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Tens of thousands of state pensioners can’t afford heating as they miss out on triple lock | Personal Finance | Finance


The new pensions minister has been called on to take action as thousands of state pensioners who miss out on the annual rise struggle to pay their bills.

About 500,000 state pensioners miss out on the upgrade in April in line with the triple lock because of where they live.

A survey of those on a frozen state pension found that four in ten had to cut back on heating or cooling their homes because of their reduced income and more than a third of pensioners were forced to work past retirement age.

Only Britons living in the UK and in certain countries that have a social welfare agreement with the UK will see their payments increase, leaving half a million people stuck at the rate of payment they had when ‘they left the UK.

The International Consortium of Pensioners in Britain has written to newly appointed pensions minister Paul Maynard, asking for an urgent meeting to discuss the issue.

The letter said: “Following your appointment, you could end the injustice faced by around half a million British citizens living abroad whose state pensions are excluded from the annual pension increase, known as the frozen pension policy.

“This policy, which was a political choice made by successive Governments, has left some British pensioners in financial straits and denied the pension they had hoped for, paid for and deserved. “

The letter mentioned the case of Anne Puckridge, aged 98, who lives in Canada, and whose pension is stuck at £72.50 a week. She lost £41,000 during her retirement.

The letter to Mr Maynard said the UK’s position on paying the state pension to Britons living abroad had become “extremely incomprehensible”.

Mr Maynard, MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys, took over from Laura Trott this week in the Cabinet reshuffle that saw former Prime Minister David Cameron return to Government as Foreign Secretary.

People living in these countries receive the annual increase in the state pension:

  • The European Economic Area
  • Gibraltar
  • Switzerland
  • A country that has a social security agreement with the UK.

A Government spokesman said: “Our priority is to ensure that all pensioners receive the financial support they are entitled to.

“We understand that people move abroad for many reasons and we provide clear information on how this can affect their finances.

“Government policy on upgrading the UK state pension for long-term overseas recipients has been in place for more than 70 years and we continue to upgrade overseas state pensions where there is a legal requirement to do so. “

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