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

December 16, 2020 Frozen British Pensions 3 Comments

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

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  1. Stephen Smith
    January 16, 2021 - 6:51 pm

    I have just found the website about British ExPats and frozen Pensions.
    Below is my latest email sent yesterday to DWP. International Pension Centre. They are not easy to communicate with. They will not tell me why or discuss why they have suspended my Pension.
    They stopped paying it October 2020. My wife is Indonesian. I live in Kalimalang, East Jakarta.

    I do not know how much I have been ‘overpaid’. I think my original Pension was about 164 pounds weekly which started in July 2015. I have 2 letters telling me my increases see below.

    I’m 70 years old. If you need more info please let me know.

    Kind regards
    Steve Smith

    Contact DWP about accessability

    Problem : I want my State Pension reinstated. I have 2 children, 13 & 5 years. I returned to the UK in 2016 for health reasons (I have P.A.D.) and to try to get my family to reside in the UK but the immigration regulations are too tough, I don’t earn enough money (must have a combined income of at least £18,600 a year if: you’re applying as a partner. to settle in the UK) and I couldn’t find a way to get my family over to the UK. Meanwhile whilst in the UK my Pension increased 13/04/2017 from £164 weekly to £167.04 then again 11/04/2019 to £176.40 pounds weekly. In October 2020 I received a letter from DWP asking for my address in Indonesia as you suspended my Pension. No information why. I only recently found out that Pension increases are prohibited for British citizens living overseas. Am assuming you are withholding my Pension until I repay what is owed. My calculations are about £744 but I cannot be sure as I don’t have any information from you. You could’ve reduced my Pension by £100 a month to repay what I owe so that at least I have some money coming in, whilst a Pandemic is in full swing. I sent a form/letter months ago and you never wrote back. You won’t discuss anything by email. You don’t answer the phone. Catch 22

    p.s the website is not mine but:

  2. Stephen Smith
    January 18, 2021 - 8:06 am

    This problem will not be resolved unless more MP’s get involved. At the moment 50 MP’s are not enough. I am in the process of tweeting to all MP’s asking them to join the 50 all party MP’s. The more onboard the better. Only then may we solve this problem.

    Unless… (other ideas welcomed)

  3. Robin Davidson
    March 7, 2021 - 6:03 pm

    Interesting, and hopeful, that the UK budget of March 2021 looks like scrapping the 15 year limit on expats voting in UK elections. Frozen pensioners with a vote are likely to vote for a party comitted to also scrapping frozen pensions.

    25 yr expat pensioner in Canada.

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