Lord Shore of Stepney
asked Her Majesty's Government:What is their policy for the uprating of National Insurance retirement pensions received by United Kingdom citizens now living abroad; which are the countries of residence where uprating of such pensions takes place and which do not; and what principles govern the distinction made between the two categories of United Kingdom pensioners. [HL216]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Social Security (Baroness Hollis of Heigham)
United Kingdom state retirement pensions are paid anywhere in the world, to anyone who has fulfilled the contribution conditions, not only to UK nationals. Since they became payable world-wide in 1955, state retirement pensions have never been increased annually where people live permanently outside the UK, except in those countries which are either members of the European Economic Area or countries with which the UK has long-standing reciprocal social security agreements which allow for payment of upratings. These countries are listed below:EEA countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Spain (including the Balearic and Canary Islands), Sweden, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.Countries with the appropriate legislation: Barbados, Bermuda, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Macedonia, Guernsey, Mauritius, Philippines, Israel, Jamaica, Jersey, Malta, Sark, Switzerland, Slovenia, Turkey, USA.No agreements providing for upratings have come into force in recent years and none is planned.Our priority is to focus the resources available on pensioners in the UK, especially those who are in greatest need. There are no plans to unfreeze pensions in countries where upratings are not payable.