Oliver Letwin commits look at case for Partial Uprating

November 20, 2015 Frozen Pensions 17 Comments

Sir Roger Gale, Sheila & John at No10

APPG Chairman Sir Roger Gale MP with Sheila Telford and John Markham of the ICBP in Downing Street after their meeting with Oliver Letwin.

On Friday 20 November, APPG Chair Sir Roger Gale MP, joined delegates from the International Consortium of British Pensioners to discuss frozen pensions with the Rt Hon Oliver Letwin MP, Minister for Government Policy, in Downing Street.

At the meeting, which was also attended by a special adviser to Iain Duncan Smith, Oliver Letwin recognised the merits of the APPG’s partial uprating proposal and agreed to commission research on the financial case for reform.

The APPG has argued that partial uprating could be cost neutral reform that given the likely savings to government expenditure made as a result of increased pensioner emigration should full pensions be available in currently frozen countries.

If through thorough examination of our proposal the government agrees, then it is thought that partial uprating would then be relatively easy to enact, even in an age of financial cut backs and spending restraint.

The APPG’s financial case can be summarised as follows:

  • There are currently 550,000 frozen British pensioners around the world.
  • The annual cost of the current frozen pension payments made to these individuals is £1,200,000,000.
  • The cost to include currently frozen pensioners in annual uprating at 2.5% would be £30,000,000. This is equivalent to 0.03% of the total state pension spending.
  • The government has accepted that there is an average £3,800 net saving per pensioner that moves overseas.
  • It would therefore require under 8,000 more people to retire overseas in a year to cover the cost of partial uprating.
  • Frozen pensions are known to currently deter emigration to frozen countries. A change of policy would remove this barrier and generate increased pensioner emigration.

The APPG welcome’s Oliver Letwin’s interest in our proposal, his offer to have our figures confirmed by the government and his commitment to commission government research to examine the likely dynamic effect of reform.

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  1. Brian Corrigan
    December 3, 2015 - 5:53 am

    I look forward reading the Government report.

    • John West
      January 19, 2016 - 1:56 am

      What report there is to be more jaw jaw and not action Brian!!!

      • Brian Corrigan
        January 20, 2016 - 6:58 am

        Action requires as you put it jaw jaw John.Its called politics.

        • John West
          May 11, 2016 - 3:47 am

          Yeah I know it stinks

  2. John West
    December 3, 2015 - 7:49 am

    Yeah can not wait how long will this take and in the article stating partial uprating policy and in the article IF the Government agrees with after through thorough examination of your proposal then it would be relative easy to enact, even in an age of financial cut backs and spending restraints. Certainly simply not true with the Frozen pensioners, but amazing how they can afford huge sums of monies for “refugees” and also Foreign Aid and huge funding for wars (yes people would say under another budget) but the argument about the expense is totally illogcal as compared to the really miniscule percentage and amount it would cost for us frozen pensioners. This can be done in a matter of a couple of months surely, but likely to kept being debated in the long term. we do not need more jaw jaw, but our rightful pensions.

  3. protempore
    January 15, 2016 - 3:29 pm

    Partial uprating is not acceptable, ALL state pensioners have made mandatory lifetime contributions to the NI scheme, ALL are entitled to an indexed pension, where one lives is irrelevant once retired. Partial uprating is still discrimination and the worse off will get the least. JUST END THIS INJUSTICE NOW.

    • Brian Corrigan
      January 19, 2016 - 4:25 am

      I tend to agree with your stance. However,the realist in me can see no benefit for any one in keeping the status quo. The first priority is to get every one receiving an indexed pension. Where pensioners have been disadvantaged for a considerable time maybe the UK Government would be able to come to some form of compromise based on the age of each individual?

  4. Rhett Hazlitt
    January 16, 2016 - 5:57 am

    I am already £35 or some R800+ A week out of pocket after only nine years so feel for those that have been retired for so much longer. The cost of living has more than doubled in the is time.

    It is well known that the cost of living doubles every seven years and during the last poor ecenomic climate, probably a lot shorter period!

  5. Bill Jarvie
    January 16, 2016 - 1:24 pm

    This is an injustice and the Right Honourable thing to do is fix it.
    A partial upgrade is better than no upgrade.

  6. Hugh Morgan
    January 17, 2016 - 1:50 am

    Partial upgrading is better than none at all. However, many like me have paid NIC from age 16 to age 60. Also tax paid from age 16 and still paying. There are also many who have contributed far less to the treasury and enjoy a full pension increase annually, free NHS treatment, subsidised NHS dental treatment and more. Where is the justice in that? As a widowed pensioner, my UK income was sufficient to pay council tax, energy bills, food bills etc. with nothing left over each month. I decided I could have a better standard of living in Asia so I moved. Prices here are also rising rapidly now and without any pension increases it will be difficult to remain here. UK government, do the decent thing.

  7. John West
    January 19, 2016 - 1:54 am

    Sort this total discrimination and Barbaric out once and for all. Totally disgusting how 560k frozen pensioners are penalised for paying (in alot of cases more NI contributions) than many others, yet the other half of expats get uplifting each year. DISGRACEFUL INDEED

  8. Brian Corrigan
    January 20, 2016 - 7:02 am

    “The government has accepted that there is an average nett saving of 3,800 pounds” Has the DWP accepted this estimate?

  9. Brian Corrigan
    January 21, 2016 - 4:58 am

    As a person affected by the frozen pension policy I fully support partial up rating,but would like to see the phasing in of full indexing based on the age of the pensioner.

  10. Morgeo
    January 22, 2016 - 8:27 pm

    It would therefore require under 8,000 more people to retire overseas in a year to cover the cost of partial uprating ?
    Well, if that is the case, then encourage pensioners to emigrate by scrapping the Frozen Pension policy.

    Current Frozen Pensioners will get equality !
    Current Pensioners wishing to go can leave without future penalty !
    Those leaving would release much needed housing that they currently occupy !

    Families abroad would be reunited with grandparents !
    Commonwealth countries would be treated fairly and the Charter acknowledged.
    Her Majesty would be no longer embarrassed by the discrimination by government to citizens in Commonwealth !
    The UK would come into line with the other members of the OECD as far as pension parity is concerned !
    Seems like a Win-Win situation to me especially as this continued policy will be costing future governments because it is there.

  11. wayfarer39
    February 27, 2016 - 2:48 am

    And be aware that the government has set down in black and white Steve Webb’s erroneous claim that the Canadian state pension is means-tested, and therefore any up-rating would simply end up in the Canadian Exchequer. See Hansard PBC Deb 4 July 2013 c224, also recorded in SN 1457. Altmann used this in the House of Lords yesterday about Australia. Shows the lengths – misinformation, disinformation, lies? – to which the government of justice and fairness will go in order to perpetuate this injustice. I could not believe that Webb, our “supporter” in 2004, could so misrepresent our situation for his own ends, and now Altmann is doing the same. Shame, shame and more shame.
    Does anyone know how to correct a lie in a Standard Note?

  12. Brian Corrigan
    March 8, 2016 - 5:12 am

    We haven’t heard from Oliver for a long time. Is he still on our case?

  13. John West
    May 11, 2016 - 3:45 am

    Where has Oliver Letwin gone and conveniently forgotten about us, yet another one

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