91 year old UK pensioner in Canada fights for pension indexing

Published:  20 Sep at 6 PM
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One of the 150,000 British state pensioners living as expats in Canada is carrying on her fight to have frozen pensions outlawed.

Anne Puckridge served her country during the Second World War, receiving two medals for her exceptional contribution to the war effort, but is now living on a knife edge due to the British government’s refusal to end the frozen pensions scandal. Now 91 years old, this feisty lady says she is now fighting a government which continues to disallow her cost of living increases.

Decades of diplomatic wrangling on the subject of frozen pension with the UK government hasn’t produced any results, in spite of last year’s election promise by David Cameron that the matter would be dealt with. Around 150,000 British pensioners now living in Canada are in exactly the same situation as Anne, but successive British governments have refused to consider a change in the law.

According to Anne, she served her country during the war and, along with all the other retired expat recipients of the UK state pension, continued to pay her weekly National Insurance contributions until she retired. She and the rest of those affected consider the UK government’s refusal to upgrade their pensions as theft. The government was happy to accept our monies for all our working years and then reneged on paying what was our due, she added.

She and the many others affected are hoping Brexit, if it actually happens, may cast a glimmer of light on this political disgrace. When the Brexit negotiations begin, one problem will be the rights of 400,000 UK pensioners living in EU member states. Should they be allowed to continue receiving annual upgrades, a strong argument might be able to be made in favour of UK retirees in Canada and many other world countries where the same unfair rule applies.

Chair of the Canadian Alliance of British Pensioners David Morris stated his group needs the Canadian Trudeau Liberals to take a hard line on the issue during future free trade talks, making UK pension indexing part of any new deal. Writing diplomatic letters or raising the subject with British ministers, he believes, is simply a waste of time and energy with no hope of success.
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