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Key Issue

460,000 Frozen UK State Pensioners - not receiving the annual Cost of living/Inflation adjustment


The UK state pension is a right based on a minimum level of National Insurance contributions and is not dependent on where a person lives once the state pension age has been reached.

For all Pensioners resident in the UK, and approximately an additional 600,000 pensioners who reside overseas, the pension is uplifted for inflation/cost of living increases each year. In certain times in the past and also in recent times the uplift has been significant due to high rates of inflation and indeed quite generous due to the triple lock.

However, for around 460.000 UK state pensioners there is no uplift meaning that the real value of the pension drops each year and in some years very significantly. Some among the 460,000 non-qualifying pensioners are now getting a pension less than one half or even a quarter of what someone of the same age gets who belongs to the 600,000 group. The generosity to the former group is being paid for by the frozen pensioners. Why some Pensioners get an uplift and others don’t is simply a question as to whether the UK government is obligated to uplift under a law or under a treaty. For example, when the UK joined the Council of Europe in 1956 one of the obligations of membership was annual upgrade of the pension for British Citizens living in European Countries. 

While those living in the US get an upgrade those living in Canada and Australia do not. While those retiring to Jamaica and Barbados get an upgrade those retiring to Trinidad and St Lucia do not. While those retiring to the Philippines get an upgrade every year, those who retire to Japan, Thailand or in fact anywhere else in Asia do not.


It is of course scandalous that those who have paid exactly the same contribution can get treated so differently.

It is also worth pointing out that those who do retire overseas are saving the UK health costs and in many cases substantial benefit costs.

What the Forum says

This large scale cheating of 460,000 of its citizens by the UK Government needs to end and the full State Pension must be paid on an equal basis wherever a UK Pensioner decides to reside.

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