State pension set to rise next year but 520,000 people will miss out – are you one?

73-year-old says frozen pensions are ‘unfair’ and discriminating

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State pension payments will rise as the triple lock makes its return, and many pensioners are looking forward to an increase potentially bolstered by high inflation. However, a state pension increase is not a foregone conclusion, as Britons have to reside in specific places to receive it.

The Government explains these are:

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

Residing outside of these countries means a person will see their state pension impacted.

The sum will be frozen at the amount it was when the person decided to leave the country.

It means many expats who have decided to reside abroad in retirement will be impacted.

The End Frozen Pensions Campaign, which has drawn attention to the matter, states 520,000 pensioners are affected in this way.

The policy is an historic one which dates back a number of years, and has impacted individuals in different ways.

Some pensioners have discussed the financial challenges they have faced as a result.

Others are simply dissatisfied with the perceived unfairness of the policy.

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Campaigners have argued pensioners who have chosen to live abroad are being penalised.

Describing the matter as an “arbitrary postcode lottery”, the End Frozen Pensions Campaign has highlighted some of the people who are affected.

The group particularly referenced pensioners who are living in Commonwealth countries with close ties to the UK.

Despite this relationship, many of these pensioners will see their sum frozen.

John Duffy, chair of the International Consortium of British Pensioners, previously touched upon how the so-called frozen pensioners might be able to thaw their sum.

He told the Mail: “Quite astonishingly, a frozen state pensioner will find their UK state pension thawed if they return to the UK, even if only for a short period.

“Indeed, the pension is unfrozen during any visit to a list of unfrozen countries, not just the UK.”

Pensioners will only need to inform the DWP of their arrival and departure dates for this change to be reflected.

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However, the Government has communicated it has no plans to change the current policy.

Back in 2019, it was estimated the cost of uprating frozen pensions would be £600million.

A DWP spokesperson previously told “This year we will spend over £110 billion on the state pension and our priority is ensuring every pensioner receives all the financial support to which they are entitled.

“We understand that people move abroad for many reasons and we provide clear information about how this can impact on their finances. 

“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.

“We continue to uprate state pensions overseas where there is a legal requirement to do so.”

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