Damien on… The Great British Pension Rip-Off: UPDATE!
I wrote the following a YEAR ago – BEFORE Brexit…
This ex-pat British writer is lucky enough to have been born some eighteen months AFTER the date he will qualify for the new Flat Rate UK Pension – and about three years BEFORE the date when that qualification will be increased to 66.
But that ends the good news. The bad news is he resides in a “non-reciprocal” country.
You see, many moons ago, HMG dreamed up a stonking wheeze; FREEZE the pensions of those lucky enough to escape the cold, wet misery of the Uke at the amount they get when they first receive it.
But there was a catch; they had this agreement with a number of countries that pensions would be paid by the pensioners’ “host” country. Thus if a couple retired to southern Europe or Florida, their pension would be paid by that country’s government. And conversely, a couple from those countries would receive their pensions from HMG, if they retired in the UK.
Which was great for HMG, since only people with senile dementia would want to retire FROM those places TO Britain.
However, while those countries would pay annual pension hikes to the British ex-pats, they would naturally expect the same deal for THEIR people – so HMG could not get away with treating those pensioners the same as THEIR OWN. Boo-hoo.
Although while none of the various pressure groups set up to try to REVERSE this rip-off have so far gotten anywhere, things are likely to CHANGE if Britain decides to LEAVE the EU, since the countries in southern Europe – where MOST ex-pat pensioners end up – would suddenly STOP paying the UK’s pensioners. Meaning HMG would take over – WITHOUT the annual hikes. Give it a few years and inflation would start to BITE – and so would those MANY ex-pat pensioners.
Sadly, too late to help THIS ex-pat pensioner; up to two years for the referendum – then a few more years for the dozy old buggers to realize their money is slowly buying less – plus a couple MORE years for them to start DOING something about it. Add to that however long it took for HMG to act and your humble scribe will likely be ASH.
Of course, HMG’s Flat Rate pension is ONLY good news for us ex-pat Brits. Predictably, it will DROP overall money for the vast majority of UK pensioners stuck in Blighty. As will EXTENDING the qualifying period, thus punishing those who retired early.
All of which is as sick as HMG’s RAISING the AGE of qualification; by a year, every five years, is their goal.
Naturally, a CARING, INTELLIGENT government would be LOWERING it by a year – EVERY year – to reduce Britain’s number one problem; UNEMPLOYMENT.
But they would rather DISTORT the figures for life expectancy, by including those for infant deaths a hundred years ago – when they were CHRONIC – and those who died in TWO WORLD WARS – so as to artificially LOWER the AVERAGE number for that time.
Then they continue the APPARENT rise since then – into the future, making it LOOK as though today’s twenty-somethings are likely to live well into their NINETIES.
Which is bollocks, of course. The TRUE life expectancy of Brits is 79 for men and 82 for women. And in the future, it is unlikely to rise more than a year or two (provided the UK’s smokers continue to be allowed to VAPE) – as in the past, it has only risen a year or two, mostly due to the Fifties inoculation programme (although if the scare-mongers manage to persuade parents to DENY their kids those inoculations, that situation could REVERSE).
But then, HMG are neither caring NOR intelligent – as they have spent the last seventy years clearly DEMONSTRATING…
…well, Brexit HAPPENED. And when the FALLOUT begins, HMG will have a MAJOR problem; some of those EU ex-pats will be forced to RETURN to the UK and when they do, the financial impact will be STAGGERING.
Suddenly, a whole raft of people will not only be entitled to their full pensions – but likely full RENT allowance (and UK rents are MASSIVE) – with huge MEDICAL costs to boot.
Of course, HMG will try every dirty trick in the book; like screwing them for the money they got for their villas and condos when they left their Places In The Sun.
However, by then, the SMART people will have BLOWN all that on new furniture, tellies, cars, paying off their kids’ credit cards, et al.
So ultimately, the bill will be WAY higher than if they simply pay ALL ex-pats their FULL pensions with NO MORE F***ING ABOUT!