Next APPG Meeting: Wednesday 1 November 2017.

September 8, 2017 Frozen Pensions 14 Comments

The next meeting of the APPG for Frozen British Pensions is scheduled for Wednesday 1 November, at 10am, in Room R, Portcullis House.

The meeting will be attended by a delegation of leading Frozen Pension Campaigners, organised by the International Consortium of British Pensioners (ICBP).

Speakers will include:

  • Sheila Telford (Chair, International Consortium of British Pensioners, from Canada)
  • Brian Owles (Chair, British Pensioners in Australia, from Australia)
  • Ian Andexer (Chair, Canadian Alliance of British Pensioners, from Canada)
  • John Duffy (Chair, British Caribbean Pensioners Association, from Antigua)
  • Jim Tilley (Director ICBP, from Australia)
  • Colin Rainsbury (Director, ICBP, from Canada)

The Minister for Pensions, Guy Opperman, has been invited to address the meeting.

We hope to welcome new MPs interested in this issue, as well our longstanding members and supporters from both the Commons and Lords.

More details, including the full Agenda, will be published in due course.

#APPG#Frozen British Pensions#frozen pensions#Guy Opperman#ICBP#Roger Gale

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  1. Clive Evans
    October 6, 2017 - 2:38 am

    . I understand that the APPG is considering yet again to recommend the partial up-rating of pensions for ‘frozen’ pensioners.

    May I respectfully advise that those frozen pensioners resident in Thailand that I represent are against this proposal and request that full, and only full, up-rating should be pursued as the alternative continues to penalise frozen pensioners whose pensions devalue on an annual basis. We cannot agree to partial uprating and the pensioners in the EU continue with a full index linked pension

    The arguments against up-rating that are constantly forthcoming from UK Gov are not in our opinion any longer valid. It has been conceded that Reciprocal Agreements are not necessary as domestic legislation can provide for up-rating.

    The fact that UK Gov only up-rates when it has a legal obligation to do so is also no longer valid. Section 20 of the Pensions Act provides that the Minister MAY make regulations to withhold the up-rating. This is not a legal obligation on the Minister.

    Clive Evans – Thailand

  2. clive walford
    October 6, 2017 - 7:27 am

    Partial uprating is not a solution to the frozen pension policy. It is not even a “step to Parity”. What it is, is a more discriminatory policy than we have now. If this policy is introduced as a step in the right direction it will of course never be followed by Parity.
    Partial Uprating is locally known as “the wait till they die” solution to the frozen pension policy. i.e. Parity will be obtained only when all existing frozen pensioners are dead.
    We do not consider that as a justifiable policy by this government or any political party. In fact it is an insult to the frozen pensioners.
    A 95 year old pensioner that retired 30 years ago to a frozen pension country today will still be on that 30 year out dated pension of less than £40. If it is uprated by 2.5% how far will that go? Of course the 2.5% figure will be reduced in all probabilities!
    Both the ICBP and APPG were basically conned to support PU. (the only pensioners to gain is of course the UK pensioners. It also satisfied the EU pensioners and expat pensioners that already receive the annual increase).
    The government says 1) we cant afford it. 2) no reciprocal Agreement. 3) we only uprate where legally required to do so.
    2) The APPG confirms RAs are not required to uprate. (as did the then Minister Steve Webb. The DSS and F of I. office).
    1) Cant afford it? What have the pensioners and workers been paying into all their working life? They paid their mandatory NATIONAL INSURANCE CONTRIBUTIONS, NOT A TAX, into what they all knew as the secured fund, The NIS Fund. Set up to secure their future after retirement. Now the government say there is no fund, tax payers would foot the £590 million bill to uprate. The NIS funds have a balance of over £20billion. Secured and safe? No the government says forget those frozen pensioners, they are dying off so let’s spend their contributions on something else.
    Cant afford it? Its such a high amount! Equal to 4 weeks payment to be in the EU! A fraction of the £13+billion for overseas aid. (Incidentally it was reported in a press article they were struggling to spend it all this year). HS2 original estimates £30 billion. Approved! Then later that was doubled to £60 Billion. Recently again increase by £100 million. Of course they had to make another few £ billion for super high speed broadband.
    3) Only uprate where we are legally required to. The government made the regulation to withhold uprating. The Pension Act does not state uprating to overseas pensioners must be withheld. Just the opposite actually. Part one section 2 says all workers are entitled to the pension only depending on their CONTRIBUTORY YEARS.
    section 20 only says a regulation MAY be made to withhold uprating. So what justifiable reason is there to do so?
    Cost? disproven. RAs? disproven. Legal requirement? disproven.
    The government borrow huge amounts which the tax payers have to pay for. NIS contributors have and are paying for the pension, but are denied their entitlement they paid for.
    The APPG surely has a moral duty to pensioners to ensure they get their hard earned entitlement of the full pension.
    Since PU was insidiously introduced years ago I have not had not had any emails or seen comments agreeing to it. The ordinary pensioners were never given the opportunity to voice their views. I would hazard a guess that of the 540,000 frozen pensioners only a very small %age might reluctantly agree to it in the absence of another alternative. Even that small %age would more readily accept something like aged uprating over 3 or 4 years.(oldest first).
    More political parties are turning to agree the frozen pension policy should go.
    All members of the APPG should now be pressing their party to end this disgraceful policy now.
    Clive Walford.
    Chairman of PPiI, (pension parity in Indonesia) Member of BPiA member of BFPSA.

