Azara Blog: Expat UK pensioners treated like trash by the government

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Date published: 2005/05/26

The BBC says:

A case that could have led to a rise in the pensions of nearly half a million Britons who retired abroad has been rejected by the House of Lords.

Annette Carson, who emigrated to South Africa in 1989, wanted her state pension to rise in line with prices.

However, the judge described Ms Carson's claim as "unjustified."

UK expats living in the EU have their pensions increased while those living in some Commonwealth countries have their pensions frozen.
Under bilateral agreements with countries including US and EU members, the government has upgraded pensions for British people who retire there.

But social security agreements with other countries such as Canada, South Africa and Australia were drawn up much earlier, in the 1950s, before inflation became such an important issue.

Critics of the current system believe it is an unfair lottery - and penalises people who have paid national insurance contributions all their working lives.

Well the judge is technically correct but the decision is dreadful. And the UK government is even more dreadful for allowing this system to continue (they, unlike the judge, have the power to fix the law directly). It's amazing how Blair and Brown love to pontificate about "solving" world poverty by throwing money at it, but at the same time are happy to screw these pensioners.

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