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Simon Danaher

More than half a million expats now affected by ‘frozen pensions’

From Retirement Mar 19 2012 BY: Simon Danaher , Online Editor , International Adviser

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More than half a million British expatriates who have retired abroad are “missing out on their full pension”, according to figures revealed by the UK government.

The figures were published by government welfare minister Lord Freud in response to a written question from Liberal Democrat peer Lord Jones. According to the International Consortium of British Pensioners, the figures show that 555,650 pensioners are not receiving their full pension because their pensions are not increased in line with inflation as with those pensioners who remain in the UK. The issue only affects those who have moved outside of the European Union or the United States.

Tony Bockman, chair of the consortium said: “These latest figures show the shocking scale of the frozen pensions scandal. Over half a million people who have worked hard and contributed to the life and health of Britain are being discriminated against because of where they have chosen to retire.

“Our polling shows that half of 45-64 year olds would consider moving abroad, but worryingly 62% of them do not know that their pensions will be frozen if they move to one of the 120 affected countries worldwide.

“The injustice of frozen pensions grows every year as more people are affected and their pensions lose more value. It is time for the government to take real steps towards unfreezing pensions. ”

According to the consortium, the top five countries where people impacted by the “frozen pensions” live are Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, India and Pakistan.

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Steve Russell

Opinion Former

Posted by Steve Russell
on Mar 21 2012 @ 02:19

I have been reading your excellent articles for well over 2 years and I have been based in Beijing, China for 10 years.

I remember that the issue of ‘frozen old aged pensions increases’ for expiates that live outside the EU was taken to the European Courts and thrown out.

It is generally believed that as one gets older – I will be 70 this year – that ones health will usually deteriorate and therefore with need to take some medication which would normally be free when residing in the UK, however when living abroad I have to pay for this myself saving the British Government a good amount of money.

In my case I have had to purchase medication for the time I have been in China for blood pressure and heartburn which costs me over £35.00 pm.

So not only are we getting cheated out of the increases in the old age pension each year we are also saving the British Government a fortune in medical expenses – we are therefore been cheated twice for living outside the UK or Europe. – Steve from Beijing, P.R. China

John Mather

Opinion Former

Posted by John Mather
on Mar 19 2012 @ 18:38

When will they all realise that the pension system was dysfunctional from the start. Gordon Brown taking just £500M a month from July 1997 did not help defined benefit arrangements though I do see that the MP's DB scheme survives and does not seem to be subject to the £1.5M limit. I think I will re read Animal Farm to try to understand the logic. Come back Frank Field all is forgiven

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