fairness, justice and equality for all British state pensioners
All people contribute towards the National Insurance scheme under exactly the same rules.
All people qualify for their state pension under exactly the same rules, based on years of NI contributions.
When it comes time to pay the state pension different rules are applied depending on where you happen to live.
If you live in the UK and in 40 overseas countries, your state pension is uprated for inflation each year.
If you live in mainly Commonwealth countries your state pension is frozen at the rate at which it is first paid, or as at the date of migration. This means that over time the real purchasing power of the state pension in Commonwealth countries declines over the years, so that after, say, 25 years, it may be about a quarter of the current pension level.
To rectify this problem it would cost less than 1% of the total state pension bill.
Apparently there is an unwritten cross political party agreement not to fix this problem.
Pensioners who have chosen to go overseas to be with their children and grand children in retirement in Commonwealth countries are penalised for doing so, or disouraged from seeing their children and grand children again.
Overseas pensioners have been fighting this discrimination, based on country of residence, for over 25 years.
They could really do with a hand from people living in the UK to help them, to lobby on their behalf and to try to over turn this unfair, injust and inequal practice, which is based on historical accident and which even government ministers have admitted, has no logic to it.
Hi John, Disappointment is par for the course I'm afraid. So many times the door seemed to open a little only to slam shut again but we persevere and try again.
You can understand why we tread carefully and let the politicians make the mistakes hopefully. Trouble is most of them spend a lifetime breaking promises.
Ok thanks for the info, however I still feel as if we are negotiating, with cap in hand and begging with these people, in my view does nothing, just received email from Lord Skelmersdale, the Steve Webb correspondence and will post soon.
John, I was looking for this earlier, but couldn't find it.
Anyway, to further emphasize the position of the ICBP and it's associates, this is a copy of part of a letter sent in Sept 2013 from Sheila Telford, Chairman of ICBP, to Steve Webb.
This is the relevant paragraph........
"We recognise that the UK has recently been in a time of severe austerity. With the British economy now saved, as George Osborne is reported this week to have claimed, we would be happy with a commitment to unfreeze current pensions at an identified point: we would be delighted to negotiate a staggered introduction of payments. We also have no interest, and will never have an interest, in pursuing backdating of pension payments, only current pensions forward."
The full letter can be found from this link.......
I'm glad that somebody had that filed away somewhere because I remember that but could'nt quote it to back up the position of us and them with regard to backpay.
John. In the Committee stage of Clause 20 of the new Pension Bill Steve Webb said this.....
"I have lost count, but I think this is the fourth review that we have been asked for so far. I am not convinced that this one would add any more than the first three. Our position is clear, and at this point clarity is what people need. I recognise the concerns of the affected groups, but at a cost of over £700 million, with a possible knock-on into Billions if backdating was pursued, This is not a priority for the Government. On that basis, it would be wrong to have a review to raise expectations, and it is right that clause 20 should stand part of the Bill."
And in the same debate.......
"There is a danger that, as soon as we say that we should pay uprating going forward, someone would say, “Hang on a minute, I retired 20 years ago. Not only should you pay me the pension that I would now be getting if it had always been uprated, but I want all the money for the period since I left the country for all those years in the interim period when it was not uprated. If it’s right to uprate it now, why didn’t you uprate it last year, the year before and the year before that? We are talking about billions of pounds here. There is a real risk to the Exchequer with such a proposal."
This is why the ICBP are taking the route they are, and NOT, and have certainly no intention of EVER asking for backdating to be paid by the British government.
Quite obviously Webb and Co would use any request like this as a huge and powerful reason for denying ever ANY uprating we are all fighting for.
Webb and Co have very, very little on which to base the existence of the frozen pension policy. We need to give them less reasons to hang on to it, not more.
Andy Robertson-Fox commented
A bull in a china shop does not make waves...it just breaks and damages everything!
A bull in a china shop, make waves and already 25 years, not being reasonable, is that enough said, how long are we supposed to live, forever.
