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Opinion

'Why are we being penalised?': A reader's retirement has brought unexpected hardship

Even if someone has paid tax and NI their entire working lives, they will receive less state pension in their retirement if they move out of the UK. Is the system broken?

A piggy bank and some stacked coins

Your retirement funds might be less than you banked on if you relocate. Image: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I am 66 years old and after taking early retirement we moved to India. Initially we were moving backwards and forwards between UK and India, however after Covid, we did come to UK and I advised the Department for Work and Pensions that we are now living abroad. As a result, they deducted my husband’s pension by £200 a month for four months and about £65 the last month.

We were not even consulted, just received letter saying they have overpaid him and it will be deducted. I started my pension last year but it is reduced as we are living abroad. We worked, paid our taxes and NI in the UK. Just because we choose to live abroad why are we being penalised?

Recently I told them we were coming to UK for about 11 weeks and asked them to up our pensions while in the UK. I was told to write to them as they don’t accept emails and also that we should take medical insurance as we are not entitled to NHS. If we have NHS service, we will be charged 150% of NHS charges. This is so unfair as we have paid full NHS stamps and are entitled to health care.

There must be other people in our shoes? People who have never contributed to this country get full benefits and we taxpayers and full NHS stamps payers get nothing. Being penalised for being honest. Hope something can be done to help people like us.

Kusum Thakore

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