State Retirement Pensions: British Nationals Abroad

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 10th April 2019.

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Photo of Caroline Lucas Caroline Lucas Green, Brighton, Pavilion

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to her Department's document Estimated costs of uprating State Pension in frozen rate countries, recipients of the UK State Pension living overseas, if she will hold discussions with her counterparts in (a) Australia, (b) Canada, (c) New Zealand and (d) other countries about the potential benefits of a reciprocal agreement including the uprating of the pensions of their UK residents; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Guy Opperman Guy Opperman The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The Department’s document ‘Estimated costs of uprating State Pension in frozen rate countries’ https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/estimated-costs-of-uprating-state-pension-in-frozen-rate-countries shows that the estimated extra cost of up-rating the UK State Pension in countries where State Pension increases are not paid would be around £3 billion extra over five years, if all State Pensions in payment were increased to the amount that would have been payable if the recipients had never left the UK.

The policy on the up-rating of UK State Pensions paid to recipients living outside the UK is clear and is a long-standing one of successive Governments since WW2. The annual index-linked increases are paid to UK State Pension recipients 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 in place that provides for the uprating of the UK State Pension. The Government has no plans to change this policy.

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