NEW: Canada requests reciprocal pensions agreement with UK

December 3, 2020 Frozen British Pensions 0 Comments

The Government of Canada has formally requested to form a new social security agreement with the UK to cover the uprating of state pensions. This would unfreeze the state pensions of 150,000 UK pensioners living in Canada impacted by the unjust ‘frozen’ pensions policy.

The news was revealed today in answer to a written question by Labour MP, Chris Elmore. In response to this question, Pensions Minister Guy Opperman confirmed that:

The Department [for Work and Pensions] has recently received representations from the Government of Canada to negotiate a reciprocal social security agreement covering the uprating of pensions.

The UK Government repeatedly argue that state pensions are uprated overseas only where there is a legal requirement to do so through a reciprocal uprating agreement. However, the UK Government could choose, should they wish, to unfreeze pensions unilaterally via domestic legislation in absence of such agreement. The formation of a new reciprocal arrangement between Canada and the UK would be one of technicality, given that Canadian citizens living in the UK already receive their full and uprated Canadian state pension.

The request from Canada offers a new opportunity for the case to end frozen pensions; if a new reciprocal arrangement is agreed, it could stand as a precedent for other ‘frozen’ countries to negotiate their own pension agreements.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Frozen British Pensions welcomes this development, and stands ready to support the UK Government to reach a positive solution with Canada, as a first step to end frozen pensions for all ‘frozen’ pensioners around the world.

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