New State Pension rates of up to £221 each week will not be paid to 450,000 older people

Millions of people already claiming their State Pension are now receiving higher payments due to the annual uprating last month. The increase of 8.5 per cent means people on the full New State Pension will receive £221.20 each week while those on the full Basic State Pension will get £169.50 each week.

However, while the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) uprating will be welcomed by more than 12 million State Pensioners across Great Britain, some 450,000 older people will not qualify for any uplift to their payments - even though they have accrued the required amount of National Insurance contributions before taking retirement.

This is because they have retired abroad and now live in a country that does not have a reciprocal agreement with the UK Government. This means that some retirees have seen their State Pension frozen at the point of emigration. However, the ‘End Frozen Pensions’ campaign aims to end the “injustice of pensions for Britons who have moved abroad” who do not receive the annual increase in line with the Triple Lock policy.

Under the Triple Lock, the State Pension increases each year by whichever is the highest between average annual earnings growth from May to July, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation rate in the year to September or 2.5 per cent.

The campaign, run by the International Consortium of British Pensioners, advocates on behalf of Britons affected by ‘frozen pensions’ and has a number of parliamentary supporters, including Scottish Lib Dem MPs Wendy Chamberlain and Alistair Carmichael, SNP MPs Martyn Day and Ian Blackford, Alba MPs Neale Hanvey and kenny MacAskill and several Labour and Conservative MPs.

And it’s not just members of Parliament, peers from the House of Lords, high-profile celebrities and notable organisations are also supporting the End Frozen Pensions campaign - a full list can be found on its website here.

The campaign also highlights how many of the State Pensioners affected worked as nurses, firemen, police officers and other public servants, some are military veterans.

Campaigners warn that “many are now living in poverty despite paying their National Insurance contributions in full”.

The End Frozen Pensions campaign explains: “They moved, often to be near family, to live in one of the countries without a reciprocal agreement to inflation link their State Pension, so their pension is ‘frozen’ at the level it was at when they left the UK.

“Those in countries with reciprocal agreements are unaffected so if you were a pensioner in the USA you would continue to get an uprating, but if you lived just across the border in Canada you would not.

“We believe this is deeply unfair and arbitrary and penalises hard working Britons.”

As an example of the difference between State Pensions for those living in the UK and those in a non-reciprocal agreement country, a pensioner aged 90 who has lived in a ‘frozen country’ for the duration of their retirement will receive a State Pension of just £43.60 per week - if they had continued to live in the UK they would be receiving £169.50.

Campaigners also point out that the highest numbers of affected State Pensioners are living in some of the largest Commonwealth countries such as Australia and Canada.

Retired expats in the European Economic Area (EEA) will continue to receive annual increases to their State Pensions under the Triple Lock, as will those in a host of other countries including the Philippines and Turkey.

Online petition

An online petition on the End Frozen Pensions website has already received more than 20,400 signatures of support.

One story involves Anne, who is 98 and served in the Second World War who worked in the UK up until the age of 76. She paid her National Insurance in full, however, when she left the UK and moved to Canada to be closer to her daughter and grandchildren, her State Pension was frozen at £72.50 per week.

Her State Pension doesn’t increase in-line with the triple Lock, so it falls in real value year-on-year. If she had stayed in the UK she would be receiving £156.20 per week on the Basic State Pension rate.

The petition highlights a number of people who have retired abroad and are missing out on the annual State Pension uprating. You can view the video and petition here.

New State Pension payment rates 2024/25

  • Full payment rate: £221.20

  • Every four-week pay period: £884.80

Basic State Pension payment rates 2024/25

  • Category A or B Basic State Pension (full rate): £169.50

  • Every four-week pay period: £678.00

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