‘It’s un-British!’ Pensioner, 75, furious as state pension sum frozen – ‘not fair!’

Pensioner calls for his state pension to be 'unfrozen'

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The state pension will only increase if Britons live in certain countries, a long-standing Government policy. This means if a person chooses to move overseas to a country not stipulated on the list, they face their state pension being frozen at the rate it was when they left the country.

Eligible countries for a state pension increase are:

  • The UK
  • The European Economic Area (EEA)
  • Gibraltar
  • Switzerland
  • Countries with a social security agreement with the UK (but not Canada or New Zealand)

Francis Ramsey, a 75-year-old man living in Brisbane, Australia, has expressed his anger, due to the fact his pension is now frozen.

He lives in Brisbane, having been born on the island of Fiji, once a British Crown Colony.

Mr Ramsey lived and worked in the UK for 12 years from July 1968 onwards, initially as a UK public servant, and then as a bank employee. 

He eventually returned to Fiji in 1980 to share knowledge he gained in the UK for the benefit of local citizens.

But when Fiji’s democratic government was overthrown due to a coup d’etat in 1987, Mr Ramsey and his family moved to Australia. 

When contacting the UK about his pension, Mr Ramsey states he was told he could make additional contributions to make up for a state pension shortfall.

He readily did so, in the hopes of securing a full state pension, which he ended up delaying until he ultimately retired aged 71.

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However, upon leaving the workforce, Mr Ramsey was shocked to discover his pension would not be uprated. 

He told the End Frozen Pensions Campaign: “While the cost of living has been increasing each year, my pension payments remain unindexed. 

“This has caused financial hardship for me and my family.”

Mr Ramsey’s pension has therefore been frozen since 2016, unlike others who receive an increase in their retirement sum.

The 75-year-old feels this principle is unjust, and detailed his feelings on the matter.

He continued: “I always thought the British Government was known for its fairness and democratic principles. 

“I was brought up in a world defined by British values, administered in accordance with English common laws and structures.

“This was an environment where every citizen felt justice was, overall, well served and we were treated fairly and protected by law.

“However, not indexing UK pensioners for some citizens is obtuse and un-British, so divergent and unfair.

“I feel it is a violation of a basic human right.”

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Mr Ramsey added he was never told his pension would not be indexed in future.

As such, it was an unwelcome shock when he discovered there would be no increase to his sum.

He concluded: “I earnestly implore the British Government to commence indexations of future pensions without delay.

“This should be for all its citizens, wherever they reside.”

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “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 up-rating 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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