‘If I moved south of the Falls, my state pen­sion would rise’

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re­ceiv­ing his state pen­sion in June. But be­cause Canada is one of the coun­tries where ex­pats’ pen­sions are not in­creased, his in­come will slowly erode as prices rise.

“If I were to live south of the Ni­a­gara Falls, in the US, I would re­ceive the an­nual in­crease. But be­cause I live on the other side of the Falls I don’t,” he said.

As the for­mer chair­man of the International Con­sor­tium of Bri­tish Pen­sion­ers, the global or­gan­i­sa­tion that rep­re­sents frozen pen­sion­ers, Mr Nel­son has seen many ex­am­ples where ex­pats have lost out to the tune of thou­sands of pounds.

“One col­league of mine re­tired to Canada in 1998 and re­ceived a state pen­sion of £64.70 a week and nearly 20 years later he is still get­ting £64.70, said Mr Nel­son. “As a re­sult he’s re­ceived £27,945 less than his peers in Bri­tain even though he has made the same level of Na­tional In­sur­ance con­tri­bu­tions. This is just not right, it is im­moral and dis­crim­i­na­tory.” The state pen­sion is based on each in­di­vid­ual’s NI record. Since April 2016, the full amount, cur­rently around £160 a week, is paid to those with 35 or more “qual­i­fy­ing” years of NI con­tri­bu­tions. Those who were “con­tracted out”, and paid less NI as a re­sult, will get less.

Prior to April 2016, when the new sys­tem came in, pen­sion­ers re­ceived an ad­di­tional earn­ings-re­lated state pen­sion. Some­one re­ceiv­ing the full ba­sic pen­sion of £27.15 in 1980 would now be re­ceiv­ing £122.30, more than four times as much. A pen­sioner with frozen in­come would still be re­ceiv­ing £27.15.

A spokesman for the Depart­ment for Work and Pen­sions said: “The Gov­ern­ment has a very clear po­si­tion, which has re­mained con­sis­tent for around 70 years: the UK state pen­sion is payable world­wide but is only up­rated abroad where we have a le­gal re­quire­ment to do so or a re­cip­ro­cal agree­ment is in place.”

Ex­pats in Amer­ica have pro­tected pen­sions, so why not in Canada, asks


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