Government pressed on overseas state pension payments.

September 6, 2022 Frozen British Pensions 11 Comments

Today, Peter Dowd, Labour MP for Bootle, pressed the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office on the injustice of the UK Government’s frozen pensions policy and the recent suspension of the UK state pension which affected British pensioners in Canada.

The DWP’s International Pensions Centre regularly sends out requests for state pensioners overseas to submit ‘proof of life’ forms, often every two years. An administrative error by the Department for Work and Pensions meant these forms failed to be delivered to many UK pensioners living in Canada. Subsequently, in June, pensioners were notified of the sudden suspension of their UK state pension payments as they had not completed the undelivered form. When questioned on the matter, the DWP stated the forms were not delivered due to delays by the Canadian Postal Service, despite the pensioners receiving a later letter informing them of payment suspension. Affected pensioners are already recipients of frozen pensions and this error has caused increased financial hardship for many, with some pensioners being forced to go into arrears to pay their bills.

Read the full transcript of his intervention here: [Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Oral Questions – Tuesday 6 September 2022 – Hansard – UK Parliament]

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  1. Bob Williamson
    September 15, 2022 - 4:02 pm

    Expat frozen pensions

    This is just a scam isnt it. When Ukraine is being subsidised to the tune of several hundreds of millions of pounds and illegal immigrants are costing the UK fortunes would it not be to much to ask the APPG to get off thier bottoms and fight this case for fully paid up pensioners.

    Bob Williamson
    Armed forces veteran and ex NHS employee
    44 years NI contribitions

  2. Anon
    October 13, 2022 - 12:13 pm

    In replying to Mr. Williamson I guess that the present UK government will continue to find every device to stop paying State and other pension to those who have left a Britain in serious decline in order to save funds. With those like Mr. Williamson, who will have been required to signify compliance with Official Secrets legislation, on leaving the Army should their State pensions continue to be frozen or even stopped then will their obligations regarding Official Secrets end? Government should consider!

  3. David jackaman
    November 3, 2022 - 4:09 am

    This group, like so much of government, comprised as it is of MPs whose major aspiration is to be noticed in order that they might personally achieve greatness, does precisely what it has been conceived for and that’s to conjure the appearance of achievement when as we all know it achieves nothing but providing a platform for members to add something to their CVs.
    I’m minded to wonder what the budget for this group amounts to and what it’s spent on because none of it appears to have been spent on the righting the wrong, precisely what the group was fabled to have been assembled for.
    If I were define milestones of accomplishment for this group what would the criteria for success be – expenses accumulated, meals consumed, bottles emptied, backs patted, or simply personal boxes ticked?
    In terms of this group moving the pointer towards the thawing of my frozen pension, well the pointer remains as firmly frozen as does my pension.
    But I may be wrong, there may yet exist a faint glimmer of hope, in deep recesses, in dark places where MPs seek to think the unthinkable, utter the unutterable and move the immovable, that the concept of fairness might once again be lifted into the light of day… and as a citizen of the United Kingdom I might be treated as such and my bloody pension might be restored to where it should be before I snuff it.

  4. Bob Williamson
    November 5, 2022 - 1:45 pm

    Well said David. All members of APPG should be ashamed. Obviously they could not get a proper job and so settled for an occupation where primary requirement is being able to scam pensioners in order to pay for thier ill deserved lifestyle.

  5. Mike
    November 7, 2022 - 8:40 am

    There can be NO justification for the frozen pensions of retirees living abroad, our money was as good as the next person’s when we paid our NI contributions and other taxes.
    Where is the logic of this continued discrimination?
    By retiring abroad we are of no further burden to the state, we are no longer a drain on the NHS or other services and are only asking for parity, not special treatment.
    Most of us are not wealthy but our pensions are able to buy less and less each month due to the rapid rise in inflation.
    Someone in authority needs to stop just talking about it, step up now and sort this out sooner rather than later.

  6. Rita Kyle
    November 27, 2022 - 7:00 pm

    This issue has been discussed to death for years and will continue to do so. Why doesn’t an APPG member of parliament introduce a bill to unfreeze pensions, which I believe is the way to get the law changed. Why don’t they all repeatedly keep up pressure on the government when sitting in the house of commons. When are they actually going to DO something except talk and have meetings.

  7. Mark Todd
    February 2, 2023 - 12:58 am

    This policy is bitterly cyclical – the UK should INCENTIVISE retirees who choose to leave the country hence removing all burdens in the state such as health, not reduce their income.


  8. marlene johnson
    February 4, 2023 - 6:33 pm

    I was born in the UK and of my pension does not come through soon I am packing up and going back home as a refugee . I am a low income senior ne dental no nothing so at least I will be able to get housing benefits etc . Disgusting way to treat your seniors worked hard all their life and to not even put a statement out it’s not going to your bank .

  9. David Girkin
    February 7, 2023 - 12:56 am

    Much has been written, and a great deal said in endless meetings, all wasted time so far.
    APPG appears to be a wasted effort, some of the group really do care, others maybe not so much.
    We do not vote, but, many of us have family and friends in the UK, who do vote.
    Is it time to target the politicians who appear most against unfreezing?
    The suggestion of introducing a bill to unfreeze seems a good idea, with a secret vote, thus ensuring a large number of polies just might give the desired result.
    David Girkin frozen in Aus with my wife also frozen.

  10. Terrence Alan Gowing
    April 23, 2023 - 4:06 am

    I think all I need to do is say Ditto to David Jackaman. David I am in complete agreement with everything you wrote. I have 30 Years of Government service Starting as a Junior soldier @ 15 years of age. I then went onto self employment as a hotelier in the tourist industry. I paid into National insurance for 47 years. finally settling in Cambodia after teaching English as a second language as a volunteer & meeting my now wife. It was difficult for me to come to terms with the fact that my state pension had been frozen. I wrote to the then Minister for Works & pensions Theresa Coffee a number of times & emailed her, but still after years I have not received one answer. I even hand delivered a letter to her office in Westminster on a Visit to the U.K. Their attitude Is like dealing with the DoD again, as in “Mind over matter”, “we don’t mind, you don’t matter”!! David, same as you, I fought for my country, lost some very good friend in Northern Ireland & came close myself a few times, then I have my pension frozen because of where I chose to live, that to me is disgusting & unjust. Allegedly it would take 228 million pounds to put things right, peanuts to the treasury. Can some one, any one of you law makers in A.P.P.G, introduce a bill to unfreeze our already paid for State Pensions, We were not cowards when we served & fought for our country, Now YOU do the right thing by us & unfreeze our rightful paid for Pensions.

  11. john bentham
    February 29, 2024 - 11:48 pm

    There is no punishment for declaring and receiving unfrozen pension in frozen land ,none Read regulations

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