Expat tells Tories to ‘pay up’ after pension frozen at £70 a week for 18 years


Brian Green, 85, from Billinge, Merseyside, emigrated to Australia in 2003 meaning his UK state pension was frozen at £70 a week and he’s never benefited from the yearly increases others get

Brian Green, 85, is furious as his state pension is 'frozen' at £70 per week
Brian Green, 85, is furious as his state pension is ‘frozen’ at £70 per week

An expat retiree has told the Government to “pay up” after his state pension was frozen at £70-a-week for 18 years.

Brian Green is among an estimated half a million Brits living abroad whose pension payments no longer increase at the normal rate.

The 85-year-old, originally from Billinge near Wigan, Lancashire, moved to Queensland, Australia, with his wife in 2003 to be closer to the couple’s daughters, reports the Daily Express.

The majority of British nationals see their pension go up yearly as high as 2.5 percent, in line with average earnings or inflation under the triple lock.

Even though this policy has been temporarily suspended, most will be expecting a rise this year.

The Government says increases are only guaranteed for those living in the UK, the European Economic Area (EEA), Gibraltar, Switzerland and countries with a social security agreement with the UK (but not Canada or New Zealand).

Mr Green and his wife – who did not wish to be named – were born and lived in the UK all their lives before emigrating.

Speaking to the End Frozen Pensions campaign, the pensioner said: “Our pensions have been frozen for some 18 years. I receive £70.02, and my wife receives £48.04.

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Secretary of State Thérèse Coffey MP leaves 10 Downing Street
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Image:

Peter Summers)

“This, I believe, is immoral.

“If we had chosen to live in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo or Turkey, or indeed 14 other countries with which the UK has a bilateral or reciprocal arrangement, our pensions would not have been frozen.”

Mr Green appeared to accept the idea the UK Government will not pay backdated pensions to impacted expats across the globe.

However, he added: “But they could start paying the full and entitled pensions from now. Today.”

Since leaving their home shores, Mr Green and his wife have returned annually for two months.

But Mr Green highlighted their pensions undergo a temporary change when they reach Britain.

He continued: “During that stay, we received an increased entitlement to our pensions.

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“So on Monday, when I set off, my pension is frozen in Australia. On Tuesday, when I arrive, my pension is thawed.

“What does it matter where I am?”

Mr Green is keen to highlight the issue which is thought to affect hundreds of thousands of people across the world.

He concluded by urging the government to take action, and said: “I paraphrase the words from Sir Henry Newbolt’s splendid poem: Vitai Lampada.

“Government – pay up! Pay up! And play the game.”

A DWP spokesperson previously said: “We understand that people move abroad for many reasons and that this can impact on their finances.

“There is information on GOV.UK about what the effect of going abroad will be on entitlement to the UK state pension.

“The Government’s policy on the up-rating of the UK state pension for recipients living overseas is a longstanding one of more than 70 years and we continue to uprate state pensions overseas where there is a legal requirement to do so.”

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www.mirror.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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