Govt to respond ‘shortly’ to Canadian request for state pension uprating agreement

The government plans to respond “shortly” to a request from the Canadian government for a reciprocal social security agreement that covers the uprating of state pensions.

In response to a parliamentary written question, Pensions Minister, Guy Opperman, said the government had not had any recent discussions with its Canadian counterpart.

However, he added: “The department plans to respond shortly to the request from Canada for a reciprocal social security agreement.”

The question was asked by Liberal Democrat MP for Richmond Park, Sarah Olney, and follows a recent call from the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Frozen British Pensions for the government to work with legislators from Canada and Australia to end a freeze on state benefits for expats from the UK.

The APPG’s report noted that there were 510,000 UK pensioners living abroad whose state benefits had been frozen.

However, earlier this month, the government said that it had not made an assessment of the report and that it had no plans to change the policy on uprating UK state pensions overseas.

A submission from the Canadian government in the report stated: “Over the years, the government of Canada has raised, and has sought to address, this issue with the UK, including by proposing the two countries negotiate a comprehensive social security agreement that would provide for the indexation of UK pensions.

“To date, UK officials have not engaged on this issue. As it has done in the past, the government of Canada will continue to raise this issue with the UK through various channels, where appropriate.”

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