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Expatriate Health Insurance News: Expat pension campaigners call for Britain's suspension from the Commonwealth

Campaigners on behalf of expatriates who do not receive inflation-linked state pensions are calling on Britain to be suspended from the Commonwealth.

They believe that by freezing pensions for expats at the level achieved when they retired contravenes the Commonwealth Equality Charter.

There is currently a discrepancy among British expats, depending on which country they have moved to after retiring, reports the Telegraph.

Only those states that have entered into a bilateral agreement with the UK offer Brits the full index-linked pension.

These include France, Spain and America, but the likes of New Zealand, Canada and Pakistan do not have a similar understanding.

This means that in excess of half a million retirees living abroad are doing so on a pension that is not linked to inflation.

Campaigners say that some expat pensioners in their 90s are living on as little as £17 a week and one 102-year-old receives just £7 on a weekly basis. This is in comparison to the index-linked full pension of £110 a week.

Sheila Telford, chair of the International Consortium of British Pensioners, told news provider: "The UK is now defaulting on the Commonwealth Equality Charter, which Her Majesty the Queen signed in March this year, calling for equality and an end to discrimination for all.

"We believe that until this issue of discrimination and inequality is dealt with, the Commonwealth should consider suspending the UK from membership."

She went on to say that nearly 95 per cent of the pensioners affected live in the Commonwealth, therefore it is an issue that the intergovernmental organisation should deal with.

Ms Telford added: "How can it be equal when a British pensioner living in Canada aged 90 receives one-third of the pension of a British pensioner aged 65 living in Canada, or indeed a British pensioner living in the United States, just across the border? Many very elderly pensioners are suffering greatly."

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