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UK Expat Loses Pension Battle In House Of Lords

by Robin Pilgrim, LawAndTax-News.com, London

30 May 2005


South Africa-resident UK pensioner, Annette Carson last week lost her fight at the House of Lords to have her state pension increased in line with inflation.

Ms Carson claimed that as she had lived in the UK for the majority of her working life, and had paid national insurance contributions, the government's refusal to increase her state pension in line with inflation (and those of around 500,000 other UK retirees living in Commonwealth countries), was discriminatory and in breach of human rights laws.

Ruling 4-1 against the freelance writer, law lords argued that her situation was not "sufficiently analogous to that of a pensioner resident in the UK or in a country which has the benefit of a bilateral agreement (with the United Kingdom)."

They went on to add:

"The primary function of social security benefits, such as the state retirement pension, is to provide a basic standard of living for the inhabitants of the UK."

The ruling will not, however, affect UK pensioners living in other EU member states, the United States and countries with which the UK has entered into bilateral agreements.

A comprehensive report in our Intelligence Report series examining expatriate taxation, executive compensation and reward structures is available in the Lowtax Library at http://www.lowtaxlibrary.com/asp/subs_reports.asp and a description of the report can be seen at http://www.lowtaxlibrary.com/asp/description_report10.asp

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