500,000 pensioners set to miss out on boost as policy slammed

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The state pension  is set to increase by 10.1 percent from April, in line with September 2022’s CPI inflation figure. However, a rise is not guaranteed, and typically depends on where a person lives.

Only UK residents of the following countries will be entitled to a triple lock boost:

  • The UK
  • European Economic Area (EEA)
  • Gibraltar
  • Switzerland
  • Countries with a social security agreement with the UK (but not Canada or New Zealand).

Those expats living elsewhere will see their state pension frozen at the point it was when they decided to leave an eligible country.

Understandably, this has led to a growing sense of discontent among these citizens, many of whom feel they are not receiving a fair deal from the UK Government.

Sir Peter Bottomley, Tory MP for Worthing West and Father of the House, weighed in on the debate.

He told the House of Commons: “When we come to the pensions uprating, I regret the Government hasn’t even got a strategy, let alone decided to change the appalling decision that half our overseas pensioners will not get increases.

“Legal sophistry is not good enough. We ought to have a plan or a strategy to change that.

“I hope that my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House will talk to her colleagues and ask them to talk to me and to my right hon. Friend the Member for North Thanet (Sir Roger Gale) about that.”

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His remarks, alongside others he made, were acknowledged by Penny Mourdant, Leader of the House of Commons.

However, for UK citizens who have chosen to live abroad in affected countries, Sir Peter’s remarks simply represent a reemphasis of arguments they have previously made.

Over time, the cost of living across the world has increased, making the frozen state pension less adequate to meet the needs of UK citizens who have retired there. 

As a result, certain expats are struggling to make ends meet on a pension with less purchasing power than it would otherwise have.

Some have argued the decision to freeze state pensions in certain countries and not others is discriminatory.

The End Frozen Pensions Campaign has described the matter as an “arbitrary postcode lottery”.

It is estimated some 500,000 people are affected by the frozen pensions policy across the world.

The campaign asserts the highest numbers of affected pensioners are living in some of the largest Commonwealth countries, such as Canada, which have close links to the UK.

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The campaign website added: “Some have been forced to return to the UK to afford their own care. 

“Those who return are left with the daunting prospect of an expensive and upsetting upheaval to the UK in their old age and put further strain on the NHS and social care system at a time when it is already struggling.”

A DWP spokesperson previously told Express.co.uk: “The Government’s policy on the uprating of the UK state pension for recipients living overseas is a longstanding one of more than 70 years and we continue to uprate state pensions overseas where there is a legal requirement to do so.

 “We understand that people move abroad for many reasons and that this can impact on their finances. 

“There is information on GOV.UK about what the effect of going abroad will be on entitlement to the UK state pension.”

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