Motherwell and Wishaw MP, Marion Fellows, who is also the SNP’s Pensioner Champion, defended the rights of British ex-pat pensioners this week in Parliament.
Currently, 550,000 British pensioners who move abroad have their pensions frozen at the rate when which they leave the UK. 80% of those live in popular destinations for ex-pats, Canada and Australia.
Pensioners who live within the EU are not subject to the same freeze, but their rights are uncertain and at risk with the upcoming EU referendum and a potential Brexit.
Similar agreements are in place in other countries including the USA, Turkey and the former republics of Yugoslavia.
“The government claims it would be too expensive to unfreeze ex-pats’ pensions, but they have no issues finding millions for bombing abroad and £205blln for Trident; whereas our pensioners abroad are left to suffer real term decreases year on year.
“Furthermore, the government has failed to consider a change in current policy or even a review. The All Party Group on Frozen Pensions Abroad has called for a partial updating of these pensions to help British pensioners who are suffering real hardship because of where the choose to retire.
“Undoubtedly great uncertainty will be placed on British pensioners living within the EU with the upcoming referendum.
“Pensions are not a benefit; they are not a privilege; and they are not a handout. They are a right and no one should be declined what is rightfully theirs.”