WW2 veteran, 98, stuck with £72.50 a week state pension

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A British pensioner who moved to Canada to be closer to her family in retirement is getting almost half of the state pension she would be entitled to if she lived in a country where the UK state pension gets uprated. Anne Puckridge, 98, receives a weekly pension of £72.50, which is far below the current full basic state pension, of £141.85.

This is because she moved to Canada at the age of 76 and since then her “frozen” state pension has not increased each year.

Britons who live in certain countries do not see their state pension payments increase each year, with this issue affecting some 500,000 people.

Ms Puckridge served in all of the armed forces in India during World War Two and is one of 60,000 veterans who miss out on the state pension increases.

Everyday costs are increasing in Canada as well as in Britain, meaning the value of Ms Puckridge’s state pension is decreasing in real terms.

hadn’t had her state pension “frozen”

Canada is one of 106 countries Britons may retire to and their state pension will be frozen at the amount it was the year they left.

Countries that currently have the most frozen British pensioners include:

  • Australia – 225,000
  • New Zealand – 64,000
  • South Africa – 30,000.

Only people who live in these countries will see their state pension go up each year:

  • The UK
  • The European Economic Area (EEA)
  • Switzerland
  • Gibraltar
  • Countries with a social security agreement with the UK (but not in Canada or New Zealand).

Campaign group End Frozen Pensions has been calling for a policy change to ensure all Britons receive the state pension increase each year, no matter which country they live in.

Frozen pensioners do have the option to move back to the UK and then their payments will increase to the current level.

But many older Britons may struggle to make the journey due to being frail in their health or other limitations.

In April, state pension payments are to increase by 10.1 percent as the triple lock policy has been reinstated.

This means the full basic state pension is increasing from £141.85 a week to £156.20 a week while the full new state pension is going up from £185.15 a week to £203.85 a week.

A person typically needs 30 years of National Insurance contributions to get the full basic state pension and 35 years of contributions to get the full new state pension.

People can check how much state pension they are set to receive using a checker tool on the Government website.

People can choose to voluntarily pay contributions if they have any gaps in their National Insurance record.

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