Frozen pensions fear


Webpage comment
January 23, 2016

This is again, I fear, misinformation as it stands. Frozen pensions (based upon the rate on the date one becomes a resident in another country) are arranged under a bi-lateral treaty with mostly Commonwealth countries, and were generally set up when these countries encouraged immigration. What has been not been mentioned is these Commonwealth countries then take on the responsibility to ‘top up’ the UK pension to an amount that is enjoyed by that specific country’s pensioners. In most cases, the final amount exceeds the UK alone pension, had that person remained in the UK.
At the moment, and as it was pre-EU, no such bi-lateral agreements existed covering pensions with EU member countries. Hence this topic should be dismissed until anything, if ever, changes. It’s a shame only the scaremongering part of the story has been told, and not the complete picture.

Philip Chaney

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  1. I am afraid that Mr. Chaney is inaccurate in his letter in response to the article FROZEN PENSION FEAR. There are 544,000 UK pensioners living in mostly Commonwealth countries who do not receive an annual increase to the UK state pension. Neither do they receive a ‘top up’ from their country of residence (New Zealand may be the exception, but why should New Zealand be subsidising UK pensioners anyway?). For each UK pensioner living abroad (and there are over 1 million of them), the UK government saves over £1,500 per pensioner per year. If they were to upgrade the state pension in al countries, they would still be over £1,300 per pensioner per year in “profit”.

    As to scaremongering on the impact that Brexit may have on UK pensioners living in the EU, Mr. Chaney may be interested to know that the UK House of Lords has set up a commission to review potential impacts to UK citizens living in the EU and the pensions issue is second in the list, with only healthcare above it.

    I would be happy to answer any queries that your readers may have – they can contact me at

    Yours sincerely,

    Nigel Nelson
    Chairman, International Consortium of British Pensioners (ICBP)


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