bobscott wrote:...With regard to the second paragraph, I fail to see what reciprocity has to do with anything! Why should the UK care if EU countries uprate the pensions of their citizens living in the UK? Don't get it. Bob.
The reciprocity referred to is not just on uprating but on all pension issues. Usually reciprocal pension agreements are quite wide ranging and cover a lot of issues, e.g how are contributions in different countries dealt with, who pays the pension and what determines that etc etc.
All governments would love to find a reason to not
uprate pensions if they could get away with it. Fortunately most governments have to function under rule of law. They can make whatever law they want, provided they can get it through parliament, but once they have made a law they have to work within that law. The UK has made a quite general law that it will only uprate pensions for people living in countries where they have a reciprocal pension agreement with the UK. Some countries, for whatever reason, don't want to have a reciprocal agreement with the UK or at least not under the sort of terms the UK government would want. UK citizens living in those countries don't get their pensions uprated. If the UK government cannot reach a full reciprocal pension agreement with countries like Greece when it has left the EU but continued to uprate pensions of UK citizens living in Greece then it would lay itself open to a legal challenge from UK citizens living in every other country where there is no agreement.
It is a bit, but not exactly, like the winter fuel allowance. For many years they didn't pay it to pensioners living abroad. That was challenged within the EU on the grounds that it discriminated against people on the basis of where they lived within the EU which is against EU law. The challenge was successful and the UK government started to make the payments to EU residents. They then very rapidly changed the law to base the right on mean winter temperature. They chose the hottest part of the UK as the reference, so everybody living in the UK would still qualify but many in the EU would not. They then discovered that UK citizens living in France, which is a significant number of people, would still qualify so they modified the rule to incorporate overseas territories, i.e. in the case of France those in the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean. It didn't get them out of paying altogether but it excluded some of the biggest ex-pat concentrations in Spain, France, Italy and Greece.
They do the same thing with benefits. They create a new benefit so they can brag about how they are caring for people and so win votes but make it extremely difficult to claim the benefit. I once filled out the forms to claim carers' allowance for my mother. Everything that was allowed under the scheme she would not have contemplated under any circumstances, e.g. somebody coming to the house to wash her. Everything she desperately needed and could not live an independent life without was excluded from the scheme. She got the benefit so I guess my creative writing skills are better than I thought.