By Laura Kemp • 06 November 2021 • 16:02
Brit pensioners living overseas hit by soaring inflation
As millions of British people will see their pensions rise by 3.1 per cent, thousands of British pensioners who emigrated won’t get a penny extra in what has been dubbed a “postcode lottery.”
The full UK basic state pension is set to increase in April by £4.25 to £141.85 a week, however, nearly half a million Brits who emigrated or retired overseas in places such as Canada and Australia only receive as little as £22 per week and this never increases.
This is being made even more difficult as the cost of food, energy and other essentials go up. For example, Canada’s annual inflation rate reached an 18-year high of 4.4 per cent in September, and South Africa’s inflation has climbed to 5 per cent.
A pensioner living in Australia, where inflation is currently running at 3 per cent, spoke to The Guardian and said she receives a state pension of £64 a week.
“I live modestly, some would say frugally.”
“With the increase of the cost of living in Australia, especially utility bills, insurance premiums, food price increases and so on, I am finding it increasingly difficult to live within my income.”
The woman is one of 492,000 British pensioners living overseas who will not see an increase because of the UK’s “frozen pensions policy.” Pensioners living in the UK will see a yearly increase in their pension, however, those living overseas will not and will stay at the same level they were on when they left the UK.
Some Brits whose pensions were frozen over 20 years ago have missed out on tens of thousands of pounds and with inflation increases each yer, the buying power of their pensions decreases.
Campaigners in the UK attempted to put pressure on the matter this week, with members from the End Frozen Pensions group delivering their message to 10 Downing Street and urging the UK government to end the “morally bankrupt” policy.
The issue is due to UK state pensions being payable overseas but not increased annually unless there is a legal requirement.
However, if you move to an EU country, the US or one of a disparate list of countries including Israel, Mauritius and the Philippines, your state pension will rise in line with inflation.
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Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features.
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