Hope for expat pensioners as MPs try to change law #UKExpats #Pensions
06 Friday Sep 2013
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A pair of MPs are to attempt to change the law to ensure that all expat pensioners receive the full state pension.
Sir Roger Gale and Sir Peter Bottomley, two senior Conservative backbenchers, say they will table an amendment to the Pensions Bill currently going through Parliament in an attempt to ensure that all British pensioners living abroad receive index-linked increases in their state pension every year.
Currently expat pensioners in many countries get no annual increases – instead their state pensions are frozen at the level in force on their retirement date. This has led to some pensioners in their 90s receiving a weekly pension of about £20 a week, compared with £110 a week for their counterparts who still live in Britain. About a million expat pensioners are affected.
Only in countries that have signed bilateral agreements with the UK do expat British pensioners get index-linked state pensions. These countries include Spain, France and America. But in other countries, such as Canada, New Zealand and Pakistan, pensioners’ incomes are frozen at their initial level.
Sir Roger said: “Following a discussion with Peter Bottomley we are agreed that Peter will, with my support, table an amendment to the Pensions Bill. This may or may not prove effective but it is worth a shot.
“It’s surely time that our overseas pensioners were given a fair deal on pension uprating in those countries where we do not have a reciprocal agreement.”
Last month campaigners called for Britain to be suspended from the Commonwealth over the issue.
Sheila Telford, chairman of the International Consortium of British Pensioners, told The Telegraph: “The UK is now defaulting on the Commonwealth Equality Charter, which Her Majesty the Queen signed in March this year. How can it be equal when a British pensioner aged 90 living in Canada receives one third of the pension of a British pensioner living in the United States, just across the border?”
A spokesman for the Department for Work & Pensions said: “The UK state pension is payable worldwide but is only uprated abroad where we have a legal requirement or reciprocal agreement. This has always been the case and people who are considering emigrating abroad should always consider the impact the move could have on their future state pension entitlement.”
Expats Pensions Comments:
If you are living abroad, it is still possible to claim a UK Pension. However this not an area we can help with. We specialise in helping clients evaluate the possibility of transferring their personal or company pension with them overseas. Please see our site for more information www.expatspensions.com