Campaigners are ramping up their calls for Rishi Sunak to uprate their state pension in April 2024, as half a million UK pensioners face missing out on the expected 8.5 per cent rise.
Some four per cent of recipients of the UK state pension miss out on the annual state pension increase due to where they live, according to End Frozen Pensions.
Thousands of war veterans are among those affected by the issue, often referred to as “frozen” pensions, due to which country they live in.
The UK state pension is payable overseas, but it will only increase each year if the person lives in:
- The European Economic Area (EEA)
- Countries that have a social security agreement with the UK (but pensioners cannot get increases if they live in Canada or New Zealand).
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Rob Morris, Sheila Telford, Ian Andexser and Edwina Melville-Gray visited Downing Street today
END FROZEN PENSIONS
Delegates from the Canadian Alliance of British Pensioners (CABP) today visited Downing Street to deliver two reports highlighting the impact of the policy.
The campaign group estimates there are 127,000 British pensioners living in Canada who are in receipt of a frozen pension.
A new report from the Canadian Alliance of British Pensions (CABP) found more than half (51 per cent) of pensioners affected by the rule struggle financially as a result of their frozen pension.
According to the study, 28 per cent of frozen pensioners cannot access medication or health treatment due to financial costs, while 25 per cent rely on family members for financial support.
Chair Ian Andexser and CABP Board Members Sheila Telford and Edwina Melville-Gray have travelled from Canada to the UK and spoke to GB News about the campaign today.
Ms Telford said that while they feel “very strongly” frozen pensioners should get the full uprated state pension, they were urging for any form of uprating.
She told GB News: “Anything to break the log jam at the moment would really help.
“That’s why, in spite of having missed out on 10.1 per cent last year – which is huge – if we were to get whatever the triple lock is in April next year, that would break the log jam, bit by bit.
“It would be desperately unfair to the older pensioners, who have been frozen for 30 years or more, because a percentage on top of their pittance is not going to buy them much more.
“But it would certainly help to change the policy, certainly for Canada, and we would start to get the upratings each year.”
If the state pension increases by 8.5 per cent, it would cost £26million to uprate the state pension for frozen pensioners, the campaigners said.
Canadian Alliance of British Pensioners Chair Ian Andexser was among a number of delegates handing the CABP reports into Downing Street today
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The campaigners say this would be just a small fraction of the total amount spent on the state pension each year – in March 2023, the DWP forecasted total state pension expenditure in 2023/24 would be £124.3billion.
Official statistics from the DWP in July 2023 estimated the costs of uprating the state pension in frozen rate countries would be £860million in 2023/24 and £940million in 2024/25.
A Government spokesperson said: “Our priority is ensuring every pensioner receives 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 and we continue to uprate state pensions overseas where there is a legal requirement to do so.”