State Pension pension payments increase each year under a system known as the Triple Lock, which ensures pensioners receive an increase each year by the highest of the following: 2.5 percent, inflation, or average earnings growth. The policy is intended to safeguard the future of the state pension and ensure all eligible older people receive a payout. But there are certain rules for expats which may mean they miss out on the increases if they retire abroad to specific countries.
This policy has come under much scrutiny, with many describing it as unjust or unfair.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Frozen British Pensions draws together MPs from across the House to discuss the matter.
Recently, the chair of the group, Sir Roger Gale, urged the Prime Minister Boris Johnson to take action to rectify the matter.
Responding to the discussion on the Queen’s Speech, Sir Roger said: “The Prime Minister referred to his concern about pensions and for pensions – I am delighted to hear that.
“I hope that concern will extend to unfreezing the frozen pensions of so many again expat United Kingdom citizens around the world.
“In some cases, because these individuals’ pensions were frozen when they left the United Kingdom, they are now living in semi-poverty.”
Indeed, the International Consortium of British Pensioners is also drawing attention to the matter.
It asserts hundreds of thousands of Britons are being “discriminated against” simply due to the country they choose to retire in.
A number of people have expressed their dismay at experiencing a frozen pension when retiring overseas, via social media.
One person wrote: “The British Government is completely blind to the benefits “unfreezing would bring.”
While another said: “We don’t ask for charity, but do wish to have our full state pension entitlement having paid our contributions over the years.
“To deny us, is an affront to our employers also and their contributions are abused by ending workers in retirement.”
Earlier, in March 2021, Baroness Stedman-Scott, DWP minister commented on the matter of the frozen state pension, particularly as it pertains to those living in Canada.
The minister said the Government received a request from Canada in November 2020 to conclude a reciprocal agreement which would include indexation of pensions.
It was stated the Government would be responding to Canada “shortly”.
She added: “The UK Government has continued to honour its legal obligations in relation to paying pensions and uprating overseas.”