Expat pensions increase blamed on Brits marrying Thai brides

Published:  8 May at 6 PM
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As the frozen pension debate hots up, government sources in the UK have hit on the reason why pension payments to retirees living abroad are on the increase – Thai brides.

This stunning conclusion apparently came about due to the discovery that sexy Thai ladies on internet dating sites were luring unsuspecting Brits into marriage in order to get their hands on the UK Government’s ungenerous, but still frozen, £67 a week married woman’s retirement pension. The government source was clearly not thrilled that these calculating women had never paid tax in the UK possibly as they were domiciled in Thailand.

Today, in the Queen’s Speech, the loophole will be closed in order to ensure that only those who have paid UK NI contributions will be allowed to claim pension rights. Experts suggest that a bureaucratic nightmare will result, and the specific bureaucrat who dreamed up the Thai brides story may not have realised that pensionable retirees in general marry Thai ladies who are at least 30 years away from the age qualification for a UK pension and, since 2010, are no longer entitled to a dependency supplement.

That said, in the unusual circumstance of a Thai bride being as old as her pensioner husband, it’s likely that the couple have lived and worked in the UK prior to returning to the wife’s home country for a peaceful retirement. In this case, the wife will be entitled to a category B married woman’s pension, even under the proposed new law.

During the last 10 years, UK pensions payable abroad have increased by 17 per cent, with the source attributing partial responsibility to match-making websites. A more likely reason might be that UK citizens above retirement age are tired of trying to survive on a pittance in a cold, cheerless country whose government continually talks nonsense, and have moved on.
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