Osborne sets out plans to help Greece-based UK pensioners


The Government has set out plans to help thousands of Greece-based UK pensioners who could be affected by the unfolding crisis in the country.

In a statement to Parliament yesterday, Chancellor George Osborne said there are 40,000 British residents in Greece, with some 6,000 receiving payments from the Department for Work and Pensions.

The Greek government has announced a bank holiday until a referendum on EU austerity demands for the country has been held on 5 July.

Withdrawals from Greek banks have been limited to €60 per day per account for Greek accounts. The Greek bank accounts of these British residents are subject to these restrictions, although their UK bank accounts are not affected.

Osborne said: “International payments into Greece are exempt from the restrictions that the Greek authorities have placed on the banking system.

“That means that UK government payments, including state pension and public service pension payments should be permitted and I can confirm that those payments will continue to be made in the usual way.

“However the situation remains fast moving and uncertain, we will keep it under review and I recognise that people may be concerned.

“I have asked the Department for Work and Pensions and public service pension administrators, to attempt to contact people that draw a British state or public sector pension from a Greek bank account.

“These people will be helped to switch these payments to a non-Greek bank account if they wish.”

Greece has until today, when its bailout expires, to pay back a €1.6bn (£1.1bn) loan to crisis lender the International Monetary Fund. If it fails to do so it faces defaulting and the possibility of leaving the eurozone.