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.
This link is from morgeo, it is one we often comment on. The Witney Gazette is David Camerons local paper in his constituency. We like to think his office staff at least read it and maybe even comment on our past postings. By the way I forgot to say I also use the name janeybird.
I use Google Alerts for "frozen pension" but it has limited success for what I am interested in. I have far more success using the term "pension UK" which provides up to 6 relevant items each day.
Jane. Yes I have seen comments by Gorgiegirl bit not protempore. I would not have guessed that georgiegirl was you. I have seen comments by Morgeo and also by Andy. Mine is rainbowfarm, or it may be rainbowfarmau.
It could be a good idea if we posted on this forum any time we learned of an article on which comments can be made.
It is not always easy to find an angle that can be exploited to introduce the subject of frozen pensions, but it can usually be done. The main problem is that you have to get in early so that your comments will be seen by later contributors.
I am surprised by your statement that you never knew the amount of money collected nor what it was spent on. Don't they publish anything in their newsletter?
I get Google alerts on "frozen pension". Perhaps you could let us know what other material comes in from Google.
Jame's one of my concerns when I was a member of CABP was that I was never privy to the amount of money collected and what that money was being spent on. Any group that receives a fee from members should be furnishing those members with a statement of accounts at least once a year.
As for your statement at rarely seeing comments by posters to this forum all I can say is, yes we sometimes use a pseudonym, mine is georgiegirl and protempore and of course my own name, but just because you do not see something doen't mean it's not there maybe you are not seeing all of the articles? Most days we comment on at least one that comes in via Google Alerts. I could be petty and say that we do not see your comments on any of the many articles we comment on. But that would be immature...wouldn't it?
Morgeo. you are kidding yourself if you think that the efforts of POP or 38 degrees or any other group have had anything other than a minor influence on anything that has been achieved. You are not alone in trying to increase awareness of the problem. There are lots of dedicated people in and even out of the ICBP membership who are just as active as you are. And so far as the reaction from Diane Finley is concerned, I happen to know that the main push came from an Australian journalist, who contacts me frequently about developments in what she is doing.
I very rarely see any comment in online newspapers made by people who post to this forum. Or at least they do not identify themselves as such. Why not adopt a simple code, like 38, to end every comment you make in such newspapers. And publish on this forum the URL to enable us all to find these articles and add our voice.
Andy. If you or Jane (or anyone at all) come up with a really effective idea I am sure that nobody would ask for your membership details. Nobody would be so stupid.
What did you say in your message to ICBP? And who did you write to?
It is unworthy of you to make dark hints about how much ICBP spends on genuine efforts. What else would they spend it on?
Andy Robertson-Fox commented
I suppose, Peter, if an absolute sure fire means of effecting the thaw we all are seeking appeared on this forum you would first wish to know if the suggester was a "financial member". Of course if they were not or even like Jane and had resigned her membership you would feel morally bound to reject the proposal.
James you suggest writing direct to the ICBP....have you ever done so? I have and, after over two years, no one has ever bothered to reply but, as Peter tells us "they have no members as such" so perhaps I'm expecting too much. (Oh, but they did e-mail me to join the earlier forum and this one).
James you also ask what this group (presumably you mean 38 degrees) and POP actually achieved. As regards this group it has achieved one major success - it has brought together a small but dedicated action motivated group called POP. What has POP achieved - I think Morgeo has given you the come-uppance on that one!
But shall we turn the coin and ask what has ICBP achieved - and with all their financial backing and in god knows how many years?
After the, some say self inflicted, disaster of the ECHR ruling the ICBP, through John Markham I believe, said it was the end of the road for the legal fight and we must now rely on the Court of Public Opinion.
This surly has to be uppermost in the UK itself. While it is acknowledged that newspaper ads are both expensive and of short duration in the public eye - "tomorrows fish and chip wrapper" - never had bin liners in my youth - the suggestion of strategic billboards is not without merit..and you can implement this Peter because the idea came from a CABP member Chippy!. '
I wonder what percentage of the income generated from members is actually spent on genuine promotions of the cause?
