Frozen British Pensions - EU/Brexit

Nigel Nelson made this Freedom of Information request to Department for Work and Pensions

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Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

There are currently over 400,000 UK Pensioners currently living in the EU (DWP Tabulation Tool - November 2015), and they currently receive the "triple lock" annual update to their UK State Pension.

It is my understanding that, at some point after Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty has been triggered, then these 400,000 UK Pensioners will potentially lose their annual update to their UK State Pension.

In the House of Commons Briefing Note on British Overseas Pensions (SN 01457) - http://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/R...
on page 4, there is the following statement:

"5. Between 1948 and 1955, the UK entered into reciprocal
agreements with France, Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands and
Luxembourg, which provided for payment of retirement pension
in the countries concerned. Upratings were paid. Pensions were
also payable, by a special arrangement, in the Republic of Ireland
but were not uprated until 1966".

I have two questions that I would be very grateful if you could answer for me:

1. After Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty has been enacted, the 400,000 UK Pensioners living in the EU technically (within the constraints of the current Pensions Bill - Clause 20) will no longer be eligible to receive the annual "triple lock" increase. Does this also include those countries listed above, who, prior to the UK joining the EU, had social security bilateral agreements with the UK, and, so therefore qualified for the annual uprating?

2. Is the list of countries - France, Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and the Republic of Ireland complete, or, are there additional EU/EEA countries that have bilateral agreements with the UK, and therefore the UK Pensioners living in those countries will still continue to receive the annual uplift to their pension.?

Thank you very much for considering these questions.

Yours faithfully,

Nigel Nelson

DWP freedom-of-information-requests, Department for Work and Pensions

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DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

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Please see the attached reply to your Freedom of Information request

Yours sincerely

DWP Strategy FoI team

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Dear DWP Strategy Freedom of Information,

Ref: FoI 2801

Many thanks for your response, but I think that you have misunderstood my request - if it is the way that I phrased it, then I apologise, so I will try and clarify it here.

Which countries in the EEA had pre-existing social security (bilateral) agreements with the UK, such that UK pensioners living in those countries receive the annual uprate to the state pension. By pre-existing I mean which countries in the EEA had negotiated a bilateral agreement with the UK prior to them joining the EEA. France is an example.

I hope that this clarifies the issue, but, if not, please let me know.

Many thanks

Yours sincerely,

Nigel Nelson

Dear DWP Strategy Freedom of Information,
FoI 2801

I thought that the two questions I was asking were specific enough, but it appears not.

The UK has bilateral social security agreements with at least 6 EU/EEA countries, which were negotiated prior to the UK joining the EU. Of the remaining countries that are currently in the EU/EEA, does the UK have recipricol social security agreements which were negotiated prior to the UK joining the EU/EEA, and, if so, which countries?

Where the UK has entered into bilateral social security agreements with EU/EEA countries (prior to the UK joining the EU/EEA), will these bilateral social security agreements be re-implemented once the Brexit negotiations have been completed? In other words, will they still be valid once Brexit negotiations have been completed?

Thank you very much

Yours sincerely,

Nigel Nelson

DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

Thank you for your Freedom of Information review request.

Please note that it is our internal target to answer reviews within 20 working days unless I need to come back to you to clarify your request, or the balance of the public interest test needs to be considered which we will keep you informed about.

If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

DWP Strategy FoI Team

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Your right to complain under the Freedom of Information Act

If you are not happy with this response you may request an internal review by e-mailing [DWP request email] or by writing to DWP, Central FoI Team,
Caxton House, Tothill Street, SW1H 9NA. Any review request should be submitted within two months of the date of this letter. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

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www.ico.org.uk/Global/contact_us or telephone 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745

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Dear Department for Work and Pensions,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of Department for Work and Pensions's handling of my FOI request 'Frozen British Pensions - EU/Brexit'. FOI 2801

I have not had a response to the FOI request above since late August - we are now into October, so I believe that I should have had a response by now. I think I started this FOI request in June. I am asking factual, legal questions. I am nor asking for an opinion, please just give me the legal facts.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/f...

Thank you for your kind attention,

Yours faithfully,

Nigel Nelson

DWP freedom-of-information-requests, Department for Work and Pensions

This is an automated confirmation that your request for information has
been accepted by the DWP FoI mailbox.
 
By the next working day your request will be forwarded to the relevant
information owner within the Department who will respond to you direct. 
 
If your email is a Freedom of Information request you can normally
expect a response within 20 working days.
 
Should you have any further queries in connection with this request do
please contact us.
 
For further information on the Freedom of Information Act within DWP
please click on the link below.
 
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DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

Thank you for your Freedom of Information review request.

Reference: IR 433

Please note that it is our internal target to answer reviews within 20 working days unless I need to come back to you to clarify your request, or the balance of the public interest test needs to be considered which we will keep you informed about.

