Pensioners: Overseas Residence

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 13th May 2008.

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Photo of Nigel Evans Nigel Evans Conservative, Ribble Valley

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the cost of uprating pensions for retired UK citizens living abroad.

Photo of Mike O'Brien Mike O'Brien Minister of State (Pension Reform), Department for Work and Pensions

The UK state pension is uprated for UK pensioners living overseas where there is a reciprocal social security agreement or a legal requirement to do so.

The latest estimate to bring all frozen rate UK state pensions up to the current rate is around £440 million and this would be an ongoing cost increasing year on year.


March 2007 Retirement Pension and Widows Benefit administrative data, 5 per cent. sample

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Peter Morris
Posted on 14 May 2008 1:39 pm (Report this annotation)

It seems that Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling, can find an extra £2.7 billion "out of the blue" in the current tax year (2008/09) to fund a political mistake in the 10% tax rate fiasco, but cannot find £440 million out of the National Insurance Fund, with a £35 billion surplus, to uprate all pensioners overseas and not just uprate half of them.

James nelson
Posted on 14 May 2008 11:59 pm (Report this annotation)

This is a disingenuous argument. There is nothing other than sheer bloody-mindedness that prevents the government from entering into reciprocal agreements with other countries. In fact, there is no need for a reciprocal agreement, as admitted recently by James Purnell. A simple "courageous" act would be enough.

Aubrey Prance
Posted on 15 May 2008 4:35 am (Report this annotation)

Freezing the pensions for some but not others is criminal.
"Retire to the USA or Common Market Countries, even Israel" Mr O'Brien explains "and we will uprate your State Pension". "Retire to Australia, Canada, South Africa or New Zealand, for whatever reason, then we will freeze your pension". He makes it sounds like blackmail. It's immoral too!