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Will UK pension increases apply to state pensioners in France?

The Brexit deals safeguarded certain entitlements for Britons abroad

We look at the post-Brexit rules on UK pension increases paid to residents in France Pic: ITTIGallery / Shutterstock

Reader question: Are there any moves to get recent British pension increases payable to Britons in France? I have lived here for 27 years but paid tax in the UK and do not see why I should suffer financial shortcomings.

Due to the two Brexit deals, the right to ‘uprated’ UK state pensions has continued for British state pensioners who live in France and elsewhere in the EU. 

This comes with the small proviso that the Trade and Cooperation Agreement allowed a theoretical possibility of this being renegotiated after 15 years, but this would only concern people who moved since January 1, 2021. 

Assuming the UK retains this policy, uprating includes the ‘triple lock’, so pensions rise each April by the highest of average earnings, consumer price rises, or 2.5%. 

This is a benefit, compared to countries without a pension deal with the UK, such as Australia or Canada, where pensions are frozen when a person moves abroad. 

You might also be thinking of the ‘new’ UK state pension introduced in 2016. 

This can be more or less than the previous regime, which included a ‘basic’ pension plus a possible top-up called Additional State Pension, depending on employment/contribution history. 

People who began claiming before 2016 cannot opt for the ‘new’ pension, irrespective of where they live.

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