What will a Brexit vote really mean for your pension?

Trying to figure out how Britain leaving the European Union will affect pensions is one of the referendum issues for retirement savers.

Both the Leave and remain campaigners have tried to paint the answer in black and white.

Both sides seem to agree a Brexit would probably lead to a much weaker pound that will trigger both higher interest rates and rising inflation.

Either way, it’s hard to see how this will not benefit retirement savers.

One of the big moans since the financial crisis has been financial easing has pulled down interest rates leaving many in retirement with little or no return from their income.

Low interest rates have also affected payments from annuities and the yields from government gilts.

Dealing with a higher cost of living

If this is the case, then a Brexit triggering higher interest rates is surely good for pensioners.

A rise in the cost of living also seems a positive move for any expat receiving the index-linked state pension.

Any rise in inflation would set off the Prime Minister David Cameron’s triple lock pledge to increase the state pension.

While the minimum annual increase is 2.5%, should inflation or average wages bust through this ceiling, the state pension would go up by more.

Expats without an index linked state pension have lost the benefit of the increase already and just stand to build more paper losses.

Doing nothing is a good option

Expats with workplace or personal index linked pensions are also likely to gain from any rising inflation after a Brexit.

Regardless of the Brexit vote, cashing in lump sums, selling investments or other damage limitation exercises are unlikely to have any long term effect on retirement savings.

Finding a safe haven for the cash may be difficult – it can only go in the bank or back into an investment and shifting the money will involve costs and tax that might never be recouped.

Sitting tight is probably the best course of action for retirement savers. This will give some time to take stock on where the economy is going after the referendum and some indication of the best way to invest.