Battle to demand death of frozen expat pensions hots up

Published:  6 May at 6 PM
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The fight to agree a workable solution which unfreezes UK expat pensions is hotting up, with the International Consortium of British Pensioners demanding an industry and government debate.

The ICBP now represents half a million pensioners living in countries where pensions are frozen, and is demanding that the debate takes place before the introduction of the Single Tiered State Pension Bill later this year. Campaigns to have the ‘frozen pension’ Clause 20 removed from the bill are scaling up, and a round-table event is scheduled for June.

The consortium, headed up by British pensioner John Markham, states that an age-tiered solution is affordable and logical, due to the high cost of health maintenance and extra benefits for pensioners resident in the UK. It also believes that many pensioners would emigrate to countries outside the EU if the freeze on pensions was lifted, thus saving the state more money.

Pensioners in Commonwealth countries including Canada and Australia as well as those in popular Asian retirement hubs have their pensions frozen from the day they leave the UK. Many very elderly retirees in Australia are living on as little as £6 per week, with the Australian government forced to finance their care.

Markham quotes an independent review by Oxford Economics stating that emigrating retirees save the government some £2.3 billion in social care expenses. Other studies state that, if pension parity was achieved, government savings due to migrant retirees would save a further £7.2 billion.
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