To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate his Department has made of the cost of introducing universal annual uprating to the state pensions of British pensioners living abroad.
The UK State Pension is a contributory based pension payable worldwide, without regard to nationality, to those who meet the eligibility criteria. But it is uprated abroad only where there is a legal requirement to do so - for example, where UK State Pension recipients are living within the European Economic Area, Switzerland and Gibraltar or in countries where there is a reciprocal agreement that provides for uprating of the UK State Pension. This is a longstanding policy which has remained consistent for around 70 years. It has been the policy of consecutive Governments of all persuasions. It is estimated that the cost of up-rating state pensions would increase each year by over £0.5 billion per year if all pensions in payment were increased to current levels in the UK.