British Expats

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-   -   Petition to unfreeze UK pensions for those living abroad (https://britishexpats.com/forum/maple-leaf-98/petition-unfreeze-uk-pensions-those-living-abroad-942357/)

benlast Jan 14th 2022 10:44 pm

Petition to unfreeze UK pensions for those living abroad
 
The Canadian Association of British Pensioners recently promoted yet another petition to the UK government to request that pensioners living overseas (in places like Canada) get increases in their UK pensions.

The petition is here: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/601821/

If you're not aware of the issue, here's an FAQ page. The short version is that if you're entitled to a UK State Pension, but you retire in Canada (or pretty much anywhere outside the UK and EU), your pension will be frozen at the amount you get when you start taking it. You won't get any pension increases, so inflation will reduce the effective value of your pension over time. If you care about that, sign the petition.

(Note: I have no involvement with the CABP other than being a member, and my interest in this is that I live in Canada and will be eligible to collect a UK State Pension in years to come).

glendem4 Jan 15th 2022 12:31 pm

Re: Petition to unfreeze UK pensions for those living abroad
 
Signed

dbd33 Jan 15th 2022 9:19 pm

Re: Petition to unfreeze UK pensions for those living abroad
 
Elected not to sign, again.

CanadaJimmy Jan 17th 2022 4:22 am

Re: Petition to unfreeze UK pensions for those living abroad
 
If you’re a pensioner how do they find out you’ve left the country? Couldn’t you just give them a UK PO box and a UK bank account? Just wondering how this is even enforced.

christmasoompa Jan 17th 2022 5:42 am

Re: Petition to unfreeze UK pensions for those living abroad
 

Originally Posted by CanadaJimmy (Post 13088493)
If you’re a pensioner how do they find out you’ve left the country? Couldn’t you just give them a UK PO box and a UK bank account? Just wondering how this is even enforced.

Because as part of the claim you have to give them your address, tell them about any time you’ve lived outside of the UK, etc.

I am I said Jan 17th 2022 7:58 am

Re: Petition to unfreeze UK pensions for those living abroad
 

Originally Posted by dbd33 (Post 13088324)
Elected not to sign, again.

I am not up to speed on this debate, are you willing to set out your thinking?

dbd33 Jan 17th 2022 12:14 pm

Re: Petition to unfreeze UK pensions for those living abroad
 

Originally Posted by I am I said (Post 13088508)
I am not up to speed on this debate, are you willing to set out your thinking?


1. If people abandon their country, the government of that country no longer bears responsibility for them. That the government is willing to give them anything is surprising, they should not look this gift horse in the mouth.
2. People do not contribute to their own state pension, they fund the pensions of the people drawing at the time of payment, thus no entitlement is established.
3. Non payment of inflationary increases in Canada has been established policy for years. People choosing to move to Canada can reasonably be expected to know this. If these payments are so critical to them they should have moved somewhere else, they can still do so now.
4. The pensioners are not individually rich and are not donors to the Conservative Party. Thus they are not of interest to the government, there's no point in banging on about this, at best it's a waste of time, at worst it gives people false hope.


BristolUK Jan 17th 2022 2:16 pm

Re: Petition to unfreeze UK pensions for those living abroad
 
I know you just choose your words to wind people up ;) but...

Originally Posted by dbd33 (Post 13088554)
2. People do not contribute to their own state pension, they fund the pensions of the people drawing at the time of payment, thus no entitlement is established..

This is not actually correct. There is a direct link between how much you qualify for and how much you pay in. Therefore entitlement is established.

I am I said Jan 17th 2022 2:20 pm

Re: Petition to unfreeze UK pensions for those living abroad
 

Originally Posted by dbd33 (Post 13088554)
1. If people abandon their country, the government of that country no longer bears responsibility for them. That the government is willing to give them anything is surprising, they should not look this gift horse in the mouth.
2. People do not contribute to their own state pension, they fund the pensions of the people drawing at the time of payment, thus no entitlement is established.
3. Non payment of inflationary increases in Canada has been established policy for years. People choosing to move to Canada can reasonably be expected to know this. If these payments are so critical to them they should have moved somewhere else, they can still do so now.
4. The pensioners are not individually rich and are not donors to the Conservative Party. Thus they are not of interest to the government, there's no point in banging on about this, at best it's a waste of time, at worst it gives people false hope.

