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.
I was a bit surprised a couple of days ago to get an e-mail from Steve Webb to say he couldn't accept my request for him to be a friend as he had reached the Facebook 5,00 limit. Two things struck me - first I had not made such a request (although have corresponded with him) so how did get such a request? second - Steve Webb has 5000 friends??? - must be another DWP statistic!
But Webb apparently has opened a page on Facebook so that he can "keep in touch"......
I am sure he would welcome your comments from as it were the horses mouth
I just did Morgeo - thanks for letting me know about it! There's plenty of room for more there too!!
This is something you probably know about, as it concerns Australian/UK Pensions.
Here is another link you may wish to look at and/or comment.
Here is another link to a letter in the Oxford Mail which anyone may wish to comment on
There have been many articles we as a group have commented on over the weeks and months. We have encountered many ignorant posters who think we should not get any uprating and we have spent many hours doing this. We are on our own in these forums for the most part. We do not see any comments from you Peter or James or any of those who are obvious members of your organizations. Do you not get Google Alerts? I told you that's how we get to see these articles months ago. Yes we can post links on here but it's easy to get the info yourselves. It just takes a small amount of time and effort to get your alerts up and running. Let's face it you do not come to this site very often and you will get alerts in your inbox everyday.
I like to try an keep making comments in th Oxford Mail and the Witney Gazette as that is the area where David Cameron lives. My latest comment is at :
Please feel free to join me.
Some time ago it was suggested that we all put "links" on this forum so that others can use them - pass them on - comment on them if possible - or just read the articles that the links go to.
Here is a link to an article about the "expansion" into other countries - of the UK winter fuel payment.
It's a little light on comments - so I hope that some more will join "Nine Penneth" as he's feeling a tad lonesome!!
Peter, I have refrained from commenting on the Google activity because, put it down to pride, I did not wish to show my ignorance. I have no idea how it works and, judging from both Chippy and Jane's comments it is not something they are familiar with either!
So, please, for our benefit, explain how it works and if and how we can be of assistance either individually or as a group.
I think, too, that on reflection, Peter, you will appreciate that we all, and especially those who have sought to keep this forum alive, are fighting a common cause.
Peter. The billboard idea was just a suggestion for the ICBP to consider as an affordable means of gaining publicity in the UK (London) for our fight.
Most of us are already contributing to various UK expat frozen pension organizations, such as the CABP, both in annual fees and on occasion to "fighting funds", and it's impossible to ask us for yet more. We're frozen pensioners remember - not bottomless money pits.
The billboard idea is one that could and should be checked out, as the "renter" can choose the location of the board - bus shelter - telephone box etc that they want to put their ads on.
A bus shelter outside Parliament with a possible slogan "End Frozen Pensions Now" wouldn't cost a packet (from £120 a week, 2 week minimum) but would pay dividends in raising "our" moral.
It'd be something we could see - particularly if it was possible for Champollion to photograph it, and pass it on to CABP's Justice magazine.
If we could rent the "right" location then maybe the ICBP could afford it for a couple of months. Not a big deal moneywise - but a big deal for those in the deep freeze!!!
Peter, the Google adwords is a great idea, and although I'm not exactly sure how it works - I'll take your word for it that it's looking good, Good for you for coming up with the idea and going for it!!!
We need all the help and exposure we can get, and every small avenue should be looked at and explored. OK, newspaper ads are too expensive - but could someone check the billboard idea out for us, and come back with some firm figures for the locations I've mentioned??
If the cost is prohibitive, then we can forget it and move on to something else, but someone find out first before we dismiss it - that's only fair!!
Peter Morris commented
Jane, I wish everyone could be supportive of the cause instead of petty back biting comments that have posted here.
The Google Adwords ads that I am running have been shown to nearly half a million people in the UK searching for keywords that include those interested in frozen countries, etc.
How are you going to finance your billboard idea?
Peter, if you read our comments we agreed that the newspaper ad is too expensive but the bill board idea is possible.
As a group we do not charge a fee for membership we do the work instead and we also bounce ideas off each other...OK so the newspaper ad is a no go but one idea leads to another and it's never a waste of time to try all angles. And we certainly do not belittle any ideas thrown into the pot.
