Shock For British Ex-Pat In Mijas as Pension Payment Is Delayed For US Holiday

Brit Tourists Need To Read THIS

ATM. Credit: Cozyta/

A British man living in Malaga has highlighted a little-known problem that will affect thousands of UK pensioners who live abroad.

79-year-old Michael McCann, a resident of Lew Hoad Tennis Village in Mijas, Malaga, received a shock yesterday afternoon, June 19.

When the British pensioner went to draw his money from the bank he was stunned to find that the UK Government had not paid his pension into his bank account, and it is all because of a US national holiday.

Mr McCann has brought to attention what some would describe as an unacceptable situation, whereby British people face delays in getting their money on time if it coincides with American Holidays.

Speaking exclusively to EWN this morning, while out walking his dog Blackie, Mr McCann explained that the problem is particularly poignant for him. Around two years ago, he was the victim of not one but two ‘financial scams’ in which he lost his life savings, leaving him heavily reliant on the prompt payment of his pension.

Upon further investigation of the GOV.UK website, it gives scant Information on the reason for this anomaly. Under the heading, ‘Delays to pension or benefit payments,’ it said: ‘If you live abroad and your payment is due in the same week as a US Bank Holiday, it could arrive one day late. This is because a US company processes these payments.’

No doubt there will be others too who find themselves in a similarly vulnerable situation because of this bizarre arrangement.

It appears that the US holiday in question is called Juneteenth National Independence Day, a celebration commemorating the freedom of African American people who were formerly enslaved.

It dates back to June 19, 1865, when Major General Gordon Granger proclaimed freedom for enslaved people in Texas, some two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued. It was recognized as a federal holiday as recently as 2021 when President Joe Biden signed Juneteenth National Independence Day into law.

Advance knowledge of this peculiar arrangement between the UK pension department and the unnamed US company may help British expatriates plan their standing orders and budgets in advance.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.


    • Maureen Conn

      20 June 2023 • 11:25

      Hi John,
      This happened to me a couple of times about 5 -6 years ago when I lived in France. I called the DWP and told them my pension should have been in the bank on the Monday. They said “it’s delayed as it goes to America first, then back to the UK”

      I am a scot now living in Alicante, Spain and yesterday 19th June 2023 this happened again, as it was a holiday in America. First, why is our money, earned in Britain, going to America? Second, why can’t they pay our money a day earlier? When they know the holiday is coming up! My question is….What has America got to do with our pensions in Britain?

      Regards Maureen Conn

    • Neil Friday

      21 June 2023 • 12:03

      No doubt, years ago made an offer the DWP could not refuse in the light of privatisation.
      Happens all the time, without fail. But the worse aspect is the variation in exchange rate. Any negative comments from the discredited CBI and politicians pro Brexit over many years, have cost me thousands of Euros, when the pound collapses.

    • Tony Dean

      21 June 2023 • 14:34

      Nothing new. This has been going on for many years. I think they use the London branch of City bank. The rate paid is commercial which is much better than having it paid into a Spanish bank direct or using one of the currency firms who deduct 2 to 3 cents commission on the exchange rate. So occasionally waiting a day is worth it. Google American bank holidays they are all listed. Of course if the loss of a few Euros is not important then have the pension paid directly to a Spanish bank.

    • Frank McGee

      21 June 2023 • 14:38

      This has happened to me for many years. I raised the point with DWP that in this day and age with computerised systems, payments should not be delayed due to public holidays. My wife, has her pension paid into a UK bank account and payment is always made days in advance of a public/bank holiday.

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