British expats have enlisted the help of 40 British MPs to help their campaign against state pension injustice.
The cross-party group of lawmakers have signed a letter to Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Therese Coffey calling on the government to uprate frozen state pensions for around 550,000 British expat pensioners around the world.
The move follows a promise from the government to increase state pensions for expats under the triple lock rules until April 2023 – providing the country where the expats live is in the European Economic Area or has a reciprocal social security agreement with the UK.
But that list only covers 48 countries – with notable missing nations popular with expat retirees, such as Australia, Hong Kong, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and India.
What is a frozen state pension?
The MPs signing the letter called on Coffey to ‘truly honour people who made the UK’ who suffer from financial issues due to their state pension being frozen.
‘Frozen’ means the payment is stuck at the rate of the first amount received and does not increase by the cost of inflation.
“The same must be said about the half million UK pensioners living outside the UK and EU whose pensions are frozen, who include military veterans, former nurses and teachers,” says the letter.
“Many have served the UK in its darkest hours and are now being plunged into poverty because their State pension continues to reduce in value year-on-year.”
Expats could lose £50,000 income during retirement
More than 660,000 British expat state pensioners living in the European Economic Area and a smaller number spread around the world enjoy cost of living increases that match those of pensioners in the UK.
“We wholeheartedly agree that those who “helped make our country the success it is” must receive the full pension to which they are entitled. It is perverse, unjust and wrong that this pension is not universal to all UK pensioners,” says the letter.
Expat pensioners have campaigned for years about the injustice of freezing pension payments without success.
Analysts suggest that missing cost of living increases would cost an expat first receiving the state pension in 2019 around £50,000 in ‘lost’ income over a 20 year retirement.