State pension to hit £10,000 but half a million people will miss out – ‘I am excluded!’
State Pension: Expert outlines criteria to qualify
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Currently, financial analysts believe those eligible for the state pension will see their payments raised to £10,000 next year, which coincides with the triple lock returning. Half a million pensioners will miss out on this payment hike due to living in a country without a reciprocal social security agreement with the UK. Recently, the Government confirmed it would be restoring the triple lock pledge on state pension payments next year.
Pensioners who live abroad have their payments frozen, which results in them falling in real terms year on year.
This is despite the fact that this group has made the same National Insurance contributions to get their state pension.
The triple lock is a promise to raise the state pension by either 2.5 percent, the rate of inflation or average earnings.
Due to furlough artificially inflating wages during the pandemic, the link to average earnings was removed, resulting in pensioners only getting a 3.1 percent uplift to their payment rates.
However, as this has been reinstated and inflation is looking likely to hit 10 percent in the coming months, older people are expecting their retirement pots to rise by whatever is highest.
An increase of at least 10 percent would mean that annual state pension payments would be raised to around £10,000.
Patricia Coulthard, a 100-year-old British pensioner in Australia, shared how she has been impacted by this policy oversight.
She said: “Since I moved to Australia to be closer to my children in my retirement, my pension has been frozen at just £46 per week.
“I am now nearly 101-years old, having been born in Britain and served as a nurse in World War II.
“It saddens me to think the UK Government does not believe I am entitled to the same support as other British pensioners living overseas.
“Had I moved to a country such as the US, my pension would have increased throughout the years, but as I moved to Australia, I am excluded from these much-needed increases. I hope the Government will finally put an end to this injustice.”
John Duffy, the chair of the International Consortium of British Pensioners, emphasised further how this “cruel policy” affects innocent British pensioners who happen to live abroad.
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Mr Duffy explained: “Although we welcome the rise in UK pensions, we are hugely disappointed that the UK Government is continuing to treat British citizens living in an arbitrary list of countries unfairly.
“This outrageously cruel policy is excluding pensioners, many of whom spent their working lives in the UK, and leaving them to face poverty and financial hardship.
“The UK Government could choose to end this policy now but instead continues to treat British pensioners across the world unequally, despite the contributions they have made to the UK.
“We hope the Government will engage in future discussions to end this policy and give all UK pensioners the support they are entitled to, no matter where they live.”
A DWP spokesperson said: “We understand that people move abroad for many reasons and that this can impact on their finances.
“There is information on GOV.UK about what the effect of going abroad will be on entitlement to the UK state pension.
“The Government’s policy on the uprating of the UK state pension for recipients living overseas is a longstanding one of more than 70 years and we continue to uprate state pensions overseas where there is a legal requirement to do so.”
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