James I find it amazing that BAPA after, is it 20 odd years?, that you have not got a letter of your own to the Queen compiled for your members and you needed to copy ours. I think it would have been nicer if you had been honest and said "we would like to use yours as an example for our members, is it OK if we put it in our newsletter and on our website?" Of course we wouldn't mind, flattered even. It just would have been nice to have been asked. After all we are all fighting for the same cause and as David Cameron likes to say ad nauseum "We are all in this together"! Only in our case we actually mean it!
Peter Morris commented
I am not sure spending £50,000 on a one page advertisement in a UK newspaper, so it can be tomorrow’s fish and chip wrapping or tomorrow’s bin liner, is the best way to go.
Now, if anyone does have a spare £50,000 perhaps we could use it on this idea:
I am currently experimenting with Google Adwords that allows a small advertisement to be shown to UK internet users only (so hopefully people living and resident in the UK), who search on things like Australian newspapers or Australian things, (or other things) and it shows the ad to them which takes them to our link if they click on our ad. I have two running at the moment, one with the heading “Britannia Waives the Rule” and the other stating “End Unfair Frozen Pension”. The first takes them to the ICBP website. The second takes them to the government petition website. The second also is targeting people who read Pakistani and Indian newspapers online from the UK.
The ads have been shown over 110,000 times in the past couple of weeks. We are not charged for the impressions shown. As at yesterday 188 clicks to the links have been made and we have been charged a total of about £85.00 in total on a charge by click basis. I am hoping that the clicks will lead to actual signatures on the petition but it remains to be seen.
At this stage I have a small budget agreed by the BAPA Executive Committee and I am using that. There is some scope for additional advertisements at little or no extra cost within our set budget.
So, if you can suggest any small ads that people in the UK might be worth shown with, say, an interest in Canada, Indonesia or Thailand or wherever, let me know the details and I can put up an advertising campaign to include that. I think this is a better way to spend advertising money instead of an ad in a UK newspaper that will be long forgotten and does not target the people we are interested in. In fact, we are not restricted to UK website – we can choose whatever countries we like.
For example it is possible to target people in your country who search the internet for something and you could advertise your frozen pensioner group.
It is possible to design our own advertisement with graphics, art work, etc. we choose and pay for, but the costs will probably start accelerating. Google Adwords also has a sort of bidding process for the cost of each click. Some, for example, using the keyword “Pension” or “Pensions” can cost up to £4.00 per click and we would be competing with rich pension advisers and the like, so we cannot compete with them. I am focussing on newspapers in the home countries for a starting point. I am restricting the cost per click to a maximum of 70 pence with many running at only 20 or 25 pence, some more fruitful ones at 60 pence and 65 pence. Our average price is currently running at less than 50 pence per click.
I am open to any suggestions from anyone.
We may only be a small group but we get things done. Here is the link to that article Andy mentioned, just a small correction Andy, I believe CARP stands for Canadian Association of Retired Persons. This organization really should check their facts before embarrassing themselves and giving false information out.
I don't know about it being Friday 13th, Freda but for everyone's information and in particular those in Canada may I draw your attention to an article published by CARP (Canadian Association of Retired Pensioners) dated 15th June?
It contains a number of inaccuracies not least of which is the statement that in order for (Canada) to achieve the uprating a bilateral agreement with the UK is required. This, of course, is quite untrue...the only obstacle is the intransigence of the UK Government; freezing could be ablished world wide at the stroke of a pen in Westminster.
CARP has been notified of the mistakes and the article drawn to the attention of the CABP.
Freda Piles commented
Was June 13th a Friday ?
Anne Puckridge commented
James, I see my letter to the Queen, and the reply, are both printed in full on the BAPA website, below the words: Letter Writing Guide”. Yet you had this posting on 38 Degrees just yesterday, a complete denial of what you have actually done!!
“Anne. I did not ask for help on this matter from the POP Group. I asked you direct. And not for help in composing a letter to the Queen, but just to see if yours was very different from others I had seen. It was not”.
James , you said to me : So far as the Australian journalist is concerned it would be improper for me to share her emails with you, so you might have to take it on trust that what I say is true. Or you can write to her.
Ok I'll write - What is her name ?