The United Kingdom is again in the headlines. After staying the magnet issue for media for long on Brexit, the economy has again come into notice. This time the buzz is about the state pension policy but UK is again on of the stimulating factors.
To ensure the benefits of the UK residents who live in EU countries, the UK Government is planning to give an increase every year in the pension. This is supposed to continue for the next THREE years if the no-deal Brexit happens. Amber Rudd, the Work and Pensions Secretary confirmed this.
In UK, the state pension gets an annual rise under the triple-lock guarantee policy. This is done according to the highest limit of 2.5% in the two factors. Either the average wage growth or prices growth as the Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures is taken into consideration.
A wave of fury by those who are unattended
This increase does not apply on those retirees who reside full-time in certain other countries including New Zealand and Canada. This has made several campaigners stand against the frozen state pension policy for UK pensioners who are living overseas.
The number of such UK pensioners is 500,000 and their pensions do not increase every year. They are getting what they used to get when they left the UK. The financial lives of some of them have become a maze of pending obligations. They have to depend either on help of others or on the options like guaranteed debt consolidation loans to gather their scattered financial commitments. Their anger shows the desperation to get their share in the pension strategy. They are determined to raise a voice against this discrimination.
The Government already gave the commitment of uprating for April 2019 to March 2020. But after the recent announcement, this has been extended up to March 2023. This is sure to bring reassurance to those who receive pension while living in EU countries.
Amber Rudd, the Work and Pensions Secretary gives a precise concern on the issue – He clearly told that the government is working on its prominent intentions on leaving the EU next month on 31 October. The purpose is to be completely ready for Brexit. In the sequence of the related activities, the government is trying to work subsequently for the interests of the citizens. Whether they are living in the UK or in the EU, we are destined and determined to keep working for our people. The pensions are sure to keep rising each year.
UK government has all the intentions to negotiate with the EU on this new arrangement. This will ensure the financial well-being of the Brits living overseas (except few countries). Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) made an announcement yesterday in which it was said that people living abroad would soon receive the good news through text message. To get things done, according to the plan a call centre team has been established in Newcastle. People who are in search to get answers of their questions about the new policy can ask anything they want.
The comment on the issue
Chair of the International Consortium of British Pensioners, John Duffy expressed the concern. He said that this is certainly good news for the UK pensioners living in the EU. However, it is a big disrespect for those 5,10,000 UK state pensioners, residing in the other parts of the world. Many of these people helped the nation (UK) build its economy. He gave the example of Anne – a WW2 veteran and campaigner, who served the nation in its darkest times. Many others were the public servants who acted as the pillar for the economy. This is not the way to respond to their loyalty.
In a statement to Express.co.uk, DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) said: “It would cost taxpayers more than £3billion over five years to change course on an issue which has been clear and settled Government policy for 70 years. We have no plans to do so.”
NOTE – To qualify for the new state pension – UK National Insurance contributions should have been paid for minimum 10 years.
Name of countries in which UK pensioners will (usually) get the benefit from the annual rise in the amount of state pension.
|Austria||Barbados||Gibraltar||Bermuda||Bosnia-Herzegovina||the Isle of Man||Croatia||Cyprus|
Between the good and the bad feedbacks on the pension policy, the UK Government is trying to calm down the chaos part. Despite the bumpy roads in the way, the state pension policy looks destined to walk fast towards its implementation. However, the concern expressed by the people who are left behind in spite of their being a UK pensioner, raises some genuine concerns. It is better if they get sorted out. Fingers Crossed.