from Oz Minister
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Department of Social Services
Mr and Mrs
Thank you for your email of22 April 2015 to the Treasurer, the Hon Joe Hockey MP, about the non-indexation of British pensions in Australia. Your email was referred to the Minister for Social Services, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, as this matter falls within his portifolio responsibilities. The Minister has asked me to reply to you on his behalf.
The Australian Government considers the United Kingdom's policy of not indexing pensions in most Commonwealth countries including Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa, where the majority of its expatriate pensioners reside, to be unfair and discriminatory. All United Kingdom pensioners have paid their contributions under the same rules, therefore, they should be paid their pensions under equal conditions, no matter where they choose to live.
As you may be aware, Australia had a social security agreement with the United Kingdom for many years. That Agreement was terminated in 2001 because the United Kingdom Government refused numerous requests to amend it to provide for the indexation of United Kingdom pensions in Australia.
Successive Australian Governments have made representations to the United Kingdom Government about this issue. Most recently, in February 2015, Australian Foreign Minister, the Hon Julie Bishop MP, raised the matter when she met with United Kingdom Foreign Secretary, the Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP in Sydney. Unfortunately, Mr Hammond reiterated that the United Kingdom would not be entering into any new social security agreements and had no plans to change their current indexation provisions.
While the position of the United Kingdom remains disappointing, the Australian Government will continue to use appropriate opportunities to pursue the matter with its United Kingdom counterparts.
Thank you again for writing. Yours sincerely
Eligibility and Participation Branch
15th May 2015
With the compliments of British Age Pensioner Alliance