Mr and Mrs Simpson moved to South Africa in 1955, having both served in World War II, he in the Navy and she in the WRAF but struggling to find a place for them in the post-war economy.
Both worked in South Africa before they retired, him in Life Assurance and she as a teacher, but maintained their contributions to the UK state pensions and were entitled to the full UK State Pension. What they did not realise was that their pensions were to be frozen as soon as they retired.
At first, they were relatively comfortable but as inflation and adverse economic circumstances eroded their pensions, life became more and more difficult.
In 2004, Mr Simpson passed away, leaving Mrs Simpson by herself and struggling on her small pension. The couple’s two daughters moved away from South Africa with their families and in 2009 Mrs Simpson had to move to a home for the elderly. Her pension by this point was so eroded that she had to settle for a home at the bottom end of the cost scale, with very few facilities and away from all her friends.
Currently, Mrs Simpson only receives £33 a week in UK pension, leaving her unable to choose where she lives, to visit her children and grandchildren or even buy them presents. An inflation-indexed pension would make a huge difference to her life as well as to the lives of her concerned family.
Her daughter Wendy Simpson says: “My mother, with her UK pension frozen, feels the impact on a daily basis. Frankly, I think it is cruel. Especially as both my parents fought in the War to ensure the freedom now enjoyed in the UK.”