Lancashire MP urges new PM to tackle frozen pensions

Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans
Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans

Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans is urging the future new Prime Minister to tackle the frozen pensions of British citizens living overseas.

All British pensioners who have made National Insurance contributions during their working lives are entitled to a state pension regardless of where they choose to live.

However, four per cent of the UK’s pensioners are denied their full pension because of policy that prevents their pensions being uprated in line with inflation.

Speaking from Westminster, Mr Evans said: “The leadership election taking place over the coming weeks will settle not only who leads the Conservative Party, but also who will become the next Prime Minister.

“Whoever this may be, they need tackle the issue of frozen pensions head-on, and I hope the frontrunners will make this into an election pledge.”

The policy currently affects around 510,000 pensioners, with more than 90 per cent of ‘frozen’ pensioners living in Commonwealth countries such as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Mr Evans added: “The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has estimated that the uprating of pensions would cost around £600m per year, but this cost is meagre compared to the money that the UK saves when pensioners move abroad and do not use our social services or NHS.

“This policy needs an urgent rethink and I will be putting pressure on the new leader to urgent adopt new legislation on the issue of frozen pensions.”

The DWP has previously said there are no plans to allow increases in the affected countries – but the amount will go up for those returning to the UK.