Retired British Expatriates Hit By New State Pension Rule
An article published in the Telegraph stated some fishy figures in regards to the state pension received by British expatriates abroad every year. But once you push past all the suspect numbers, you will see that the Government in Britain is hell bent on making the lives of retired British expatriates a total misery. The only possible justifying reason would be, to put a halt to these Brits getting their hands on state pension benefits which they are completely entitled to receive.
In the article written about the 2013 Autumn Budget Statement, the British government is set to enforce that retired British expatriates abroad, prove that they are still alive and breathing every two years. The Government in Britain has been forced to take this course of action, because some of the beneficiaries of British pensioners who have died are still collecting an income.
The article that was written in the Telegraph then went on to claim that if the Treasury follows through with this ruling, they will be in much more advantageous position. A position which will see the Treasury save tens of millions of pounds in each coming year.
You will not be able to hide your estate from the British government
One issue with this article is not the numbers. The main gripe with the article, is the very fact the government is not keeping a close check on the payments it is making to individuals. Which means they could still be paying benefits to many who are very old. Furthermore, this ruling only helps the British government keep tabs on individuals for when they do die. Doing so will make it easier for them to look closely at the inheritance tax issue.
So while you can change your country of residence, you cannot change your domicile. And because you cannot change your domicile, no matter where you live in the world the British government will still be able to lay claim on the estate that is left behind.
If you live in a nation that does not share any key information with the United Kingdom, then it becomes your job to make sure that you provide the necessary proof to show that you are still living. The only purpose to this is so the state pension can still be paid. If you are one of the many retired British expatriates abroad, then the proof you will have to provide comes in the shape of a self-declaration form that has been signed by you. With the signature needing to be witnessed. This again becomes the sole responsibility of the pensioner.
Will this administrative headache save the government any money? Well according to the article in the Telegraph, documents released with the Autumn Statement said that the government would be better of to the tune of £45 million over the coming two years starting next year.
It is still hard to see how the ruling would generate such a large amount of money. Quite possibly, the only way this would be feasible, is by the added revenue the government would realise through inheritance taxation. Especially from those who have died and escaped the web of the British government.