The matter relates to pensioners living in Canada who have had their state pensions stopped. A letter from the Pension Service seen by Express.co.uk states they cannot pay the pensioner “at the moment” because “they cannot be sure the amount of money we have been paying is correct”.
It has been due to the service not receiving a response to the form CF(N)698, sent on March 27, 2022.
Some pensioners, however, assert they never received a form of this kind and were thus unaware of the matter.
This was the case for Barbara Reynolds, the recipient of a UK state pension, who lives in Canada.
Ms Reynolds is a Canadian citizen, but when her parents returned to Scotland when she was 16, she followed them.
“It’s frustrating enough to endure the knowledge that my state pension is frozen because of where I live.
“It’s even more upsetting to know that if I lived in the United States, it would not be frozen and now, with this letter, I’ve just been cut off completely!
“I depend on the state pension to help me pay my rent. According to the recent letter, their decision is not appealable.
“I feel utterly helpless. I am appalled and shocked that Britain would allow pensioners, regardless of where they live, to be treated like this.
“I don’t understand how a Government department can just stop a pension that I’ve paid into and on which I depend so much.
“That decision has caused me much pain and hardship. I hope the British Government will quickly correct this issue and treat their pensioners with the dignity and respect we deserve.”
Fortunately, Ms Reynolds explained she was eventually able to resolve the issue.
The Pension Service attributed the issue to Canada Post losing the form in the mail.
The Government website explains a person may get a “life certificate” form from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to check they’re still eligible for the state pension.
The form must be signed by a witness, who doesn’t have to live in the UK or had a passport from any specific country. The people who can sign the form are the same as those who can “countersign” a passport photo.
The Government website also warns payments could be suspended if people don’t send the form back.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has stated people move abroad for numerous reasons, and that this can impact their finances.
The policy on state pension payments overseas is a longstanding one of more than 70 years.
The Government has said it continues to update state pensions overseas where there is a legal requirement to do so.
A DWP spokesperson recently told Express.co.uk: “We understand the frustration of customers affected by Canadian postal delays.
“We’ve implemented measures to enable the clearing of life certificates by phone and encourage those impacted to contact our International Pension Centre. All payments will be backdated.”
The Department has been contacted for further comment.