BACKGROUND INFORMATION

With the compliments of British Age Pensioner Alliance

A Brief Outline of Pensions Discrimination.

What discrimination is, and how it affects you.

430,000 British  expatriate state pensioners living mainly with their families in a Commonwealth country, have never received any uprating to their pensions since they first qualified.

330,000 British expatriate state pensioners, living in the EU (where regulations force Britain to treat all residents alike), in the USA, Israel, Bosnia-Herzegovina etc, (some 50countries in all), receive the same annual uprating as pensioners still residing in the United Kingdom. The Government has never produced a logical explanation for this inconsistency.

All UK state pensioners were required to contribute on an equal basis during their working life. By discriminating against half its expatriate pensioners, Britain alone among OECD countries ignores the principle 'the same contributions give entitlement to the same benefits'.

Yet this was the principle underlying the Beveridge Report, on which the National Insurance Scheme was based.
 

An 84 year old woman who retired on a single full pension and went to live with her family in a frozen country, had by 1998 been deprived of more than 37,000 of her pension entitlement, a loss which significantly reduced her living standards.

By way of excuse, the Government asserts the priority of aiding poorer pensioners at home, but note that:  

  • "Aid" is means-tested income support, funded by taxes, entirely different from the pensioners' claim for what they have already paid for by contributions.
  • The cost of ending discrimination is well below one percent of the pensions budget.
  • Social security fraud costs annually fifteen times the total cost of uprating.
  • The UK Government saves 645m annually by not having to pay Welfare, Health and Social Security to expatriate pensioners.
  • In private pension funds, indexing and evenhanded treatment are mandatory.

 

Pensions discrimination is a shameful betrayal of British standards of fair play. Its repeal would restore integrity to Britain and dignity to frozen pensioners.

 

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