Pressure grows for end to expat frozen pensions

Pressure grows for end to expat frozen pensions

Pressure grows for end to expat frozen pensions

As sterling drops ever lower and Brit expats on frozen pensions tighten their belts to the final hole, pressure is growing for the UK government to end the scandal.

However small the amounts received by British expats on frozen pensions, the Brexit-induced fall in the value of sterling is making matters even worse. For retirees planning to leave the UK once they’ve drawn their ungenerous state pensions, calculations involving expected life-spans, costs of living and the possibility of long-term healthcare are perhaps not the best start to a long-awaited retirement in the sun. Increasing numbers of British pensioners are heading for the door, afraid of the effects of Brexit on their already dwindling savings, but the countries with the lowest costs of living are those not covered by the British triple lock annual pension increases.

For a good while, Southeast Asia’s developing economies offered a cheap cost of living, excellent weather and inexpensive accommodation in towns and cities with a reasonable level of internationally-based modernity. Sadly, this combination is failing in many formerly popular locations including Thailand, and there’s now almost nowhere left for British retirees to settle. A tiny flicker of hope may be given to those in this situation, as British lawmakers slowly catch on to the need for either uprating the frozen pensions list to include more countries or even the cancellation of the unjust rule.

British state pensioners in non-included locations have paid the same amount of social security contributions as their equivalents still living in the UK, but are receiving far less for their trouble. The longer they stay, the less in real terms they receive, leaving those without private pensions in penury in their later years. Late last week, yet another letter signed by a number of MPs was delivered to Theresa May’s Downing Street door in the vain hope it might prick political consciences hard enough to provoke essential action. Politicians’ argument against revocation focus on the huge cost of uprating across the board, but the amount saved by non-use of the NHS and other benefits is falling on deliberately deaf ministerial ears.

Sad tales of Brit expats being forced to sell their properties aren’t touching hearts in parliament, even although more MPs are showing concern than in previous attempts to have the government honour their promises, mostly given as part of election manifestos and soon forgotten. Cross-party groups are now using words such as ‘immoral’, ‘unfair’, ‘unjust’ and ‘broken promises’ – all true, but is anyone in governent actually listening? Some 500,000 Britons existing on their frozen pensions could be forgiven for thinking they, along with British expats in the EU, are the perfect examples of ‘out of sight, out of mind’.

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