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.
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.
Hi John Jones, As Jane Davies has said m we have tried but as yet failed to get a celebrity to back our campaign. You would think that 38 degrees would come good for this but again we have drawn a blank so far even with the high vote that you see at the top of the page. I have written to them along with others and invite you to do so. Eventually they may pick it up. Keep fighting though as it will not be resolved without doing so.
Jane Davies commented
I and friends have asked a few celebrities for support but none was forthcoming. I wrote to Joanna Lulmley, no reply, Dame Floella Benjamin, at least she answered and is on our side and is supposedly active behind the scenes. Also Helen Mirran has been contacted but no reply and some others without success so it would seem pensioners rights are not sexy enough to fight for.
I will join Freda in thanking Peter Morris for his support, particularly because this injustice did not affect him as he did not have a frozen pension. Rest In Peace Peter, we will miss you.
Hi Fred, so sorry to hear about the death of a colleague, yes the continued refusal of today and previous Govt.s is a blemish on all, my grandfather and father injured and died for justice for all,in two world wars, seems to me that sentiment is long gone, have contacted all the U.K. news papers asking for support but not one reply, contacted my last local M.P. his response, the Govt. has no plans to change its overseas policy on pensions, pathetic we need a Joanna Lumley, she challenged the Govt over the rights of the Gurkha,s and won eventually, is there no one we can turn to, or has the best of this world gone.
Hi John Jones,
As for your comment below it is no joke but a fact as bad as it seems. You mentioned reciprocal agreements - forget them as they are not required to solve this problem because the freezing policy is purely a UK government regulation that is causing this and it is up to the politicians in the House of Commons to address this discrimination. Getting them to do it is the problem. That is why writing to the DWP , Steve Webb, David Cameron or any MP, the MP in your last constituency in the UK IS IMPORTANT.
Do it for yourself and do it for Peter Morris who raised this campaign. Regrettably he died just recently. RIP Peter. We will fight on for justice.
Look at the website of the International Consortium of British Pensioners at
http://pensionjustice.org/ and also at their page on Facebook.
Live in the Philippine's no problem increases allowed, live in Thailand oh dear not allowed, bad people, is this joke or what.
The British Govt. use the excuse of reciprocal agreements, kindly explain the definition of this word and you accountants out there who is the least cost to the tax payer, living abroad or at home with all those benefits that role in, i.e. national health, housing pension credits, abroad zero, is this not abuse of human rights, or victimization.
Sorry Chris but 38 degrees are'nt interested and have ignored this campaign from day 1 even though it was holding 1st position for 2 years. I signed your petition but a you can see nobody is coming to them anymore and it looks as though they will go down the tube .They are too young to bother about pensioners and could rue the day when they get there.
The people living in the UK lack state pension justice.
You might care to sign my epetition on 38 Degrees that might help those in the Commonwealth, including relatives of mine when their pensions are eventually unfrozen.
BRING BACK IMMEDIATELY STATE PENSION FOR WOMEN AT 60
TO: PRIME MINISTER CAMERON AND DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER CLEGG
This epetition includes men as well by
- the loss of the higher age related tax allowance from 65 and
- the loss altogether of state pension for many from 2016 by the rise from 30 to 35 years contribution.
Jane Davies commented
Me too! But haven't we been here before and voted for pension justice? Like you Chippy I'm not going to hold my breath!
I've just bashed away Andy!! I suggested they campaign for the removal of Clause 20 in the Draft Pension Bill, and emphasized they act on this existing and highly placed campaign. Our problems of today will be their problems of tomorrow if nothing's done!
I'm not holding my breath though,
Anne Puckridge commented
I'm also in for Round Two. Yes, miracles do happen but it should not need a miracle to get this campaign back on course, merely an honest acknowledgement that an entirely unjust situation must be righted.
I'm in Peter - although I am a member of 38 Degrees I had not been advised of this latest poll - so others, please don't wait keep bashing away at 38 degrees.......miracles do happen!