Public anger at ‘hidden’ pensions policy


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Nearly half of the British public would vote for a political party that plans to unfreeze the pensions of more than half a million of our pensioners based outside of the UK – according to new research.

The OnePoll survey, conducted on behalf of the International Consortium of British Pensioners (ICBP), found that 41 per cent of the 1,000 people polled would vote for a party who stated they would unfreeze pensions for British nationals based abroad.

The issue of frozen pensions refers to current government legislation which sees more than 500,000 British pensioners based abroad faced with their state pension frozen at the same rate as when they left the UK. The vast majority of countries on the government ‘hit list’ for frozen pensions are Commonwealth members, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, whereas those British pensioners living in the likes of the US and Europe still receive a fully uprated state pension.

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Sixty per cent of those polled agreed this was no way to treat British nationals who had contributed to the economy - paying both taxes and national insurance - for a number of years.

The Prime Minister has recently focused on pensioners based in the UK with the triple-lock pensions promise. He said: “I want people when they reach retirement, to know that they can have dignity and security in their old age.”

The unfortunate consequence for overseas pensioners is that they will become comparatively worse off simply due to their choice of retirement location.

The secret discrimination continues, as the government takes an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ approach and relies on a lack of awareness of the issue.

Furthermore, Pensions Minister Steve Webb had been claiming the cost to fix this discrimination is £700m but revised figures release by the government last month show the figure for 2014/15 to be significantly lower at £580m – representing just 0.7 per cent of the overall pensions budget.

When those polled were informed that the cost to unfreeze pensions would represent just a tiny proportion of the overall pensions budget the majority (59 per cent) agreed that the government should reassess the policy in the upcoming budget.

Sheila Telford, chairman of the International Consortium of British Pensioners, said: “We are pleased to see such strong support. It is clear that the British public are capable of recognising discrimination, even if their political leaders are not.

“We intend to build on this support, and will be taking this message to marginal constituencies for any party that commits to ending this illogical and discriminatory practice.”

4 Comments

  1. This theft from paid up pensioners who decide to retire abroad to certain countries where the government withold the indexing is immoral and totally unjustified. A private pension provider would not be able to do this.This is against all agreements signed where human rights are to be observed with no discrimination and the aim to reduce poverty which this policy promotes. The new Pensions Bill contains the same policy in clause 20 and there is no way that her Majesty should be asked to give the Royal Assent to a bill which is discriminatory to her subjects. This would mean that she condones the treatment if she signs it and that is not true I’m sure and she should never be placed in that position.

  2. Excellent article. It should also be noted that this discriminatory policy of the UK Government also affects the Asian population.

  3. Excellent article. It should also be noted that this discriminatory policy of the UK Government affects the Asian Countries.

  4. Please people, Join the International Consortium of British Pensioners on Facebook and show your support. Join us in this fight of unjust, unfair discrimination by Westminster. Write to your MP’s, and to the house of Lords showing them that you want clause 20 of the pensios bill deleted. Show them that we will not let this go away, it is time for the British public to stand together on this.

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