Cameron urged to rethink UK government frozen pension policy

Published:  28 Oct at 6 PM
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International expat campaigners against the infamous ‘frozen pensions’ policy affecting many thousands of British expat retirees have been urgently requested to supply a report to government.

The urgency of the report was stressed due to the upcoming crucial parliamentary debate on the issue, with the request made following a meeting between Conservative MPs opposing the policy and the prime minister. Many thousands of Britons resident in Commonwealth and other countries are being denied inflation-linked pension increases, with the amount they receive frozen from the minute they leave the country.

The government’s already controversial new pensions bill is due for debate in the House of Commons next week, with two MPs, Sir Roger Gale and Sir Peter Bottomley, having earlier tabled a motion which, if carried, would prevent the frozen pension policy from being included in the bill. Over 565,000 pensioners scattered across the world in 120 countries are denied the rights for which they paid in throughout their working lives, simply because of their preferred location for retirement.

The majority of pensioners affected live in Commonwealth countries including Australia, Canada and New Zealand, with the remainder mostly in non-EU countries and Southeast Asia. The policy condemns retirees to living without any increase in their pensions with, for example, a retiree in Australia who began drawing the UK state pension in 1983 still receiving only £34 a week to live on.

Pensioners living in European Union member states have their pensions updated annually as if they still lived in the UK, and those who were able to retire in the USA also receive updates. John Markham, spokesman for the group championing the cause for UK expats, believes the PM’s request for a full report may be the start of a wider view of the policy as it stands today.
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