Information on 'Frozen' British State (Old Age) Pensions

For those contemplating a move to Colombia, and who are either in receipt, or will receive a UK State Pension, please be aware that the UK is the only country that discriminates against it's Pensioners, depending on where they live.

Unfortunately, despite an ongoing campaign to change the Regulations, and rectify this anomaly, which has lasted over 70 years, the UK Government is resisting attempts ensure that all Pensioners are treated equally. at present this effects about 550,000 Pensioners.

The Regulation as it stands, states that the Government will only uprate UK Pensions in those Countries where is is legally bound to do so, or reciprocal arrangements are in place, the list of countries affected can be found Here

Unfortunately Colombia is one of the Countries where index linking of UK pensions is not applied, which means that the UK State pension you receive on moving to Colombia, or if you are already in Colombia, the date you become eligible for your pension, is the pension you receive for life, it will never be increased, unless you return to the UK.

At present I am flooding the Colombian Government with correspondence, knowing that Santos has a good relationship with the UK Government, with a view to putting pressure on to change this regulation, bearing in mind there are many Colombians living and working in the UK, who will be effected once they return home, and will be depending on their UK pensions. People in other effected Countries are doing the same.

For those who are unaware, there are many organisations involved in campaigning for change, probably the best known is theICBP (International Consortium of British Pensioners), the other Group who are growing on FaceBook are British State Pensioners World Wide

At the moment there are British Pensioners living in 'Frozen' Countries on the poverty line,  quote "a pensioner aged 90 who has lived in a frozen country all their retirement would now still get a state pension of just £43.60 per week. If they had lived in the UK they would receive £113.10".

Just Google 'UK Frozen Pensions', and you will see how widespread the problem is.

I am lucky enough to have a Government pension that is index linked, but in six years time, I want the State pension I paid into throughout my working life.

I see this as extremely unfair as all who have paid in should receive the same benefits as all others.
This world issue for UK expats deserves time and a lot of pressure on the UK government as I see it as a form of legalised theft in so much as they refuse to pay someone their paid for dues just because the person  that paid happens to be in the wrong country.

I'd also add this thread to expat forum, the general forum for topical and useful threads about expat issues, and this is a very serious issue for many UK expats.

Thanks Fred, I took your advice and put it on the General Forum as well.


Thank you for highlighting the problem. The £113 has now grown to £125, so, you can see that the gap is widening all the time. A pensioner who retired to Canada (which is also a frozen country) in 1998 on £67 per week has received over £25,000 less than they would have done had they stayed in the UK. Each year, the UK State Pension increase is re-frozen through what is known as a Statutory Instrument (SI). This SI will be tabled in Parliament in the next few weeks, and all of the pension lobby groups will be asking as many people as possible to write to the MP in the constituency that they last lived in (when they lived in the UK) protesting about this immoral and discriminatory frozen pensions policy. The best way to find out about the timing of this is through social media, predominantly Facebook and Twitter. These are the lobby groups:

British Pensions in Australia
British State Pensioners Worldwide
British Caribbean Pensioners Association
Canadian Alliance of British Pensioners
International Consortium of British Pensioners

If you need to find contact details for the MP in your last Constituency please click on this link and scroll down to the bottom of the page.

The retiree nigel[at]

this immoral and discriminatory

You got that right.

I'm amazed the British government can get away with discrimination of any kind any more.
Imagine of they said gay or black people couldn't have the pension they'd paid for because of their skin colour, but they think this is acceptable.

It is like saying that people living in the North of England should get the annual state pension increase and those in the South shouldn’t, so, if you move from the North of England to the South, you will lose the annual increase.

One of our lobby groups, the International Consortium of British Pensioners (ICBP) made a video a few years ago to demonstrate the point:

If you would like to help us, please join the Canadian Alliance of British Pensioners (who co-own ICBP) by checking us out at For CAD 25 a year, you will receive a quarterly magazine as well as email updates from time to time.


It seems to me that more weight would be given to our case if all the different organisations combined into one BIG voice.

Well I received a reply from the Colombian President's Office this morning, I guess I should have known better, especially with the elections just around the corner, it was just an "I'm all right Jack...up yours" letter. He is not interested.


Respetado señor Sale:

Con atento saludo, acuso recibido de la comunicación que en días anteriores envió al Departamento Administrativo de la Presidencia de la República, Sobre el particular, es preciso indicar que el Gobierno del Presidente Santos consolida relaciones respetuosas y fructíferas entre las Naciones; por tanto, le informo que la Presidencia de la República no puede intervenir en asuntos como el que usted ha expuesto, teniendo en cuenta la autonomía del Gobierno de los diferentes Países.


Dear Mr Sale

With attentive greetings, I have received the communication you sent to the Administrative Department of the President of the Republic on previous days.

In this regard, it is necessary to indicate that the Government of President Santos consolidates respectful and fruitful relations among Nations; Therefore, I inform you that the President of the Republic can not intervene in matters such as the one you have presented, taking into account the autonomy of the Government of the different countries.

I'll leave it now until after the election, and start again.

Dear Hugh,

The majority of frozen pensioners talk as one voice via the International Consortium of British Pensioners (ICBP) - The ICBP liaise with the All Party Parliamentary Group for Frozen British Pensions (APPG) - We hope through our websites and social media that we can engage with Frozen pensioners everywhere. Just this week I have been communicating with pensioners in Colombia and Costa Rica. Both BPIA (Australia) -, and the CABP (Canada) - have been talking with their respective International Trade Ministers requesting thar additional trading with the UK is subject to the frozen pensions issue being resolved. We are always looking for new ways to engage with frozen pensioners everywhere - we welcome any new ideas that you may have.

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