Monthly Archives: October 2013

Pensions: OAPs overseas

PENSIONS  BILL  CLAUSE …20

 May I urge you to support the Amendment by Roger Gale and Peter Bottomley on Tuesday.

 It is patently Unfair and Discriminatory that people who have paid the same contributions as everyone else should not have the same benefits. I doubt that a private pension company could get away with it !!

(If you retire abroad, in most countries, your UK state pension is frozen:it doesnt get the annual update. Yet our pensions are supposedly contribution, not residence-based. One who retired in 1986 at 65 would have a pension of £38.70. If he went to Canada,he would still be on that same £38.70. If he lives in the EU, it would now be £110.15,ie,the same as in the UK.)

 This is clearly an injustice so it is embarrassing to be outflanked by Tory MPs on it!

 Did you really say, ’It has been like that for decades…so we will not change it’?….(Hardly an argument for any reform of anything!

Response:

Thanks for the message. As you know, we clearly wouldn’t start from here, and if money wasn’t tight I suspect the Treasury would give us the £700m per year it would cost to fix it, but having been taking money off people on some very low incomes at home, it’s hard to argue that they are a lower priority than people who retired overseas generally in full knowledge of the rules when they decided to leave.  None of the parties are saying they will find the money to fix this at the moment, but clearly at some point it would be good to get this sorted.

Pensions: Foreign Spouses

The Tory Right and UKIP have created an offensive context of ‘bashing johnny foreigner’ from which I’d hope we would distance ourselves………………..YET these 2 measures are going through..?

 1 Widow(er)s of British OAPs who live overseas are to have their pensions stopped (remember,these have been earned by the same contributions as those who choose to stay in the UK) ..likely to be a growing concern,perhaps,for those of Afro-Asian descent;

 2 An overseas spouse will not be allowed to join the UK spouse unless the latter can show a minimum income f £18,000 (rules me out).  Is this compassionate and caring?

 Peter Phillips.