The case concerns pensioners living in Canada whose state pensions have been suspended. A letter from the pensions service seen by Express.co.uk says they cannot pay the pensioner ‘at this time’ as ‘they cannot be sure the amount we have paid is correct’.
This is due to the service not receiving a response to Form CF(N)698, sent on March 27, 2022.
Some retirees, however, say they never received a form of this type and were therefore unaware of it.
This was the case of Barbara Reynolds, recipient of a British state pension, who lives in Canada.
Ms Reynolds is a Canadian citizen, but when her parents returned to Scotland aged 16, she followed them.
“It’s quite frustrating to bear knowing that my state pension is frozen because of where I live.
“It’s even more heartbreaking to know that if I lived in the United States it wouldn’t be frozen and now with this letter I’ve just been completely cut off!”
“I depend on the state pension to help me pay my rent. According to the recent letter, their decision is not subject to appeal.
“I feel completely helpless. I am appalled and shocked that Britain is allowing pensioners, wherever they live, to be treated like this.
“I don’t understand how a government department can just stop a pension I paid into and depend on so much.
“This decision has caused me a lot of pain and hardship. I hope the UK government will quickly put this right and treat their pensioners with the dignity and respect we deserve.
Fortunately, Ms Reynolds explained that she was finally able to resolve the issue.
Pension Services attributed the problem to the fact that Canada Post had lost the form in the mail.
The government website explains that a person can obtain a “certificate of life” form from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to verify that they are still eligible for the state pension.
The form must be signed by a witness, who does not need to live in the UK or have a passport from a specific country. The people who can sign the form are the same people who can “countersign” a photo ID.
The government website also warns that payments could be suspended if people do not return the form.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said people move overseas for many reasons and it can impact their finances.
The policy of paying state pensions abroad has existed for more than 70 years.
The government said it continues to update overseas state pensions where required by law.
A DWP spokesperson recently told Express.co.uk: “We understand the frustration of customers affected by Canadian postal delays.
“We have measures in place to enable the clearing of life certificates over the phone and encourage those affected to contact our International Pensions Centre. All payments will be backdated.
The ministry has been contacted for further comments.
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