British expat pensioners not returning to UK

New statistics show that there is no evidence yet to suggest that expat British pensioners are returning to the UK from the EU.

In fact, “the number of State Pension recipients’ resident in other EU countries has risen steadily over the last five years, continuing a long-term trend,” the Office of National Statistics (ONS) report.

The statistics found that around 340,000 recipients of British pensions currently live in other EU countries, excluding Ireland. Meanwhile, only 85,000 people aged 65 and over from other EU countries (excluding Ireland) are living in the UK.

Tom Selby, senior analyst at AJ Bell, said that the mass exodus of pensioners that some had feared following last year’s Brexit vote has not materialised.

“It may be that those considering returning to the UK are awaiting clarity on how the final deal will affect them,” he said. “For many retired expats whether or not their state pension continues to rise in line with the triple-lock will be just one of a number of factors to be considered.

The ONS report noted that there are currently some 121,000 ‘older Brits’ living in Spain, more than double the number there 10 years ago. The number of people in this age group who have been moving to Spain, however, has not gone up significantly since 2008. Therefore, the recent increase is likely to be due to people who have lived there for many years getting older.

The report also found that Italy is the country whose older citizens living in the UK “most outnumber the older people from Britain living there”. Most Italians who moved to the UK in the 1950s, 1960, and 1970s are now aged 65 and over.

Article published 6th September 2017