State pension set for bumper inflation-beating increase – but 500,000 pensioners will miss out

Pensioner looks unhappy while sitting with coffee at table

The full new state pension could increase by more than £900 a year from April 2024

Jessica Sheldon

By Jessica Sheldon

Published: 19/10/2023

- 12:29

Updated: 19/10/2023

- 15:07

An estimated half a million pensioners are affected by the frozen state pension policy

Pensioners are expected to get an inflation-beating pay rise of 8.5 per cent next year if the government sticks to its triple lock commitment.

However, around 500,000 pensioners won’t see the boost due to where they live, according to the End Frozen Pensions campaign.

This is due to a historic policy which means people don’t get the annual increases if they live outside of the European Economic Area (EEA), Gibraltar, Switzerland, and countries with a social security agreement with the UK – but people in Canada or New Zealand cannot get the increases.

If they return to live in the UK, the state pension will go up to the current rate.

WATCH NOW: GB News speaks to "frozen pensioners" living in Canada

Sheila Telford, chair of the International Consortium of British Pensioners, told GB News: “As the rising cost of living continues to bite, this proposed increase in the state pension will be welcomed by British pensioners. However, the four per cent of British pensioners living in countries excluded from this increase can only watch as they are denied this same support, having already lost out on the 10.1 per cent increase earlier this year.

"Instead, the Government has washed their hands of them, leaving many to survive off a meagre UK state pension, which for some British pensioners has been frozen for over 30 years, never increasing. There is no justification for the suffering this postcode lottery has created over the decades.

"If the UK Government had an ounce of compassion for the British pensioners unfairly impacted by this policy, it would include them in next year's uprating and begin the process of ending this injustice."

A Government spokesperson previously 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.”

The earnings figure typically used as part of the state pension triple lock has been confirmed as 8.5 per cent, while the inflation figure which is used in the calculation has been announced as 6.7 per cent.

It means the earnings element of the triple lock is the highest of the three, which would mean the state pension should rise by 8.5 per cent in April 2024.

However, it’s understood ministers are considering plans to amend the mechanism, meaning it could rise by less than this.

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK said the government should stick to its commitment and increase the payment by the 8.5 per cent metric.

She said: "It has been suggested that the Government may seek to pay less than an 8.5 per cent state pension increase next year, on the grounds that some one-off payments to NHS staff, among others, have distorted the numbers, so that the rise should be set at 7.9 per cent instead.

"At Age UK we think that as the Government promised pensioners that it will abide by the triple lock next year it should keep its word, and not try and wriggle out of its commitments.

“Ministers also need to appreciate that after a really challenging few years, quite understandably many older people place huge store on the triple lock promise that was clearly made to them being fully upheld."

A DWP spokesperson previously said that the Government is “committed” to the triple lock.

They added: “As is the usual process, the Secretary of State will conduct his statutory annual review of benefits and state pensions in the autumn, using the most recent data available.”

How much could UK state pension increase to in 2024?

If an 8.5 per cent rise went ahead, the full new state pension would rise by around £17.35 a week, from £203.85 to £221.20.

This would be a boost of £902.20 a year for people on the full new state pension.

The full basic state pension would rise by £13.30 a week, from £156.20 to £169.50. This is equivalent to a £691.60 annual rise.

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