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Pensions and the EU

Dear Sir,
I came to Majorca in 2002 with 32 years of national insurance contributions for my UK state pension. I was informed by the pension office in the UK that I only needed 30 years and I did not need to make further contributions. My wife was Spanish and she was informed she could add both UK contributions and her Spanish contributions together, so at 60 she claimed a rather small UK pension and at 65 she claimed her Spanish pension. A few years ago I found out that the UK government had moved the goal posts and that I now needed 35 years contributions towards my UK pension , so I started paying autonomous (self employed NI contributions) here in Majorca.

I will be 65 next year and have been paying my autonomous here for four years believing this would be more than enough to make up the shortfall in my UK pension. If I stay in Majorca and retire here I will lose my Spanish contributions because I need a minimum of 15 years here to receive a pension in Spain. However, if I return to the UK I can take my four or five years of Spanish contributions and add it to my UK pension. It is now very unclear if the UK leaves the EU what will happen to my Spanish contributions. Any advice would be very welcome.
Adrian Bertorelli


To be or not to be
(a member of EU that is)

Dear Sir,
It is of great interest to follow the arguments from the Stay and the Leave sides. My outlook is from a country (Norway) that is not an EU-member and twice voted not to seek membership: it was rather narrow, some 55% against 45%.

Norway is rather small with five million people and a reasonably strong economy. So what is the problem then, all happiness? Oh no, far from it! No country, big or small is an island. International cooperation and commerce require common rules, and the EU  is essential. That has to be accepted. Norway pays a LOT of money to gain access to EU’s inner market, more or less forced to apply to almost all of its rules and regulations, but as a non-EU member it has no seat at the negotiation table where the decisions are being taken.
Leif Krogstad
Palmanova


Expats voting rights

Dear Sir,
Mike Lillico’s letter (Sunday/Monday) to you implies that expats will not be permitted to vote depending on the length of years they have acquired living abroad. I have no wish to argue with his view (he is a joy to see in the Bulletin!), but I think this only applies to parliamentary elections, and as this referendum seriously affects expats, is unique, a once in a lifetime event, surely we residents who have retained their British citizenship, should have the right to a vote.

Perhaps, Mr Moore, you may be able to clarify and elucidate?
Yours sincerely
Phil Green
El Toro