Information Centre

Across the world, hundreds of thousands of British state pensioners are being discriminated against simply because they retire to the ‘wrong’country. Find out more about frozen expat pensions, and what you can do to right this wrong.

Introduction

Retirement should be all about doing the things that make life worthwhile, not walking hand in hand with poverty.

But for many British state pensioners who retire abroad , the reality is more complicated. While some expats will have their pension 'up-rated' each year to keep up with inflation, those in one of 120 other countries will not.

Their pensions will remain 'frozen' in time, staying at exactly the same level as when they first retired abroad, leaving them to survive on as little as £30 per week.

We're fighting to right this wrong. We believe that all UK pensioners - no matter where they retire to - ought to receive the pension they have paid towards and deserve.  Help us fight this battle, otherwise YOU could be affected when you come to retire!

MEET THOSE AFFECTED

TAKE ACTION

Mythbusters

Uprating British pensions will cost too much money

[FALSE]

In fact, by choosing to retire abroad, each ‘frozen expat pensioner’ saves the taxpayer gross savings of about £7,700 per year in health care, age related benefits and miscellaneous pension credits. This comes to £3 billion annually. Unfreezing pensions would encourage even greater numbers to retire overseas, potentially saving the taxpayer as much as £7 billion over the next 20 years.

There is insufficient support for a change in policy

[FALSE]

The biggest barrier isn’t a lack of support, but of awareness. According to a poll carried out by Opinium, half of 45-64 year olds in the UK would consider retiring abroad, but 62% were unaware of the frozen pensions issue. Upon hearing the news, almost half were ‘angry’ or ‘annoyed’.

Many British expats have chosen to live abroad

[FALSE]

Such decisions aren’t always straightforward. Many pensioners were originally posted abroad with British companies, the diplomatic service, the armed forces, etc., or left to be closer to children or grandchildren. Life can take us in unexpected directions- and it’s wrong for some people to be penalised for it, while others are not. 

Pensions are only frozen in countries which don’t have a reciprocal agreement with the UK.

[FALSE]

While some countries do have an agreement with the UK to to ensure their citizens receive equal treatment in each others’ countries, this is not necessary. The UK government could choose to unfreeze pensions unilaterally at any time through a simple change in policy.

Where is affected?

Fact Sheets