Frozen UK State Pensions are never far from my mind, given the severe hardship it creates for many of its recipients. Naturally when I visited Black Pudding, that incredible cornucopia of UK goodies here in Langley, British Columbia, UK State Pensions did come up in the conversation.
One surprise to some was the revelation that the spouse of a UK pensioner is entitled to a UK pension on reaching the retirement age. This is true even if the spouse has never lived in the UK nor paid State Pension contributions. Given the unfairness of other features of UK State Pensions paid to Canadian residents, it is important not to overlook this useful contribution. If you are a UK State Pensioner resident in Canada, then I would encourage you to look into this.
Of course there is rarely good news without associated bad news. The bad news is that the retirement ages are rising as you can see from the following extract from The Pension Service A to Z listing.
State Pension age: The State Pension age is 65 years old for men and 60 years old for women. However, the State Pension age for women is changing – it will rise gradually from age 60 to 65 from 2010 to 2020. The state pension age for both men and women is to increase from 65 to 68 between 2024 and 2046, with each change phased in over two consecutive years in each decade. The first increase, from 65 to 66, will be phased in between April 2024 and April 2026; the second, from 66 to 67, will be phased in between April 2034 and April 2036; and the third, from 67 to 68, between April 2044 and April 2046.
If your spouse is not yet at the UK State Pension retirement age, there is a retirement age calculator provided to determine the age at which the pension will be available. I guess the bottom line on that is Better Late Than Never.