Upcoming changes to state pension in 2022
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State pension payments will not increase under the triple lock, which has been temporarily frozen this year due to the impacts of COVID-19. Instead, pensioners can expect an increase of 3.1 percent, linked to inflation. Only eligible people can secure this increase, and it can often be based on where in the world they live.
The state pension will only increase each year if a person lives in:
- The UK
- The European Economic Area (EEA)
- Countries that have a social security agreement with the UK (but not in Canada or New Zealand)
Therefore, significant numbers of British expats could miss out on the increase to the state pension coming in April.
The state pension can be claimed abroad as long as a person has paid enough in National Insurance contributions to qualify.
However, if a person returns to live in the UK, they will see their pension go up to the current rate.
Thousands of expats do not see this as a suitable arrangement for their contributions.
A petition posted on the Parliament website recently drew attention to the disparity for those living abroad.
It reads: “UK citizens living abroad do not receive annual increase in pension payments.
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“This is entirely unjust! Why should we not get equal rights?
“Pensioners living abroad are less of a strain on the National Health (not using the services of G.P.s, emergency services etc.), in the vast majority of cases having to fund health care including care homes privately.
“Not receiving Winter Fuel Payment, not receiving discounted travel on public transport.
“Yet we are still penalised! It is only fair that the Government treats all its citizens on an equal basis!”
At the time of writing, the Parliament petition has garnered 200 signatures, but it is quite a way from reaching its ultimate goal.
All petitions on the website need at least 10,000 signatures for the Government to respond to them.
Some 100,000 signatures will be needed for the petition to be considered for debate in Parliament.
The DWP has previously explained its policy on state pension increases for those living abroad.
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A spokesperson recently 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.”
Those who want advice on how their pension may be impacted by moving abroad are encouraged to contact the International Pension Centre.
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