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Frozen State Pension
Over 500,000 British state pensioners who have contributed to the National Insurance Fund for most of their working lives have had their pensions frozen from the date of their emigrating, or from the date they first received the pension in their countries of residence. Most of the frozen pensioners live in Commonwealth countries, and most of the "frozen" countries are in the Commonwealth. Australia is particularly hard hit with about 250,000 frozen pensioners.
Meanwhile another half million have been permitted to retain their full entitlements, should they choose to retire to Europe or the USA. Those who go to Europe get Christmas bonuses and some even get winter fuel allowances.
The British Age Pensioner Alliance, successor to the British Australian Pensioner Association, has as its main objective
to secure parity of pensions from the United Kingdom Department of Work and Pensions as are pensions paid to residents of Britain and other favoured countries.
By "parity of pensions" we mean the pension as paid to residents in the UK, as are paid to British state pensioners who decide to return to live in the UK, as are paid to "frozen" pensioners during any visit to the UK. Note that we are not seeking compensation for the years our pensions have been frozen; that would be too big an ask, and we do not want to frighten the Government or the Treasury or individual MPs.
The suggestion has been made that frozen pensioners could have an annual percentage increase like the triple lock enjoyed by UK residents. We do not and will not accept this proposed solution, because it would not lead ultimately to parity until all presently frozen pensioners die or return to live in the UK. Many who have had their pensions frozen for a long period have an abysmally low pension. An annual percentage increase would still leave them with an abysmally low pension.
The only gradual approach that we might find acceptable would be (for example) to award full parity to pensioners who are over age 80, and in later years extend this to lower age groups.
For comments on the proposal to seek to annul the Regulation which perpetuates the freeze, see
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