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Pensioners: Overseas Residence

Volume 480: debated on Thursday 16 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what states are designated as non-qualifying destinations for the annual state pension uprating payable to UK pensioners overseas; (227161)

(2) what reason the annual pension uprating is withheld from state pensioners who have relocated to certain overseas countries on retirement; and if he will make a statement.

[holding answer 15 October 2008]: The UK state pension is payable world-wide but is only uprated abroad where there is a legal requirement to do so.

Annual upratings of the UK state pension are paid abroad under the EC's Social Security Regulations to pensioners who have a UK state pension and are living in the European economic area and Switzerland.

Upratings are also payable in countries and territories with which the UK has a reciprocal social security agreement that requires increases to be paid. The UK has such agreements covering: Barbados; Bermuda; Bosnia-Herzegovina; Croatia; Guernsey; Isle of Man; Israel; Jamaica; Jersey; Mauritius; Montenegro; the Philippines; Serbia; Turkey; the United States of America; and, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

The UK state pension is not annually uprated in any other country.

Notes:

1. The agreement with Guernsey covers also Alderney, Herm and Jethou.

2. UK state pension recipients on other Channel Islands receive upratings under Regulation 12 of the Social Security (Persons Abroad) Regulations 1975 (SI 1975/563).

3. The agreement with United States of America covers also American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands).

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the cost of extending the benefit of the annual state pension uprating to UK citizens in receipt of state pensions who are resident in Australia, Canada and South Africa; and if he will make a statement. (227163)

[holding answer 15 October 2008]: To uprate UK state pensions paid to persons in Australia, Canada and South Africa would cost approximately £380 million in 2008-09 and would increase year on year.

Notes:

1. This figure does not include paying any arrears.

2. The estimate for the cost of unfreezing frozen-rate pensions includes estimates for the rate of increase of the caseload and the impact of turnover in the caseload between the time of the data sample and the time of the uprating.

Source:

September 2007 Retirement Pension and Widows Benefit administrative data, 5 per cent. sample.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many persons entitled to UK state pensions are not entitled to the annual state pension uprating by reason of their location overseas. (227164)

[holding answer 15 October 2008]: The latest estimate of the number of UK state pensions paid to pensioners living in frozen rate countries is approximately 530,000.

Source:

Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study, 100 per cent. data, February 2008