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Pensions and health face unclear future

Our new life outside Europe... your guide to how things are likely to change

By John Mulgrew

Published 25/06/2016

Expats living in the EU could find the value of their pensions hit after sterling took huge a dive yesterday following news of the vote for Brexit. File image
Expats living in the EU could find the value of their pensions hit after sterling took huge a dive yesterday following news of the vote for Brexit. File image

Expats living in the EU could find the value of their pensions hit after sterling took huge a dive yesterday following news of the vote for Brexit.

Commentator and owner of Ultonia Communications Ian James Parsley said everything was "all up in the air".

"My instinct in terms of what they (expats) get is, if you live in Spain you would get your pension," he added.

"The problem is, sterling has declined in value, so they have lost a proportion of that - and they are living in the eurozone.

"That's the main problem at the moment, and I know some expats voted to remain (for that reason).

"There is a risk that countries such as Spain may say, 'We don't need you' - they could remove the healthcare aspect. In extreme cases, they could say, 'Get out of the country'."

Tina McKenzie, managing director of Diamond Recruitment Group, echoed the concerns over health services.

She also claimed that the working of pensions could become a serious problem in the post-Brexit landscape.

Whatever happens, "it will take years to untangle this", the recruitment boss warned.

"People will not see any changes for years," she said. "The markets will settle."

Experts also warned people to tread carefully with their pensions and consider taking professional advice before making any rash decisions in a volatile environment.

Some additionally suggested that there could now be a number of far-reaching changes to the State pension.

It is believed that these could include raising the age of eligibility or getting rid of the triple-lock mechanism that ensures the State regularly increases the pension by a certain amount.

Tom McPhail, who is head of retirement policy at financial services firm Hargreaves Lansdown, said annuity rates - which give people who are retiring a guaranteed level of income - had already fallen amid the fallout of the UK voting to leave the European Union.

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