Anger at pension deal snub
BRITAIN’S refusal to pay pension rises to those who retire to Canada has been described as a “great concern” by its government.
The UK has rejected Canada’s invitation to do a deal so pensions would no longer be frozen at the level paid when a person emigrated or reached retirement age.
The decision dismayed 81-yearold Peter Sanguinetti, who drove a school bus to provide for himself and his wife until the pandemic hit.
Instead of a pension of £134.25 a week, Mr Sanguinetti receives just £89.54. His wife, Valerie, gets £64.65. He condemned ministers’ “stubborn and morally bankrupt continuation of a frozen pensions policy that pushes many of my fellow expats into poverty simply as a result of where we now live”.
Mr Sanguinetti, of Ontario, said: “Nobody expects to see an 81-year-old man driving a school bus and I doubt it features in many retirement plans but unless the UK Government finds its moral compass so many other British citizens, like me, will continue to be left behind and ignored by their own Government.”
A survey by the End Frozen
Pensions campaign found 56 per cent of Canadian respondents received less than £65 a week.
The Canadian government said: “The United Kingdom’s nonindexation policy is of great concern to the approximately 150,000 UK pensioners living in Canada.
“Canada’s long-standing position is that British pensioners who live in Canada have contributed to the British pension scheme, and have therefore earned the right to be treated the same way as other British pensioners.”
Baroness Altmann, a Tory peer and former pensions minister, said: “I find it baffling and disappointing that our Government has refused to negotiate on this issue.
“The situation for pensioners whose payments are frozen becomes worse each year and it seems rather unfair to use the argument that increases cannot be paid without an agreement and then refuse to discuss an agreement.”
The Department for Work and Pensions said that the policy on the uprating of the state pension for recipients living overseas is a “long-standing one of more than 70 years and we continue to uprate state pensions overseas where there is a legal requirement to do so”.