Thousands of state pensioners can’t afford heating and miss out on triple lock

The new pensions minister has been urged to take action as tens of thousands of state pensioners who miss out on the yearly increase are struggling to pay their bills.

Some 500,000 state pensioners miss out on the April uprating in line with the triple lock because of where they live.

A survey of those on a frozen state pension found four in 10 have had to cut back on heating or cooling their home because of their reduced income while more than a third of the pensioners have been forced to work past retirement age.

Only Brits who live in the UK and in certain countries that have a social security agreement with the UK see their payments increase, leaving half a million people stuck on the payment rate they were on when they left the UK.

The International Consortium of British Pensioners has written to newly appointed pensions minister Paul Maynard, requesting an urgent meeting to discuss the issue.

READ MORE State pensioners may be able to boost payments by £3,600 a year

The letter said: “Following on from your appointment, you could finally end the injustice faced by around half a million British citizens living abroad whose state pensions are excluded from the annual pensions increase, known as the frozen pensions policy.

“This policy, which has been a political choice made by successive Governments has left some British pensioners living in financial hardship and denied the pension that they expected, paid for, and deserve.”

The letter mentioned the case of 98-year-old Anne Puckridge, who lives in Canda, and whose pension is stuck at £72.50 a week. She has missed out on £41,000 over the course of her retirement.

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The letter to Mr Maynard said the UK’s stance on paying the state pension to Britons living overseas has become “severely incoherent”.

Mr Maynard, MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys, took over from Laura Trott this week in the Cabinet reshuffle that also saw former Prime Minister David Cameron return to Government as Foreign Secretary.

People who live in these countries get the yearly state pension increase:

  • The European Economic Area
  • Gibraltar
  • Switzerland
  • A country that has a social security agreement with the UK.
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A Government spokesperson said: “Our priority is ensuring every pensioner receives the financial support to which they are entitled.

“We understand that people move abroad for many reasons and we provide clear information about how this can impact on their finances.

“The Government’s policy on the uprating of the UK state pension for recipients living overseas is a longstanding one of more than 70 years and we continue to uprate state pensions overseas where there is a legal requirement to do so.”

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