State pension increases each year but where you live could mean you miss out on rise | Personal Finance | Finance

The triple lock mechanism means the state pension rises annually by whichever is the highest out of the average percentage growth in wages in Great Britain, the percentage growth in prices in the UK as measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), and 2.5 percent. Earlier this year, the increase was tied to wage growth.

They must be within four months of their state pension age in order to claim.

The government explains the state pension only increases each year if a person lives in:

  • The European Economic Area (EEA)
  • Gibraltar
  • Switzerland
  • Countries that have a social security agreement with the UK (but one cannot get increases in Canada or New Zealand)


The full list where rises take effect overseas is as follows:

  • Austria
  • Barbados
  • Belgium
  • Bermuda
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Guernsey
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • the Isle of Man
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Jersey
  • Kosovo
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Mauritius
  • Montenegro
  • Netherlands
  • North Macedonia
  • Norway
  • the Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Turkey
  • USA

Should a person live outside of these countries, then they won’t get the annual increases.

Should they return to live in the UK, then the state pension would go up to the current rate.

While the UK does have social security agreements with Canada and New Zealand, pensioners living in either of these countries are not able to get a yearly increase in their UK state pension.

Following the UK’s exit from the European Union, the UK is currently undergoing a transition period under the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

Should a UK national have been living in an EEA state or Switzerland by December 31, 2020, they are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement.

The government states: “You will get your UK State Pension uprated every year for as long as you continue to live there.

“This will happen even if you start claiming your pension on or after 1 January 2021, as long as you meet the qualifying conditions.”

If a person moves to an EEA state or Switzerland from January 1, 2021, however, they are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement.

“If you are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement and you move to live in an EEA state or Switzerland on or after 1 January 2021, your right to receive some UK benefits will change,” the government adds.

“Some benefits may only be paid for a time-limited period in these countries in future.”

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