Apologies for the typo's in my comment below.
Don't forget - slowly slowly catchee monkey !
I tried to comment there but it won't accept my comment for some reason ( some parity error whatever that is ) which is why I came here as I have been reading them with interest.
John Jones, it seems that as you have only recently started to make comments that you now know the history and best way to deal with this problem but the BPiA and BABP making up the main body of the ICBP with 25 yrs trying to get some movement without success so far. There was a member who was extremely active in the UK who raised this campaign suggestion. Yes, one Peter Morris who regrettably passed away last year. To go at it like a bull in a china shop will do nothing but cause problems which is why those making the effort to gain a foothold are using facts and diplomacy where possible.The main areas are in fact Canada and Australia and to gain uprating for those would almost certainly mean uprating for all as those outside a vary small minority and don't forget that they are providing the majority of the funding for the campaign. I notice that you go for broke in The Independent comments and the consortium agreed that gaining the uprating id the first step to get what we deserve. Asking for all of your back pension and the uprating is not a reasonable request given that the country has had real financial problems which you would know about if you kept up with the news. You are right in saying that squabbling will be negative and you are the one making waves.
Is it me or the wrong impression I get, when dealing with the consortium's dealing with our issues, I definitely feel that the Canadian and Australian effort seems to concentrate on these two countries and we can focus on your frozen pensions after we win over this freezing policy, is there no direct U.K. representation.
Sorry all, our Lord Skelmersdale needs to pull his finger out, nothing as yet. Jj
Thank you John, I know everyone who is campaigning for this discrimination to end will appreciate that.
As soon as received will post !
John I should have mentioned that we would all be delighted to read any replies from anyone you've been in touch with. If you are willing to share them with us then please post them here......
Where you'll get many more responses than what's NOT happening here!!
Thanks for the update john. You're not far off the mark about this site dying, it's a ruddy shame seeing as it began and continued with so much promise.
It's demise can be placed in one slot though, and that slot is called 38 Degrees. Having held the number one position (in terms of campaign votes) because it couldn't attain the same position from 'member' votes, they dropped us, and went for other 'causes' instead.
If you want to air your thoughts, and read other frozen pensioners thoughts too on the continuation, progress, and momentum of the campaign to unfreeze what's ours, go here........
You'll find much, much more action than what's here, on what's left of a very dynamic and sadly depleted campaign page!
As mentioned before, have been in contact with Lord Skelmersdale, who in turn wrote to Steve Webb regarding our fight and albeit taking some time to reply, finally returned mail to Lord S. and has promised to forward this to me, he does however still firmly believe that this policy will not be changed any time soon, due to the economics back home and can offer no hope, this site does seem to have slowly died, it seems that only a few visit and still have hope for success, will continue to do my part as long as I can.
Thanks John, and a Very Merry Christmas to you too! Let's all hope for (and fight for) an Unfrozen, Happy New Year as well!
Merry Xmas all and lets have some good news for New Year.
Jane Davies commented
John, the spoof video has so far clocked up 7,400 views. That is a good result and it is bound to rise. ICBP may not appear to you to be achieving much but I can assure you the unpaid board members work very hard and put in many hours in an effort to get this injustice ended. You can compare them to the swan gliding across the water, not much seems to be happening on the surface but the feet are hard at work paddling away underneath! Keep up the good work, we ARE going to succeed in the end.
Andy I agree with all the below and doing nothing is not an option, I refereed to the video only due not in the idea of course ridicule the British Govt, as they often do themselves but what coverage did it achieve apart from the members of ICBP.
My commitment is the same as all others being discriminated, as a pensioner overseas but also believe that my suggestion regarding a more aggressive approach and the knock on affect, perhaps being arrested, also reading a lot of info regarding police behavior and the U.K. becoming a police state, not wishing to put other people in the firing line.
Success will only be measured once this immoral policy is changed, not how and who changed it.