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Granny’s Pension Nightmare

Granny’s Pension Nightmare

An 87-year-old British woman regrets her move to Thailand to be closer to family, as she struggles to survive on a frozen UK state pension of just £300 (approximately 14,000 baht) a month.

Christine Gloria Fox, residing near Pattaya on Thailand’s east coast, laments her decision to relocate to what she describes as an expensive area where beaches are crowded with tourists year-round. Instead of enjoying her retirement, every penny of her pension goes directly to healthcare costs. Her pension has been frozen at the same rate since she moved to Thailand 24 years ago, due to the UK’s policy of not uprating pensions in certain countries.

Desperate to return to the UK, Fox has been deemed unfit to fly because of her deteriorating health. With scant funds, she relies heavily on her 63-year-old son, Jon Fox, to cover her living expenses. “She’s taken too many tumbles. She can’t walk properly, falls over frequently, and has worsening vision. We’re trying to gather £5,000 to £6,000 for her eye operation.”

“She’s wanted to return to the UK many times, but doctors won’t grant her a fit-to-fly certificate. That’s why she’s stayed here all these years.”

Jon and his daughter cover his mother’s utility bills and food costs, effectively doubling her pension income. “That’s just for necessities, not luxuries like handbags.”

The Covid-19 pandemic further strained their finances, making it harder to support her.

Around 500,000 British citizens living outside Europe do not receive annual state pension increases. This policy excludes retirees in countries like Australia and Canada, reported iNews UK.

“She’s very angry and deeply regrets moving to Thailand. If she had known, she would have stayed in the UK without a doubt. She’s not happy here.”

The Department for Work and Pensions states that information about the financial implications of moving abroad is available on its website.

photo uk news

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