State PensionFeb 23 2023

Another petition launched to end frozen expat pensions

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Another petition launched to end frozen expat pensions
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Another petition urging the government to increase state pension payments for UK pensioners living abroad has been signed by more than 50,000 people.

At the time of writing (February 23) the petition had secured 56,300 signatures.

The petition is aiming to reach 75,000 signatures, at which point it becomes one of the top signed on the change website.

The petition is calling for all UK citizens who live abroad, and who have paid the necessary National Insurance contributions, to receive the same state pension payments as those resident in the UK.

Under current rules a UK pensioner who moves abroad will have their state pension frozen at the level it was at when they left the UK or first claimed their pension overseas, unless their new country of residence has an agreement with the UK that says otherwise.

This comes after a petition was launched last year which had the government respond.

The latest petition gave the example of Anne Puckridge, a 98-year-old WW2 veteran, receiving a weekly pension of £72.50, below the current basic state pension, which by April will reach £156.20 per week. 

On the petition page, it stated: “Why? Because at the age of 76, Anne moved to Canada to be closer to her family in old age. In doing so, she inadvertently became one of 500,000 Britons, and one of 60,000 military veterans, who are cruelly denied their full UK state pension by the British government.

“Those in some Commonwealth countries, British Overseas Territories and other affected nations have their state pension frozen at the rate it was when they left the UK, or when they retired if they left the UK before pensionable age.”

It stated that the current policy can have a “devastating impact” on the lives of those affected and, for some, the income lost can mean a retirement of poverty. 

“For Anne, it means she has lost a total of £41,000 since 2001,” it said. 

“It adds insult to injury that the UK government has rejected multiple requests from the government of Canada to enter into a reciprocal deal that would give people like Anne her rightful pension.

“Frozen pensioners expected, like all of us, that when it was time to retire, they would receive the pension they deserve, paid for and are entitled to. This is not the case.”

The petition said British pensioners living in places such as the US and Jamaica and the European Union receive their full UK state pension which is annually uprated - as these countries have reciprocal social security agreements with the UK.

There are currently two social security arrangements in place between the UK and Canada, neither of which provide for uprating.

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