Perhaps that stone is best left unturned!
So rather than get all uppity gentlemen please remember you are not being subjected to any sort of challenging take-over bid but you have a group of like minded individuals dedicated to ending this discrimination.
I think that as far as some of the more recent posters on this forum are concerned their frustration is twofold the freezing itself and the apparent complacency of the associations - for example 20,000 votes on the e-petition and how many members? Follow up letters?
Well James , you are reading it and so is Peter and so is Chippy and so is Andy and so is Jane and so am I along with others here. Why do we bother ? Well we are interested in any comments and they should also be looking everywhere for any other argument or ammunition to help resolve the freezing. This is why, although I am a member and also a provincial representative of CABP, I have endeavoured to maintain and increase the membership since joining but felt that more could be done on a personal basis and started commenting whenever an article appeared in the newspapers and have done so for many years now.
I also started writing to many MP's and as I am keeping a nominal roll of a EX-RAF members association I have asked them and their family and friends to write also and sign the epetition. I expect anyone and particularly those who volunteer to take an active role in an organisation to do as much as possible to acquaint themselves with the media and websites like this where the freezing policy is being discussed. If I can do it they can. I was approached to take up a position on the board but declined for personal reasons.
So I joined the POP group and we have achieved a lot thankyou.
I would suggest that we increased the profile of the frozen pensions in Canada by writing to as many MP's as we were able and to our surprise, the majority were unaware of the problem. I personally wrote to all of those in the Maritime provinces as well as the PM.
I met my own MP a well as my provincial MP and maybe our efforts sparked the recent article in the Telegraph from Diane Finley via these MP's. I am sure that our writing to UK MP's raised the support for EDM 1895 from in the 90's to over 100 as we wrote to every MP who had signed the previous EDM to stop the freezing if they had not yet signed that one. I am sure that the others will be happy to enlighten you about other successes . I feel that your last comment is unworthy of you and sounds a bit like sour grapes. I must emphasize that the POP group is not in competition with any other organisation and neither should we be. If you are not prepared to go the extra mile to resolve this situation then you may as well give up and just wait for others to do it for you. That is the problem with many of the members of all of the organisations I feel, who are happy to pay their membership and sit and wait. The cost of membership to our group is dedication and action and only those prepared to do that are members. If you could say that, we would all have our uprated pension by now. I'm not looking to fall out with you or anyone but let the truth be told.
Morgeo. What evidence do you have to support your suggestion that ICBP and its member organisations are reading the postings on this site? No doubt you think that they ought to do so. But why? Has this group, or the POP group actually achieved anything so far?
This group is like the tale referred to in one of Macbeth's speeches. Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
I am not living overseas as yet but I may be forced to soon for economic reasons and I am responding to this suggested campaign as no one has respond to mine which I posted in February in the hope that it will also ring a few more bells?!!
The Great Pension Rip-Off
Being (unfortunately) of a pensionable age but forced due to lack of funds to continue working, I am asking for help to start a campaign to stop the Government from continually reducing each of our pensions by many thousands of pounds.
By injecting more money into the economy with Quantitative Easing, which is funded by the low interest rate Government Bonds, it means that our pension/annuity providers, who for security, have to invest on pensioners' behalves, in Government Bonds are continually receiving lower interest rates, thus resulting in lower pensions for pensioners.
So in a nutshell, we, the pensioners, are being forced by Government policy to pay for the Bankers' Casino Business Practices which have lost us all collectively Billions of pounds.
In the meantime they - the Bankers - continue to take their over inflated bonus payments! For what? Doing their jobs, even if not properly? The point of bonuses is to pay for excellence in performance, not to attract the so called 'right' or best people. How can they be the best if they have caused us to be in this state?