  3. Peter Hardcastle
    October 6, 2017 - 10:50 am

    Can we not get a celebrity to help our cause or has it been tried previously,Prince Charles spring to mind after all he is a pensioner.


  4. Peter Wyborn
    October 7, 2017 - 4:20 am

    The idea of partial uprating should be abandoned. If UK pensioners in the EU receive the benefit of full index linked pensions after the UK leaves the EU then the current frozen pensioners must also receive full pension parity.
    If all else has failed, and as a last resort, in order to reach a settlement, I would agree to a phased implementation of full uprating over a period of not more than 3 years, in order of pension age, oldest first.
    Despite repeated assurances by ICBP that they have no intention of claiming back payments, I have a feeling that the Government still fears that as a possibility. Something needs to be done to allay those fears.
    Peter Wyborn. Thailand

  5. Judith Edmonds
    October 10, 2017 - 9:27 am

    I live in Thailand and agree that partial uprating is not what I would like.

    We paid into the pension fund all our working life so should have complete pension parity.

    Please do not penalise pensioners for leaving the UK.

  6. Brian Corrigan
    October 12, 2017 - 3:52 pm

    There is no legal obligation to up rate the pensions of EU expats once the UK leaves the EU. There is also no requirement for reciprocal agreements. Why then are 450,000 pensioners living in so called frozen countries being denied their fully indexed pensions,while pensioners living in the EU enjoy full indexing of their pensions??

  7. Brian Corrigan
    October 12, 2017 - 3:54 pm

    Why are 450,000 pensioners living in so called frozen countries being denied their fully indexed pensions,while pensioners living in the EU enjoy full indexing of their pensions??

  8. clive walford
    October 12, 2017 - 8:29 pm

    Brian C.
    The legal requirement to uprate EU pensioners, (and 540,000 frozen pension ) is part 1 section 2 of the pension Act 2014. “A person is entitled to a State Pension if-
    a) the person has reached pensionable age, and
    b) the person has 35 or more qualifying years”.
    it is the SI, The regulation, that withholds uprating. Section 20 of the Act only says a Regulation MAY be made to withhold uprating to overseas pensioners. As you know SI is a negative procedure. Merely tabled in the commons, (often lumped in with others), and automatically passed after a short time.
    If the government have a good sound strong reason to withhold uprating to one or more countries then the SI would be a quick way to do it. (e.g. if country A declared any monies entering their country will be confiscated and put in their general funds that would be a good case not to just withhold uprating but any money). Of course the UK government would not put it in their general fund would they? Of course not they would put it in a secured fund set up for that purpose. A bit similar to the NIS fund?
    The governments 3 reasons are all flawed without question. Where did they come from? Sarcastically I can only suggest from a 70 year old Christmas cracker.

  9. Jane Davies
    October 12, 2017 - 11:55 pm

    No no and no again….partial uprating does not end the discrimination being suffered by the 4% who are victims of the frozen pension scandal. Fully indexed pensions are enjoyed by 96% of state pensioners wherever they live in the world and yet 4% , who have paid for their pensions under the same terms as everyone else, have their indexing withheld by the UK government. Every excuse given by the DWP as to why this injustice has been allowed to go on has been proven to be untrue and the time has now come, with the EU expats being told their indexing is safe, for the 4% to be treated the same. It is an OUTRAGE that a government can treat it’s own seniors in this shabby way, why is this allowed to continue year after year? Shame on the UK government and the DWP……shame on you.

  10. Peter Wyborn
    October 13, 2017 - 4:46 am

    Why is it that only one Conservative MP has put his signature to EDM159?

  11. Brian Corrigan
    October 13, 2017 - 7:01 am

    If full up rating for all is not possible in one go, I would like to see a phased in system,oldest first,and spread over 2-3 years starting in April 2018.

  12. Norma Maloney
    October 14, 2017 - 10:36 am

    As the years go by, according to FOI requests, more and more frozen pensioners are returning to the UK because they can no longer live on their frozen pension, they in turn are putting a strain on the NHS, the social housing as well as costing the UK on care systems and benefits. Are the powers in Westminster so blind that they cannot see that in the long run this will cost them more money than paying the full pension parity? Pensioner’s living in some of the frozen countries can no longer afford private health care so to return is the only option available. It is only a matter of addition and subtraction or can they not do simple mathematics? Partial is not an option, it will not stop pensioners returning to the UK they need full indexing.

  13. Brian Corrigan
    October 15, 2017 - 4:20 am

    Why so many representatives from Canada?

  14. Andy Robertson-Fox
    October 16, 2017 - 3:34 pm

    Brian Corrigan you ask why so many from Canada – strange question. But I make it there are the chairs of CABP and BPiA, two ICBP Directors – one from Australia and one form Canada and the ICBP Chair….not sure where you see a problem.

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