Interesting, thanks. I have no skin in this game, just curiosity. #3.... yep, and can that really does trump the others. I know #2 is the fact, even if I believe that was not the original plan. On #1 & #2... isn't it a more an 'investment' thing - person x has paid in over the years and should now be able to get what is effectively their annuity? I suppose if the overall calculation factored in that the money would be spent in the UK, with all its multiplier effects, that also speaks to not uplifting it if someone bailed out of the country.

dbd33 Jan 17th 2022 2:52 pm

Re: Petition to unfreeze UK pensions for those living abroad
 

Originally Posted by I am I said (Post 13088583)
I suppose if the overall calculation factored in that the money would be spent in the UK, with all its multiplier effects, that also speaks to not uplifting it if someone bailed out of the country.

That's a good point and not one I had considered despite this theme being discussed perennially. For me the key point is that, if you don't contribute to a country, by living there and paying taxes, you've no real claim on the government of the day in that country. If you want to have that claim you should move back home.

BristolUK Jan 17th 2022 3:27 pm

Re: Petition to unfreeze UK pensions for those living abroad
 

Originally Posted by I am I said (Post 13088583)
I suppose if the overall calculation factored in that the money would be spent in the UK, with all its multiplier effects, that also speaks to not uplifting it if someone bailed out of the country.

I'm fairly sure there have been studies showing that the UK saves a greater amount from pensioners living abroad, not using NHS resources, not receiving means tested benefits etc than the cost of uprating. :nod:

Expatrick Jan 17th 2022 3:29 pm

Re: Petition to unfreeze UK pensions for those living abroad
 

Originally Posted by dbd33 (Post 13088590)
That's a good point and not one I had considered despite this theme being discussed perennially. For me the key point is that, if you don't contribute to a country, by living there and paying taxes, you've no real claim on the government of the day in that country. If you want to have that claim you should move back home.

Can't speak for Canada (& I accept your point 3, even though I think it is wrong) but some general points to consider.

I "abandoned" the UK, but have remained subject to the whims of the UK electorate and actions of the UK government, for example, in the case of those of us in Europe, Brexit.

Many of us expat pensioners continue to pay UK taxes, and will do so whether we like it or not. In fact the tax I have already paid since abandoning the UK will pay the first 7 years of my UK State pension - above & beyond the 37 years NI contributions I made before retiring.

Pensioners retiring abroad are beneficial to the UK - by not using NHS / LA health & social care facilities, by releasing accommodation, by not clogging up the infrastructure. Expat pensioners who are entitled to UK health coverage offer remarkablly good value, for example the NHS has estimated that pensioners in Spain cost approximately €1200 less in treatment costs than if they were UK resident, plus, as I say above, do not take up, bed block, UK health care facilities.

Expats do not (quite rightly) enjoy other benefits such as bus passes (cost to the UK exchequer over £1 billion p.a).

Expats, much to my amazement, do contribute to UK businesses and boost UK exports they can also act as ambassadors for the UK and promote interests.

Putting all this to one side, the level of pension paid should be equal regardless of domicile; those who approve of a differential might also be suggesting that pensioners in the north of the UK should receive less of a pension as their cost of living is less and because they have probably contributed less (due to lower incomes) during their careers.

In fact the UK should actually promote the idea of retirees becoming expats!

I am I said Jan 18th 2022 7:32 am

Re: Petition to unfreeze UK pensions for those living abroad
 
Do expat UK citizens in Canada get the right to vote in British elections? National and council and [well, not any more...] European? I was surprised to find I had recently gained the ability to vote in Canadian federal elections - I am British and Canadian, have not lived in Canada for several decades. Building on dbd33's last point, feels odd that I get to influence what happens in Canada, without bearing any of the consequences [benefits]. So, on a global totting up, I get twice as many votes[*] as someone who elects to stay in the country of their birth.
[*] I understand the mathematical flaw, but you get the idea

Expatrick Jan 18th 2022 9:06 am

Re: Petition to unfreeze UK pensions for those living abroad
 
British Expats can vote (in theory) in UK general elections for up to 15 years after emigrating.
(I say theoretically because in every election event since 2014 (including the infamous referendum) we have either not received ballot papers or they have arrived too late, despite being posted, allegedly, 4 weeks prior). I can vote in Budapest's local elections but not in the Hungarian GE, unless I become a Hungarian citizen.

Mordko Jan 18th 2022 1:00 pm

Re: Petition to unfreeze UK pensions for those living abroad
 
The system is unfair in more than one way:

1. British retirees residing in the EU or US get full indexation. So do Canadians living in Britain. Not to mention Brits living in Britain. The same rules should apply regardless of location.

2. British retirees residing in Canada can “buy” extra years of state pension from Britain for peanuts.

1 and 2 cancel each other out.


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