New Petition aims to unfreeze expat pensions

New Petition aims to unfreeze expat pension

A new campaign and petition urging the UK government to increase state pension payments for UK pensioners living abroad has reached over 56,300 signatures. The petition aims to secure 75,000 signatures and is calling for all UK citizens living abroad who have paid National Insurance contributions to receive the same state pension payments as those living in the UK. 

Currently, UK pensioners who move abroad have their state pension frozen at the level it was at when they left the UK unless their new country of residence has an agreement with the UK that says otherwise (which many countries do, but most notably not Australia, New Zealand, or Canada). This policy affects over 500,000 British pensioners, including 60,000 military veterans. 

The petition highlights the case of Anne Puckridge, a 98-year-old WW2 veteran who receives a weekly pension of £72.50, below the current basic state pension of £156.20 per week. The government has responded by stating that their policy of uprating state pensions overseas where there is a legal requirement to do so has been in place for over 70 years. 

UK state pension payments match those paid in the UK in the following countries: 

  • The European Economic Area (EEA) countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden 
  • Switzerland 
  • Gibraltar 
  • Countries with a social security agreement with the UK: Barbados, Bermuda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chile, Croatia, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Israel, Jamaica, Jersey, Mauritius, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Philippines, Serbia, Turkey, United States of America. 

However, it is worth noting that some countries have limitations and variations in their agreements with the UK, which could affect the amount and eligibility for receiving the UK state pension payments. 

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