If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

DWP Strategy FoI Team

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Your right to complain under the Freedom of Information Act

If you are not happy with this response you may request an internal review by e-mailing [DWP request email] or by writing to DWP, Central FoI Team,
Caxton House, Tothill Street, SW1H 9NA. Any review request should be submitted within two months of the date of this letter. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office for a decision. Generally the Commissioner cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted our own complaints procedure. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF
www.ico.org.uk/Global/contact_us or telephone 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745

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DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

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Please accept our apologies for the long delay and see the attached reply to your Freedom of Information request.
 

Yours sincerely
 
DWP Strategy FoI Team

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Dear DWP Strategy Freedom of Information,

Firstly, many thanks for your response - clearly, you have done a great deal of research in compiling your response, and I do want you to know that I am grateful. However, I do not believe that it is answering my question.

Just to be clear, my question was:

Where the UK has entered into bilateral social security agreements with EU/EEA countries (prior to the UK joining the EU/EEA), will these bilateral social security agreements be re- implemented once the Brexit negotiations have been completed? In other words, will they still be valid once Brexit negotiations have been completed?

So, for example, if you look in Parliamentary Briefing Note SN 1457 (http://researchbriefings.files.parliamen...) on page 4, point 5 at the bottom of the page, it identifies 6 countries (Ireland, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Switzerland, and Luxembourg) as having social security bilateral agreements with the UK prior to the UK joining the Common Market in 1973, such that these countries receive the annual Uprating of the UK state pension. Are there any other EEA countries that negotiated similar agreements with the UK prior to them joining the Common Market in 1973? What I am trying to achieve is to compile a list of EEA countries which might receive the annual Uprating to the UK state Pension post Brexit (without including any negotiations that might happen as part of the Brexit negotiations).

Can you please tell me if the 6 countries I identified above (Ireland, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Switzerland, and Luxembourg) (plus any countries that you may identify in my point above) will automatically continue to receive that annual indexation to their UK state pension, post Brexit?

I do appreciate the amount of work you have done so far, and, again I thank you for it.

Many thanks

Yours sincerely,

Nigel Nelson

DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

Thank you for your Freedom of Information review request.

Reference: IR 93

Please note that it is our internal target to answer reviews within 20 working days unless I need to come back to you to clarify your request, or the balance of the public interest test needs to be considered which we will keep you informed about.

If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

DWP Strategy FoI Team

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Your right to complain under the Freedom of Information Act

If you are not happy with this response you may request an internal review by e-mailing [DWP request email] or by writing to DWP, Central FoI Team,
Caxton House, Tothill Street, SW1H 9NA. Any review request should be submitted within two months of the date of this letter. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office for a decision. Generally the Commissioner cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted our own complaints procedure. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF
www.ico.org.uk/Global/contact_us or telephone 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745

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DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

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Mr Nelson
 
Please see copy of your FoI request attached
 
 
 
 

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Dear DWP Strategy Freedom of Information,

Thank you for your response. This request has taken over 6 months, and I still do not have a clear answer to my questions.. What I am asking for is a clarification of the current laws and regulations related to the paying of a UK State Pension to 6 overseas countries. Those pensioners living in Ireland, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Switzerland, and Luxembourg who receive a UK State Pension also receive the annual Uprating to their UK state pension - I will refer to these pensioners as "cohort A". Post Brexit, the UK government will no longer be legally obliged to uprate the UK State Pension to those pensioners in the cohort A group of pensioners.

However, since these six countries - Ireland, France, Italy, The Netherlands,Switzerland and Luxembourg had negotiated social security bilateral agreements with the UK prior to the UK entering the Common Market in 1973, will the pensioners in cohort A, as defined above, continue to receive the annual Uprating to their UK State Pension post Brexit based on the laws and regulations that are currently in place? This is the information that I have been asking for over the last six months.

Thank you very much for considering my request.

Yours sincerely,

Nigel Nelson

DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

Thank you for your Freedom of Information review request.

Reference: IR 121

Please note that it is our internal target to answer reviews within 20 working days unless I need to come back to you to clarify your request, or the balance of the public interest test needs to be considered which we will keep you informed about.

If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number above.

Yours sincerely

DWP Strategy FoI Team

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Your right to complain under the Freedom of Information Act

If you are not happy with this response you may request an internal review by e-mailing [DWP request email] or by writing to DWP, Central FoI Team,
Caxton House, Tothill Street, SW1H 9NA. Any review request should be submitted within two months of the date of this letter. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review you may apply directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office for a decision. Generally the Commissioner cannot make a decision unless you have exhausted our own complaints procedure. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF
www.ico.org.uk/Global/contact_us or telephone 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545745

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DWP Strategy Freedom of Information, Department for Work and Pensions

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Mr Nelson
 
Please see copy of your FoI request attached
 
 
 
 

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