APPG inquiry reveals top trade deal targets have been calling on the UK to end the Frozen Pensions Policy

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Frozen British Pensions is pleased to announce the release of the report from its 2020 Inquiry, revealing the Governments of Canada and Australia are ready and willing to work with the UK to end the ‘frozen’ pension policy, and have been calling on the UK Government to do so for many years.

The APPG received over 800 submissions of evidence by a wide range of stakeholders including those impacted by the policy, civil society groups, the UK Government, foreign Governments, and politicians in countries with impacted residents. As part of the inquiry, the APPG also conducted a confidential survey of over 2,500 UK pensioners living on a ‘frozen’ pension overseas.

Evidence from the Governments of Australia and Canada condemns the UK policy denying annual increases to the UK state pensions of UK pensioners living in their respective countries. They both show willingness to work with the UK to end the injustice that ‘freezes’ the pensions of these UK pensioners so they fall in real value year-on-year.

Of the 510,000 UK pensioners living on a ‘frozen’ pension, around 75% of the UK pensioners impacted by this policy live in Canada or Australia, who both provide full state pensions to their pensioners living in the UK.

The report also exposes the financial impact of the ‘frozen’ pension policy on UK pensioners overseas, finding that:

  • 1 in 2 ‘frozen’ pensioners receive a UK state pension of £65 per week or less
  • Over half struggle financially because of their frozen pension
  • Almost 90% of ‘frozen’ pensioners were not informed that their pension would be frozen before they left the UK

The report argues that the policy is illogical and favours UK pensioners in some countries over others. It also expresses particular concern for the impact of this policy on veterans, former public servants and members of the Windrush Generation who have returned to their country of birth.

While the inquiry has exposed the reality of this policy for hundreds of thousands of UK pensioners overseas, we are encouraged by the responsiveness of international governments who show a real desire to end this injustice.

As a result of this inquiry, the APPG recommends that the UK Government end the ‘frozen’ pension policy and seek to provide UK pensioners living in ‘frozen’ countries with their full uprated UK state pension as soon as possible.

The report can be accessed here: 2020 APPG inquiry report

The report’s Appendices document can be accessed here: 2020 APPG inquiry report Appendices