To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether the reciprocal pension rights of UK and Belgian nationals who have yet to reach state retirement age, which were accrued in Belgium or in the UK before the end of the transition period, are the subject of bilateral negotiations towards agreement between the UK and Belgium.
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the Government's policy is on UK nationals' access to accrued state pension entitlements in the event that a reciprocal bilateral agreement on state pension entitlements is not agreed with Belgium; and which Minister is responsible for that policy.
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement, and its integrated social security protocol, provides for UK nationals who worked and accrued state pension entitlements in Belgium before 1 January 2021, but have not reached state pension age, to maintain their state pension rights accrued in Belgium payable on the date they would be eligible for state pension under the Belgian system, including with any indexation increases.
Further to my reply of 9th March 2021 (UIN 162545), State Pension arrangements remain unchanged following the UK’s Exit from the EU including for UK nationals who have relevant social security contributions in Belgium, as well as other EU member states.
All UK State Pension recipients in the EU will have their State Pension paid (including annual increases) in line with rates in the UK. These arrangements have been agreed with the EU and all its member states on a reciprocal basis in the Withdrawal Agreement for those who moved across borders up to 31 December 2020 and in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement for those who move across borders from 1 January 2021. This means that Belgium, and other EU Member States, will reciprocate the position outlined above in relation to pension entitlement in those States.
The Department for Work and Pensions, together with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and other departments, are working with the European Union and its Member States to ensure that that the Citizen's Right provisions under the agreements with the EU are implemented on both sides.
The UK Government is not entering any unilateral negotiations with Belgium on State Pensions.