‘If I moved south of the Falls, my state pension would rise’
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
WHERE ARE THE FROZEN PENSIONERS?