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Frozen pension policy turns British expat's dream into a nightmare


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Foreigners resident in Thailand are beginning to feel a financial strain due to the UK government's pension freeze policy. Three British individuals have experienced this challenge, providing insights about a difficult reality that contrasts sharply with the country's sunny appeal.


John Jones, 77, had enjoyed a lively international lifestyle but now, due to the frozen pension policy, his retirement plans are suffering. Residing in rural Thailand, Jones struggles with a heart condition adding to his financial woes.


Rising living costs are hitting him particularly hard. According to Jones, market items that were affordable thirteen years ago now seem overly expensive. The budget constraints hinder any saving capacities and he lives quite a simple life.


His fellow Briton, Jeffrey Barnes, 77, from Offham, Kent, shares a similar fate. Although receiving a comfortable private pension, the unfairness of the frozen state pension policy aggravates him.


Meanwhile, 55-year-old Linz Gelthorpe and his 61-year-old wife, Julie, find their dream relocation to Thailand tarnished by unforeseen financial challenges.


The problem lies in the UK Government’s position to freeze state pensions for its nationals living in non-European countries like Thailand. The policy precludes them from receiving the annual increment accessible to those residing in the UK. Reportedly, it affects over 480,000 globally.


The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), despite mounting criticism, stands by this policy, asserting that it has been in place for over 70 years. However, this isn't much consolation for the British foreigners who are still managing these financial realities.




Photo: Creative Common License via Google



-- 2024-04-26

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50 minutes ago, Rampant Rabbit said:

and who mostly never use the NHS saving the UK millions, its an absolute farce,


And its possible, without having made no contributions in tax and national insurance, to return to the UK after a working career outside of it, and receive full benefit of that NHS.


Todays taxes are to pay for today's healthcare, not tomorrow's.

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1 hour ago, MicroB said:


In 1946, there was the first uplift, which wasn't paid out to pensioners outside of Great Britain. The National Insurance Act 1946  contained a general  disqualification for payment of benefits absent from Great Britain, together with power for regulations to remove the disqualification. Upratings, of which there were three between July 1948 and July 1955, were not payable to persons not resident in Great Britain. The formal policy was made in 1955. Subsequent regulations providing for pension increases have continued to have the same effect. Between 1948 and 1955, the UK entered into reciprocal agreements with France, Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, which provided for payment of retirement pension in the countries concerned. Upratings were paid. Pensions were also payable, by a special arrangement, in  Ireland but were not uprated until 1966. Until 1973, recipricol arrangements were made with 30 countries to allow pension increases. This stopped in 1981. In July 1995, there was a parliamentary debate on the Pension Bill amendments for upratings to be paid, defeated by large majorities.



In theory, all UK pensioners could go home, and their pensions increased to the current rate.




William Hague pointed out that todays NI contributions pays for today's pensioner, not your future pension. So arguments about paying into a system for future entitlement falls fat on its face. There isn't the money to pay for overseas pensioners, who mostly don't vote, who mostly don't pay taxes, to have their pension increased.


Hague is full of it. Most penioners in the UK don't pay tax either. There is always the money - we still have our own bank.


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2 hours ago, mrwebb8825 said:

Most British Commonwealth countries are included in the frozen list;[8] these include countries, such as Australia, Canada


cant find anything to back what you said about canada. link please.

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2 hours ago, orchis said:
2 hours ago, Ralf001 said:

What year did the frozen pension policy come into effect ?


I think 2000.


Yet the main article states,


2 hours ago, snoop1130 said:

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), despite mounting criticism, stands by this policy, asserting that it has been in place for over 70 years.


Are we in the year 2070, by god I'm aging better than I thought.

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