Expat calls for end to frozen pensions
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Each year, millions of pensioners expect their sum to go up by the highest of 2.5 percent, inflation or average earnings under the triple lock. The policy has not yet been confirmed for the coming year, creating nervousness and worry amongst many pensioners.
However, those who have their sum frozen would not benefit in the same way if the triple lock were to return.
Increases to the state pension are only guaranteed in the following places:
- The UK
- European Economic Area (EEA)
- Countries with a social security agreement with the UK – but not Canada or New Zealand.
Elsewhere, increases are not enacted, leaving thousands of expats disappointed as their sum is halted at the amount it was when they decided to leave the UK or an eligible area.
It is estimated some 520,000 people miss out according to the End Frozen Pensions Campaign.
As a result, if the state pension does increase on Thursday, these individuals could miss out on a 10.1 percent rise to their sum.
The campaign asserts many expat pensioners are now living “in poverty” despite paying their full National Insurance contributions.
Many have argued they were totally unaware of the policy, and how it might affect them.
Returning to the UK would mean a person would see their state pension uprated, even if it was only for a short time.
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However, for many elderly people this is impossible due to expense, lack of mobility or health issues.
Some pensioners have moved overseas in order to be closer to family in their old age.
Pensioners will have to wait until Thursday, November 17 to find out the future of the triple lock.
Previously, Express.co.uk spoke exclusively to a 100-year-old Navy widow who is experiencing a frozen state pension.
Eileen Holmes was born in South East London in 1921, but moved to Northern Rhodesia, now known as Zambia, in 1947 after her husband gained work there.
The pair sent money back to England to make sure their state pension would be okay, but subsequently moved to Australia.
It was only after her husband died in 1979 that Mrs Holmes realised her pension would be frozen.
She said: “I had no idea of this frozen pension scheme. It is disgustingly unfair, they take your money and then refuse to give you what you paid for.
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“Obviously, if I had my full pension I would be better off, but I cannot claim I go short of anything, except perhaps a few luxuries.”
A DWP spokesperson previously told Express.co.uk: “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.
“The Government’s policy on the up-rating 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.”
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