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.
Keep up the good work!! Here's something that might help prevent idiotic replies like the one you had from the un-knowledgable Lord Skelmersdale.
The following is part of a reply from a Freedom of Information request, number 595/2013 dated 7March 2013.
"Bi-lateral agreements are not necessary in order for pensions paid outside Great Britain and the EU to be up-rated."
There's a bit more but what I've quoted is the important part. ANYONE can verify its authenticity by Googling the request number I've noted.
John, never forget - we are in the right, and we will win! Nothing is more sure!
Hi all, still sending those emails out, as per normal only one reply from a delightful
Lord Skelmersdale, who suggested to us all, make sure where you move has the blessed reciprocal agreement, oh what a joy to have people like this, helping and supporting the cause JOKE, however sure you have used before but this email address has caught my attention, some Dept. involved in overseeing Govt. fairness, as follows email@example.com oh well back to me emails regards John
Jane Davies commented
Hello John, well done. Do not be put off by the lack of responses very rarely do we get even an acknowledgment. Here is a link to the Lords facebook page. You will see a couple of our fellow frozen pensioners have left comments. https://www.facebook.com/UKHouseofLords
Hi Fred,just to inform you, since you sending the details for the House of Lords contact, have been merrily sending mail to the select committee, who confirmed the 3rd Dec next reading but not one personal response, including Lord Rix thought with his sense of humor, he of all people would give us his support, persistence will break down resistance, back to my mailing. regards John.
Shame, Shame, Shame on the British Government for not resolving this issu.
The 2nd reading of the bill is on the 3rd of December, so get cracking with your letters John and good luck. To find them look here :
Would be so happy to contact these Lords, once the details are published I will be sending those emails, we need some high profile coverage, keep on fighting for your basic right Thanks John.
Jane Davies commented
If I may add my ten pence worth......The new pension bill is going before the Lords, when we don't yet know, but when we have the date may I suggest those who are outraged by this disgraceful treatment of the 4% write to those Lords who are eligible to vote to encourage them to withdraw clause 20? We are not sure which Lords have the vote but once we find out one of us will post the list here. Please support the frozen 4% even if this injustice does not affect you because this is a case of blatant discrimination and it is a basic human right NOT to suffer discrimination and it is even more reprehensible when it is a government that is guilty of doing this. Thank you.
John Jones.Chippy has already made the point. No organised group has asked for any backdating of the pension indexing and to do so is unrealistic. If the government are squirming about uprating from today then to do that plus how much more is out of the question ? It will not happen so concentrate on at least getting parity from now on. To give the government a good reason for doing nothing will end up with us getting nothing. They will continue to make excuses because they are politicians.
John Jones. Thanks a bunch for visiting the sites that Freda Piles put up here for you, and anyone else interested.
Thanks also for not joining the AES Society (Apathetic Expats Society). There are way too many of them out there as it is!!
More people like yourself is what our movement desperately needs. You have seen how little it takes to join the fight, to contribute, spread the word, and help rid the world of this shameful discrimination that the UK Parliament is guilty of.
You mention back-dating to commencement date of pension. You might want to know that the British government is using this as an excuse for not changing it's policy.
The ICBP and it's affiliates are therefore not asking for back-dating, but for a phasing in process to be adopted instead.
Obviously there is disagreement amongst frozen expats about this course of action, but that is part of the argument that has been presented to the UK at the moment, and which has rejected out of hand by Steve Webb etc.
John, just keep your ear to the ground for developments, but to keep fully abreast of the situation as it changes, then I'd strongly recommend to ANY frozen expat that they join one of the existing frozen expat organizations.
Up-to-date arguments are crucial when it comes to spreading the word, and for encouraging others to join the fight!!
Thank you once again.
Many thanks for all the comments and advise, yes I have visited the sites you mention and continue to contact and do my part to support this vindictive policy, perhaps we should suggest that when the long overdue day comes to celebrate the final victory, the pensions should be back dated to each individual commencement date, when this dinosaur policy becomes extinct, again thanks and will keep on visiting Jj.
Andy Robertson-Fox and John Jones. I think you can add to that idiocy of the US and UK Virgin Islands the lunacy that each side of the Niagara river, or closer still the 49th parallel that makes up the border between the USA and Canada.
One side frozen, the other not!
John, as you might have noticed this campaign on the 38 Degree forum didn't make the charts and become an 'adopted petition' in 38 speak.
Nevertheless, the campaign to unfreeze frozen pensions is stronger than ever, thanks to no small part to the people who have contributed (and are still contributing) to this forum.
The people who are fighting for this cruel, totally unfair and discriminatory policy to be overturned will never give up until the freeze has melted away into nothing.
I don't know if you are a member of any of the marvellous groups that are fighting tooth and nail to rid the world of this shameful Clause 20 and Regulation 3, but in case you're not, please consider joining one, and help us obtain the parity we ruddy well paid for!
Totally agree John...a complete discriminatory nonsense. The example of stupidity that I often quote is - not frozen in the US Virgin Islands but ten miles over the water in the UK Virgin Islands - frozen
Hello Andy, thanks for your input, although my point was the complete nonsense of it all, entitlement non-entitlement, country to country, my own circumstances retired in Thailand due to a couple of old mates also living here, no increase if we move to the Philippines, yes increases allowed, is that open to abuse should one wish to, the obvious correction to this policy is the same rights for all, or is that just to simple.
John - and anyone else - please delete "but not" in the penultimate line; proof reader on holiday!
John Jones if i may chip in here. Freda is correct about one's frozen pension being uprated to the appropriate level if visiting the UK or an an unfrozen country (apart from USA and Bermuda) but of course one must apply for it and within four weeks of the commencement of the visit. The DWP may well want some details to confirm the claim.
As regards UK pensioners taking a holiday in a frozen country eg Canada they remain being treated as a resident of the UK and therefore eligible for the index linked pension to continue. There is a requirement to notify the pensions service of any permanent change of address or circumstances which may affect pension eligibility. I understand that the DWP consider extended but not periods abroad on the merits of the individual. Of course there are penalties for not obeying the rules!
Hi again, which tongue in cheek leads me to the conclusion, its an absolute nightmare to administrate let alone checking on all those that do not report there holidays abroad and why should they, all we can do is just keep pushing and maybe someone in our life time will see our plight and help, have been emailing and trying to get celebrity support but as always, no one returns my mail, hope your having better luck cheers for now Jj.
Hi John, If a pensioner living abroad in a frozen country decides to return for a holiday or any reason, then they will get the uprated pension for the duration of their visit. This will also happen if the visit another country that enjoys the indexing although even there, there are exceptions like the USA. This means that a pensioner living in Canada will get the uprating if going to the UK for a holiday will get the uprated pension while there but if they go to the USA they will not get it even though the pensioners in the USA receive the uprating. I hope that you are following the logic here. (joking) The whole freezing policy is such a mess and you would think that the Pensions Minister when bringing in new Pensions Bill would want to remove all of the stupid, illogical and discriminative aspects of the old bill instead of introducing it in a new one but then we are dealing with politicians are'nt we ?
Hi, many thanks for your replies, in both cases you are right, we obviously do not sell news papers or seem interesting enough to support, ironic that it will come to all, who chooses to leave at retirement age, which leads me to a question, with this policy in effect does this mean that any pensioners, for what ever reason holiday-family visit-health issues leaves the U.K. that the pension dept. makes the adjustment and restores the correct pension upon return, do we honestly believe this is happening, or are so many pensioners unwittingly breaking the law, the red tape alone and costs, would certainly endorse our sentiment. John.