The UK Government increases the state pension annually to ensure it is inline with the cost of living. However, 500,000 pensioners have their state pension frozen just because of where they live and are struggling to make ends meet.
Every year pensioners get a slight increase in their state pension so that their payments keep up with rising costs, with it due to rise by 3.1 percent as of April 11, 2022.
In real terms that means that the basic state pension will increase from £137.60 to £141.85 per week but it’s not the only pay rise they are missing out on.
A spokesperson for the End Frozen Pensions campaign group told Express.co.uk that some expats who have retired abroad are missing out to the tune of thousands of pounds every year through no fault of their own.
Campaigners are calling on prime minister Boris Johnson to bring pensions inline so that expats aren’t penalised for retiring abroad after working hard in the UK – often for decades.
Both him and his wife, Trish, now suffer from the frozen pensions policy, despite paying the full pension contributions and making additional voluntary contributions.
David said: “Because the UK government has reneged on its fiduciary duty to pay its debt to me, my future grows dim.
“As we individually live longer, retirement becomes a struggle.
“As a result, the increasing gap between a fixed income and inflation, general price increases, local government taxes increasing rapidly, I am unable to keep pace.”
He added: “It likely means that myself and my wife will be unable to continue living in our present house – we have a 20-year mortgage at age 75.”
Cheryl Harvey is also among those affected. She was born in Cheshire, England in 1950 but married an Australian man and moved to Australia with her husband in the 1980s.
She said: “I see the frozen pensions policy as geographic discrimination – no law should be made based on where someone decides to live in later life.
“We paid our National Insurance contributions on the understanding we would get a state pension when we retired, so the Government is in breach of contract.”
Figures show that 492,000 UK pensioners, just under half of those living overseas, now live in countries where their state pensions are frozen and fall in value every year.
UK citizens in the USA, the EU, Israel or Jamaica receive a full state pension whereas those in other countries such as Canada and Australia do not.
Over 90 percent of affected pensioners live in Commonwealth nations with close cultural and political ties to the UK.
Half of ‘frozen’ pensioners receive a state pension of just £65 a week or less, and almost all were unaware that their state pensions would be frozen before they left the UK.
A DWP spokesperson said: “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 people 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.”