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Recortes de Prensa

Expat pensioners see incomes fall by 12pc as pound weakens

The Daily Telegraph, 22 | 09 | 2009 - Noticia

State pension recipients who live overseas have seen their pension income cut by as much as 12pc in just two months because of the recent falls in the value of the pound

Those who have retired to Commonwealth countries such as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa have seen their pensions fall by about 12pc as sterling has lost value against the local currencies.

Expats who retired to eurozone countries such as Spain have seen pension incomes fall by about 7.5pc.

For example, pensioners living in Australia have seen the value of their British state pension, £628 a month for a couple, fall by 151 Australian dollars in just two months. This is equivalent to £80 at the current rate of 1.86 Australian dollars to the pound. At its recent peak in mid-July, a pound bought 2.1 Australian dollars, according to figures from HiFX, a currency specialist.

In New Zealand, £628 was worth 1,639 NZ dollars at a recent high in early July but the same amount will now buy just 1,413 dollars, a fall of 226 dollars in less than three months.

It is a similar story in South Africa, where £628 bought 8,597 rand in early August. The slump in the pound means that this sum is now worth just 7,511 rand – a fall of 1,086 rand, equivalent to £90.50, in a little over a month.

Expat pensioners in the euro area have also been affected, although less severely. In mid-June the pound had recovered from previous falls to reach €1.19, meaning that a monthly pension of £628 bought €747. It is now trading at €1.10, causing the value of the pension to fall by €56 or 7.5pc to €691.

In America, the exchange rate has fallen from $1.70 to $1.61 since early August, causing a $57 decline in the value of a £628 pension from $1,068 to $1,011.

Mark Bodega of HiFX said: “In the current economic slowdown everyone is feeling the pinch. However, Britons living in Europe and receiving a fixed income in sterling are being hit particularly hard.

“In the past two years we have seen unprecedented volatility in the currency markets with the value of sterling fluctuating by over 30pc against the euro.”

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