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‘So ridiculous!’ Furious Britons hit back as state pensions frozen for 500,000

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Many people will look forward to their state pension as a key source of income for retirement. However, Britons are usually guaranteed an increase – typically by the triple lock mechanism. While the triple lock has been temporarily suspended, a 3.1 percent increase to the state pension has been confirmed under a double lock policy.

This increase is not guaranteed, however, as it is only available to those living in the UK and select other countries.

These include: 

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

This presents a problem for British expats, many of whom have specifically chosen to leave the country for retirement.

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They will see their state pension sum frozen at the level it was set by the Government when they left the country.

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“I get that us expat OAPs are no longer spending in the UK and therefore not contributing VAT. But why are we treated so differently?

“I’ve paid my whack, just the same as all other OAPs in the UK or abroad.

“Why does it matter where I live? It is simply NOT a level playing field, is it?”

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Wild Philly stated: “Move to the EU and you get all the increases in the UK state pension. Move to Canada and Australia and you don’t! Go figure!

“This has never made any sense and is totally unfair to Brits living in those countries.”

FancyThat wrote: “If you have paid your stamps for your entire working life, you should get full entitlement wherever you live. And I live in the UK.”

And AngryEngineer remarked: “I think it’s an outdated view. 

“If you are not in the UK, you are not using free public transport, free prescriptions and the NHS. I think it needs looking at.”

However, not all Express.co.uk readers appeared to agree with this sentiment, and some backed the Government’s policy.

TroutTickler said: “Rules are rules, perhaps he should have paid into a private pension as well like most of us with any sense did.”

BT1949 stated: “Should have checked before leaving. This ruling has been in place for many, many years.”

While AlienatedVoter wrote: “All benefits should be useable against British benefits only.

“Yes, you paid to be treated and to live in the UK when you have paid into the system all your life. That should only be paid if you retire and reside in the UK.”

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A DWP spokesperson 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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