Monday, September 26, 2011

Unfair Financial Burden for retired Britons in France

Other 'posts' on this blog deal with the substance of this.
Consider an elderly couple who retired to France before 1998. We will call them Mr and Mrs. Briton.  He is now over 80  and was a teacher.

1. His teacher's pension is (in euros) 24,000 euros, which is entirely taxed in Britain. This tax is 2627 euros (equivalent of £2285.5)This sum would be zero if this income (as a sole income) were taxed in France. see note a/.

2. Because they retired to France before the institution of the Winter Fuel Payment they do not receive it.  This amounts to £300 at present for the over 80s = 344 euros

3. They need to find 1500 euros minimum for top-up health insurance. EU law decreees that the UK is the Competent State to carry the costs of their health care. But it does not happen.

How much do they lose out taking on board EU law?

The total they appear miss out on and/or have to find is 2627+344+1500 = 4471 euros. But note later- we need to take in their other pension - The State Retirement Pension, which is their only other income. Although taxable in France it is too little to attract more tax.

If EU law on health costs as it appears to be written was observed  they would have no health costs. see note b/.

IF all their income were taxed in France then one has to include their joint State retirement pension (11640 euros) in the calculations of taxable income in France. The French Tax bill would be  1812 euros.  This is 815 euros less than their existing UK tax bill.  The amount they lose out on then has to be recalculated as   815+344+1500 = 2659 euros

So, if all were really fair for this elderly British couple they would have an extra 2659 euros a year to enjoy life.

When they retired the exchange rate between £ and France was very favourable and these financial matters were not particularly important. Since then the £ has collapsed and they are watching the centimes.

Notes .. a. link to posting  .  'Taxation- in-France-& -UK'  ........................
          b. see EU Regulation 883/2004 Article 24. Link 'Health Costs Legal Position'

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Mr David Burrage the legal advisor and co-founder of the Spanish Expatriates Association informs me that it is his opinion that all elderly Britons  in Europe should receive this benefit (with provisos as described below).

I extract the following from his information.  Some important elements are highlighted . 
 Put simply we take the view that where the UK is and has remained the Competent State for the award of social security benefits. That is;

(a) Where you have not activated social security rights through some economic activity in another relevant State  and where;

(b) You have a social security linking with the UK through;

(i) Past residence,
(ii) Past social security contributions,
(iii) Previous NI credits or,
(iv) Where you are in receipt of some other social security benefit, including your State ‘old age‘ pension and

(c) You have attained the age of 60 years in the qualifying year 2011/2012 providing you were born before 5 January 1951.

Then you are entitled to make a first claim, even though you may be resident outside the UK and elsewhere within the EEA or Switzerland.

Send the completed form to DWP, PO Box 10142, Annesley, Nottingham NG15 5WY. You should also send your original birth certificate.
Always keep copies and send any correspondence by certificated mail.

We suspect that the DWP will currently be in denial of the most recent case law of the ECJ and will refuse your claim on the erroneous basis that you were not ordinarily resident in GB at the date of your claim. Nevertheless, if you are to complain the matter, then you can do so following any refusal of your claim.

We have briefly addressed this matter to the Commission in the light of their recent press release  and await their response. 
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