We need to force a parliamentary debate on the continuing Pensions Devaluation, with a view to redressing the balance, by cutting income tax for pensioners, and, at the very least, increasing the tax allowance threshold for all over 60's. Why should our age group, who have been the backbone of this country with many of us having to suffer the degradation, acute hardships and personal sacrifices of the Second World War and the very lean years after the war, have to now be burdened with such financial hardships? Is it that we are expendable for being such a drain on the country's finances or is it that we don't have sufficient voice?
Please help and we, as a very large group can show this Government that they need to take noticed.
I would have thought whatever it takes to get the job done. The attitude that ideas from non-members are resented is why you are no further forward. Throwing your toys out of the pram is counter-productive and immature. I agree the newspaper idea is expensive but the bill board idea is worth thinking about. You must be open to new ideas and to get in a snit and dismiss them, because they come from non "financial members" is doing your members, and by the way Morgeo and Chippy are paid up members, a great disservice. Are we not all after the same goal here?
Well Morgeo, I guess I don't appreciate people who are not even financial members telling us how to spend our members' funds. I agree that we are all aiming for the same thing. Is it really cost effective to spend the subscriptions of thousands of members to place an advertisement in a uk national daily newspaper? I would have to be convinced.
Well Peter, surely all organisations endeavouring to get the freezing issue resolved are reading comments here as well as in the press and should any suggestion be made, irrespective of who made it, they should act on it if it is considered worthwhile. Unless of course these organisations are not interested in getting the freezing lifted for all pensioners worldwide. Some may not know of the existence of them or maybe cannot afford to pay their membership. I am a member of CABP and I am working for ALL pensioners whether members or not and I have helped some who are not members in the hopes that they would come on board but I do not make that a condition. I want everyone to enjoy the pension that they have paid for.
Instead of writing to your own association, why not write direct to ICBP? And if they won't take out full page colour ads or whatever, then you will have to do it yourselves.
You could also join Facebook and befriend ICBP so that you can post on their wall for the whole world to see.
Life has no remote; get up and change it yourself.
If you want the ICBP or Champollion to do that, you should take it up with the respective pensioner associations that you are members of, e.g CABP, BPAWC, BPiA or BAPA. If you are not a member of any of those organisations, why should they listen to you or commit their funds towards it?
In any event, as they say, today's headlines are tomorrow's bin liners!
Great....go for it ICBP and Champollion no more faffing about..get it done!!
Yes Andy - As they say "Wouldn't it be loverly??"
Just the thought of those huge ads gives me a warm fuzzy feeling :-))
Just the thought of Cameron, Clegg, Osborne, Hague and Ian Duncan-Smith maybe looking at them too makes me laugh out loud!!
Andy Robertson-Fox commented
...and a couple, Chippy outside each of the Con, Lab and Libdem Head Offices plus, of course, facing the DWP Caxton House Building.
On the subject of UK advertising costs - here's a sample .....
Full page colour ad in Daily Mail around £30,000......
Full page colour ad in local newspaper (Newsquest Group) £2584......
As above but with discount (because times are hard) £450 for the newspaper and a supplement, or just £350 for the newspaper.
This is with the Newsquest Group for a paper that has a readership of 50,000. Title of newspaper unknown.
(source Business Forum) ..........................
Billboard (standard 48 sheet) anywhere in UK - £165 to £200 per week - 2 week minimum.
Phone box full side - anywhere in the UK - 2 week minimum - £90 a week.
Bus stop end panel or 1/3 front side - anywhere in UK - 2 week minimum - £120 a week.
(source Outdoor Advertising UK Ltd) .........................
Reckon we could afford a couple of boards, a few phone boxes and maybe a bus stop or two outside the UK Parliament - that should do the job nicely!!!!
Well any port in a storm. If this approach has not been tried then there is every reason to do so. The sooner the better as we are all getting older and time is not on our side.