Personal Finance

Half a million Brits get NO State Pension increase this year – 'living on just £22 a week'


Pensioners have been frustrated by the Government’s decision to scale back the triple lock, so they only get an increase of just 3.1 percent this year. However, an estimated 520,000 are in an even worse position. They won’t get any increase at all and haven’t for years.

If you are resident in the UK, and claim the State Pension, then you are automatically eligible for the annual increase.

This also applies to many Britons who have retired overseas, both in the 27 EU countries and also the European Economic Area (EEA) which is made up of Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

Brits who have retired in Gibraltar and Switzerland will get the annual uplift as well.

Any Briton who retires in a country that has a social security agreement with the UK, including the US and Israel, will also benefit.

However, Britons who retire in other countries will see their State Pension frozen at the level it was when they moved overseas.

Anybody who is planning to retire abroad needs to know exactly which countries are affected.

Nine out of 10 Britons with frozen State Pensions live in Commonwealth countries, including popular expat destinations Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa.

Some Brit expats in these countries receive as little as £22 a week from the State Pension, despite making years of National Insurance quality contributions while working in the UK.

Those who moved abroad 20 or more years ago have lost tens of thousands of pounds as a result, and their losses mount every year.

Their problems are getting worse as inflation returns.

Valerie Hepplestone, 78, lives in South Africa, is seeing her electricity bill shoot up while her State Pension stays flat. “It is frightening to think about the future as food, rates, taxes and fuel are going up all the time but our income stays the same.”

READ MORE: ‘Pensioners to pay for NHS prescriptions’ – myths that need busting

Tully said: “Our research shows that just one in five of those planning to head abroad know which countries had reciprocal payment agreements in place, while one in four did not even know such agreements existed.”

British pensioners retiring to the following countries also benefit from Social Security agreements: Barbados, Bermuda, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, Jamaica, Jersey, Kosovo, Mauritius, Montenegro, North Macedonia, the Philippines, Serbia and Turkey.

Find out more at: Gov.uk/state-pension-if-you-retire-abroad.

A spokesperson for the Department for Work & Pensions said: “We understand that people move abroad for many reasons and that this can impact on their finances. 

“We continue to uprate state pensions overseas where there is a legal requirement to do so.”

The good news is that if you return from one of the affected countries to live in the UK, your pension will be restored to the current rate.





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