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Anger over British pensioners missing out on triple lock

written by Bella Palmer

The pensions of those in countries such as Australia and Canada are frozen at the level they were at when they left the UK

The government has been urged to bring a halt to an "unfair postcode lottery" that means almost 500,000 Britons living abroad have had their state pension frozen.

Under the pensions triple lock, UK pensions rise annually by either inflation, 2.5% or average wage growth, whichever is highest.

Inflation was 10.1% in the qualifying month of 2022/2023, meaning most state pensions will see a large increase.

However, 492,000 Britons overseas miss out on annual state pension rises.

The pensions of those in countries such as Australia and Canada are frozen at the level they were at when they left the UK.

Dozens of MPs have now backed a campaign group's call to end the policy.

On Monday, SNP MP Dave Doogan tweeted: Half a million people have had their pensions frozen because they live in countries without an annual uprating agreement with the UK.

The UK government must end frozen pensions and ensure people get the uprated pensions they deserve, he said.

Campaign group End Frozen Pensions has written to the government to end the policy.

The group says: We are writing to urge you to end the injustice felt by half a million British pensioners living overseas, excluded from annual state pension uprating by the UK government's frozen pensions policy simply because they live in the 'wrong' country.

The campaign group pointed out that pensioners in countries with agreements, such as the US, do receive fully uprated pensions, but those in countries such as Australia, Canada and parts of the Caribbean, do not.

An estimated 48 Commonwealth countries are excluded, End Frozen Pensions said.

End Frozen Pensions said: This unfair postcode lottery has to stop - we believe that all UK pensioners deserve their full state pension no matter where they happen to live and urge you to end this longstanding injustice.

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said: It seems very unfair that ex-pats who live in certain countries outside of the UK and EU miss out on having their state pension uprated each year.

Over time this means they can be deprived of tens of thousands of pounds that really should be theirs, leaving some in dire financial straits. It’s high time this long-standing injustice was remedied for every older UK citizen who chooses to live in another country in retirement, she said.

She said: Every one of these pensioners has already spent years paying into the system through National Insurance contributions or credits and deserves to receive the same income boost as everyone else, regardless of where they live.


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