Department for Work and Pensions
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Boost for pensioners in the EU

UK state pensioners currently living in the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland will continue to have their pensions increased annually.

Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement, UK state pensioners living in the EEA or Switzerland by 31 December 2020 will continue to have their UK State Pensions increased annually, in line with those in the UK.

Currently, the basic State Pension and new State Pension are increased by the “triple lock” mechanism, which ensures they will rise each year by the highest of either 2.5 per cent, the rate of inflation or average earnings.

People will get their UK State Pension uprated even if they claim it on or after 1 January 2021, as long as they meet the UK State Pension qualifying conditions and those of the Withdrawal Agreement.

Also under the Withdrawal Agreement, EEA citizens and Swiss nationals living in the UK can continue to claim benefits on the same terms as now, for as long as they remain lawfully resident and eligible.

The Immigration and Social Security Coordination Bill will ensure the UK can set new rules on benefits and social security. Entitlement for EEA citizens and Swiss nationals arriving in the UK from 1 January 2021 will be aligned with that of non-EEA/Swiss citizens. Non-EEA/Swiss citizens can usually access most benefits after they have been living in the UK for 5 years.

Additional information

About the Withdrawal Agreement:

  • the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act confirms these protections in UK domestic law
  • these protections will apply regardless of whether any agreement is reached on coordinating social security with the EU for the future
  • the position of those who do not fall within this group will be covered by the future relationship with the EU, which is yet to be negotiated
  • read the UK state pension qualifying conditions
  • full access to the UK benefit system will only be available after settled status is granted, typically after 5 years

For more information on benefits and pensions

Contact Press Office

Media enquiries for this press release – 020 3267 5144

Press Office

Caxton House
Tothill Street

London Press Office (national media and London area enquiries only – not questions about personal claims) 020 3267 5144

Out-of-hours (journalists only) 07623 928 975

England and Wales (local media enquiries) 029 20 586 then 097 or 098 or 099

Scotland (local media enquiries) 0131 310 1122

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