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September 03, 2021

British ex-pats fight for pension rights

A group of disgruntled British pensioners living in Canada are in court today pleading with the European Court of Human Rights to end years of injustice.

The pensioners say they're being discriminated against because of a longstanding British policy that denies them the annual inflation adjustments enjoyed by stay-at-home British retirees as well as most British ex-pats.

Hey, that could be your grandmother.

If you're retired in, for example, the U.S., Switzerland, Jamaica, Israel, Barbados, Bermuda or any European Union country, you get an indexed pension. But if you live here, you're out of luck.

About 500,000 British ex-pats are affected by the policy, including more than 150,000 in Canada, says the International Consortium of British Pensioners which has lost previous battles with both the British courts and a lower ECHR court.

This is the latest stage in the long-running legal challenge and the eventual decision will likely mean the end of the line in the legal process. In the meantime, click here for more info on the Canadian Alliance of British Pensioners' lobby activities to date.

Tell us. Does this affect anyone in your family?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

James HaversJames Havers

James is the senior editor of MSN Money living in Toronto. He has worked for the Nikkei Shimbun (Tokyo),,, Canadian Business and other publications. Havers turned to journalism after teaching overseas.

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...