State pension outrage: WW2 war hero missed out on £67,000 after campaign efforts ‘ignored’

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After fighting for his country, Vic returned to post-war London, meeting Helen – who he married in 1954 – at a printing business. In 1955, they welcomed a daughter, and the family emigrated to Canada in the following year – and it was here that their family of three soon grew to five.

Vic went on to spend more than 25 years working for a Canadian mining company and aluminium manufacturer, rising to a management position – teaching his children about diligence and hard work.

While still retaining his Cockney accent, Vic was a proud Canadian, enjoying camping trips with his family and exploring Canada with his wife.

The WW2 veteran worked hard all of his life, and went on to buy a house in Mississauga, Ontario.

It was the family home for almost 50 years and where fiercely independent Vic continued to live for many years.

However, in retirement, Vic found himself among nearly half a million UK pensioners living overseas, who have never received an increase to their state pension.

It has been estimated that out of these half a million, 60,000 are military veterans.

In the UK, the state pension currently rises each year under the triple lock mechanism – meaning it rises each year 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.

However, the lack of an increase for some UK pensioners comes down to rules affecting people who live in certain countries overseas and claim the UK state pension.

It means that the state pension will only rise each year if the person lives in the European Economic Area (EEA), Gibraltar, Switzerland, or countries that have a social security agreement with the UK – although it’s not possible to get increases in Canada or New Zealand.

The government website states: “You will not get yearly increases if you live outside these countries.

“Your pension will go up to the current rate if you return to live in the UK.”

In 2013, Vic, who was then in his 90s, made a personal appeal to the then Prime Minister David Cameron via video, urging him to change the rules and end “frozen” pensions.

At that time, he had been retired for 26 years, and his UK state pension remained at the exact amount he first received in 1987.

Had he retired to the US or Germany, Vic would have been getting £134.20 per week at the time – nearly three times as much as he was receiving.

According to the Canadian Alliance of British Pensioners, Vic received £67,000 less than his peers in the UK, despite having made the same level of National Insurance contributions.

Sadly, Vic passed away in 2018, at the age of 86.

This week, Ian Andexser, Chairman of the Canadian Alliance of British Pensioners, paid tribute to Vic, and his campaign work.

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, he said: “As we approach the annual day that the world pauses to show respect for those who have bravely fought for the liberty that we all enjoy, this historical British policy is felt most severely by the elderly veterans as their meagre pension reduces in value, year on year.

“These pensioners were never told that moving to the ‘wrong’ country was a penalty.

“Vic Williams put his life on the line in WW2 for his country, but in retirement and after moving to Canada, his efforts to get his just reward in his pension were ignored by the UK government.

“Sadly Vic didn’t live to see the end to this discrimination.”

The Canadian Alliance of British Pensioners chairman continued: “There are 23,000 pensioners living in Canada receiving less than £20 per week but I represent all 139,000 similarly ‘frozen’ who have chosen to retire to Canada.

“We live in a global world these days so why should your retirement country dictate your pension right?

“The UK government cling to a need for a reciprocal agreement, which is false, as none is needed, and also the fact this policy is historical. If history were a valid reason for justification we would still have slavery and women would not have the vote.

“If something is wrong, it is wrong..end of.

“It is time this disgraceful treatment of elderly British subjects was corrected.”

Express.co.uk has contacted the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) asking for comment.

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