Published On: Sun, Sep 15th, 2019

Retirement and me: Woman sees state pension ‘frozen’ – but sister still gets full amount | Personal Finance | Finance

Monica Philip moved to England at the age of 20 back in 1959. She worked in the UK for 37 years as a public servant, including spending 15 years working at the Ministry of Defence. She also worked for the City of London Social Services. But, with her elderly mother having fallen ill, in 1996, Monica made the decision to reside permanently in Antigua in order to be close to her.

She hadn’t yet reached state pension age, but Monica was able to get income via a pension from her former workplace to tide her over until she could claim the payment.

At the time, the state pension amount Monica could get stood at £74.11 per week.

Fast forward 23 years, and it remains the same amount today.

It’s a different story for Monica’s sister, Naomi, 77, who lives in Leicester.

Naomi, who is three years younger than her sister, receives a full up-rated state pension of £129.20 per week, while Monica does not.

Monica gets the same state pension amount today as she did from when she moved to Antigua: £74.11 per week.

“I try my best to just keep going,” she said.

The website explains that the UK state pension does not increase in some countries each year – while it is uprated in-line with the triple lock in others.

During an exclusive interview with, Monica explained that while she knew she wouldn’t get the “full” state pension, she hadn’t been aware that it would be frozen from the time she left the UK.

A few years into claiming the state pension, Monica began noticing her pension amount was the same each time.

It was then that she realised that due to the country she lives in, her state pension is not uprated.

“When I looked at it I realised that every year it’s the same and there’s no increase on it,” she recalled.

“I realised that there’s something about if you live in a certain place and your address is permanent, you’re not going to get an increase.

“Because sometimes you don’t think about certain things when you have other things on your mind. At the time when I decided to come home, my mother was sick.”

Monica added: “I paid my dues.”

A DWP spokesperson has said: “It would cost taxpayers more than £3billion over five years to change course on an issue which has been clear and settled Government policy for 70 years. We have no plans to do so.”

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