outcome. They made that particular promise on the assumption that there would be a ‘remain’ victory.
The basic fact is that all benefits are paid out of the income the country generates from all sources. If that income reduces considerably, there will be less to spend on benefits, public services, public works, and local projects.
Many things are likely to change once Britain (or England as it might be) negotiates its way out of the EU. This country is not in the driving seat.
The demands from several powerful players within the EU are that Britain has made the decision and so the severance should go ahead place as soon as possible. Total severance will take several years. Even so, it does not mean that everything stands still during the negotiations.
So, will Brexit affect my benefits?
Further blog posts will keep you informed about your benefits rights as the situation evolves. It is not our place to comment on other significant changes that will occur when Brexit is done. The aim was to provide some insight for the claimants who asked “how will Brexit affect my benefits and allowances”.
Note: There will be no change to the rights and status of EU citizens currently living in the UK until 30 June 2021, or 31 December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal. You and your family can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK.
Staying Up to Date
This guidance taken from the GOV.UK website explains the rights of UK nationals in the EU, European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland to benefits and pensions if there’s a no-deal Brexit.
UPDATED SEPTEMBER 2019
UK pensions and benefits
The UK leaving the EU will not affect your entitlement to continue receiving your UK State Pension if you live in an EEA state or Switzerland.
The UK leaving the EU will also not affect the uprating of your UK State Pension in April 2020, April 2021 and April 2022 if you live in an EEA state or Switzerland.
You will carry on receiving other UK benefits you already receive while you are living in an EEA state or Switzerland, as long as you continue to meet the eligibility criteria.
Pensions and benefits paid by an EEA state or Switzerland
If you are paid a pension or benefit by an EEA state or Switzerland, check with the organisation that pays you to find out what will happen after Brexit.
Annuities and personal pensions from a UK pension provider
Your pension provider should have made plans to make sure you can still get payments from your annuity or personal pension after Brexit.
Your pension provider should contact you if they need to make changes to your annuity or pension or the way you are paid after Brexit.
If you have any questions, contact your pension provider.
UK workplace pensions
UK law allows for workplace pensions to be paid overseas. The government does not expect this to change after Brexit.
If you have any questions, contact your pension provider.
If your workplace pension is paid into a UK bank account, your bank should contact you if they need to change the way you receive your pension after Brexit.