Freezing pensions of British expats is an example of blatant miserly British Government discrimination from a nation which believes in and promotes itself as being fair minded, respecting equality, sound ethics and moral behaviour, writes Jim Tilley.
There are 250,000 retirees in Australia all of whom are in receipt of a UK State pension or part thereof; most of them are British expats. Unlike in several other countries e.g. the U.S., Israel, the EEA, Turkey, Jamaica etc., this UK State pension, in most Commonwealth countries, including Australia, is not uprated for inflation, meaning it stays at the same UK £ amount at which it was first granted.
UK only OECD country which freezes State pensions
The UK is the only OECD country, which practices a selective pension policy of freezing the UK State pensions in some countries. This British practice has been in place for over 60 years. A UK statutory regulation enables the UK Government to operate this immoral UK pension policy.
On 29 January 1997 a UK House of Commons Social Security Committee, [Uprating of State Retirement Pensions Payable to People Resident Abroad] investigating this issue, concluded in its Third Report:
‘Surely no-one would have deliberately designed a policy of paying pensions to people living abroad intending to end up in the position we are at today… A simple change in British law could enable upratings to be paid in any or all overseas countries, provided the political will was there to do.’
Unfortunately no such political will eventuated in 1997 or in subsequent years.