HC Deb 04 May 1995 vol 259 cc307-8W
Mr. David Nicholson

To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what agreements exist for the payment of uprated UK pensions to UK expatriates resident in(a) Commonwealth, (b) EU and (c) foreign countries, what were the dates of these agreements; and if he will make a statement on the factors underlying the absence of such agreements with other countries in which numbers of UK expatriates are resident. [21784]

Mr. Arbuthnot

The information is in the table.

In order to enter into an agreement with the UK, the other country's social security scheme has to be sufficiently similar to provide reciprocity. Increasingly, there has to be sufficient movement of workers between the two countries to justify the outlay of resources to negotiate, operate and maintain the agreement. Above all, any additional benefit costs have to be affordable.

The great majority of UK pensioners overseas, over 350,000, who do not receive uprated pensions in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa. Although the UK has reciprocal agreements with Australia, Canada and New Zealand, they do not allow for pension increases to be paid. Because of the considerable costs involved, the Government have no plans to revise these three agreements, or to negotiate an agreement with South Africa or any other country, to pay uprated pensions.

Table of countries where annual pension increases are paid and the dates on which reciprocal social security agreements came into force
Country Date
(a) Commonwealth
Barbados1 1 April 1992
Bermuda November 1969
Cyprus 18 May 1957
Gibraltar 26 March 1974
Guernsey 4 April 1966
Isle of Man 28 October 1948
Jamaica 1 October 1972
Jersey 4 April 1966
Malta 29 October 1956
Mauritius November 1981
(b)EU and EEA2
Austria 1 October 1972
Finland 1 Feburuary 1984

Table of countries where annual pension increases are paid and the dates on which reciprocal social security agreements came into force
Country Date
Germany 1 August 1961
Iceland 1 August 1985
Republic of Ireland 4 April 1966
Norway 1 April 1991
Portugal 1 October 1979
Spain 1 April 1975
Sweden 1 May 1988
Israel 1 November 1957
Philippines 1 December 1989
Switzerland 1 June 1954
Turkey 1 June 1961
U.S.A. September 1969
Yugoslavia (including the former Republics) 1 September 1958
1 This agreement fulfils a commitment given to the Government of Barbados in 1974.
2 Annual pension increases must be paid to British citizens and other nationals of the European Union and the European Economic Area states living in the EU and EEA under the EC regulations on social security for migrant workers—regulation 1408/71. These regulations became binding on the Uk on 1 April 1973 and were extended to the EEA on 1 January 1994. The regulations largely supersede pre-existing reciprocal agreements with those countries. However, some such agreements remain relevant in respect of UK pensioners who are nationals of countries outside the EU and EEA, including the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. Those agreements only are listed under "EU and EEA".