EU citizens in the UK: benefits and pensions in a ‘no deal’ scenario

This guidance explains the rights of EU citizens in the UK to benefits and pensions if the UK leaves the EU without an agreement (a ‘no deal’ scenario).

I am an EU citizen living in the UK. Will I be able to keep claiming benefits?

Yes. EU citizens and their family members living in the UK by 29 March 2019 will be able to continue receiving UK benefits on broadly the same terms as now.

Will EU citizens still be able to transfer benefits abroad?

Yes, as long as the benefit is already in payment to recipients living in EU countries and recipients still meet entitlement criteria for the benefit concerned. This entitlement may be different in future if domestic policy for UK nationals changes.

Will EU citizens who have private occupational pensions in the UK still be able to receive them abroad?

There is nothing in UK private occupational pensions legislation that prevents occupational pension schemes from making pension payments overseas. We do not expect that this will change as a result of the UK withdrawing from the EU.

Will EU citizens wanting to move to the UK after 29 March 2019 be able to claim benefits?

We are still looking at different options for this in the event the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Any changes to accessing benefits after 29 March 2019 will be in line with Home Office systems and will be based on any future agreements with the EU.

UK and Ireland agreement

The UK government has announced an agreement on social security with Ireland, guaranteeing continued access to State Pension and benefits for UK and Irish citizens and their qualifying family members when in the other’s state.

This means the rights of UK and Irish citizens living and working in each other’s state are protected after the UK leaves the EU – including transferring certain benefits like child benefit and disability benefits – if there’s no deal.

Published 18 December 2018
Last updated 15 February 2019 + show all updates
  1. Added information about the UK's agreement with Ireland on social security rights.
  2. Updated the question about private pensions to clarify these are private occupational pensions.
  3. Updated the answer to the question about whether EU citizens wanting to move to the UK after 29 March 2019 will be able to claim benefits.
  4. First published.