Frozen state pension payments: Half a million pensioners lose out on thousands each year | Personal Finance | Finance

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Due to a historic policy, half a million pensioners are missing out on thousands due to them through the state pension. The UK Government will only increase state pension payments to individuals living in certain countries, and living anywhere else will see one’s sum frozen at the rate it was when they left.

Canada and New Zealand are not included in the final category. 

The frozen rates have divided Britons, with some arguing that people who leave a country should not expect to keep receiving its benefits. 

Others note that moving internationally is not a light-hearted choice, with some pensioners leaving to be closer to their remaining family. 

One Express.co.uk reader shared their personal experience with frozen pensions after moving to Thailand. 

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Expattaffy1 said: “My state pension was capped at £71, 18 years ago.”

For comparison, Expatden recommends a budget of 35,000 baht (approximately £812) per month to live in Bangkok, Pattaya, and Hua Hin.

This calculates to roughly £203 per week, more than double Expattaffy1’s state pension income.

Luckily, Expattaffy1 has three other pensions to rely on, their private and workplace pension as well as their late wife’s widows pension. 

Additionally, they shared: “With my totals hitting £660 per month, and due to the cheap cost of living here in Thailand, a lot better off than in the UK.”

They highlighted that they felt “discriminated” by their choice of where to live.

They continued: “If I moved from Thailand to Malaysia I would get my rises returned, however Australia does not qualify but America does.”

Many people argue that people who find their state pension frozen abroad have not done their due diligence before choosing where to reside. 

However, Express.co.uk reader Therealrob argued: “These pensioners contributed to the NI scheme on the same terms and conditions in their working lives as everyone else and now, in retirement, should be able to draw their pensions on the same terms and conditions as everyone else. 

“Whether they knew of the immoral policy or where they live should have no relevance.”

One reader, Theoldone, explained both sides of the argument saying: “There are two ways to look at the issue. 

“Firstly they paid in and therefore are entitled to the money and, secondly, that [those of] us who paid in but stay in the UK get the money but we spend it all in the UK for everything from food to Council Tax and our fuel bills, which includes the VAT and Green Taxes that go back to the government.”





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