Local MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy is the joint organiser of a letter to government calling on it to change a policy that hits the pensions of the Windrush Generation.
The MP, whose Streatham constituency takes in parts of Brixton, worked with the End Frozen Pensions campaign to coordinate the letter signed by 53 MPs from different parties.
It calls on government to reconsider its “frozen pensions” policy.
More than half a million UK pensioners living overseas do not receive their full UK state pension as a result of this policy. The pension of any UK pensioner living abroad in certain countries is frozen at the level it was when they retired or left the UK.
People affected live in countries which do not have a joint agreement to inflation-link the state pensions of people from one country living in the other.
Many former British colonies are affected, while the Philippines and the USA are not.
The letter gives the example of 82-year-old Monica Williams, who has been receiving the same pension payment – £74.11 – since she had to return to Antigua to look after her sick mother in 1996.
Monica’s sister, who remained in the UK, receives a full, regularly uprated UK state pension.
The letter calls for an end to the system to ensure that all UK pensioners receive the full amount they are entitled to.
Ribeiro-Addy said: “Frozen pensions leave those affected living on significantly less than they are entitled to.
“This longstanding policy disproportionately impacts members of the Windrush Generation, many of whom didn’t leave the UK voluntarily and were not informed their pension would be frozen.
“If you’ve made National Insurance contributions your whole working life, there’s no reason you shouldn’t receive your full and up-rated pension in retirement, wherever you choose to live.”
Can the DWP be asked to confirm or deny and make public, if reciprocal agreements are required for uprating all overseas pensioners who are entitled to a UK pension?
We (pensioners living in countries where Britain refuses to uprate their pensions) have been discriminated against for far too long. Enough is enough!
Why is nobody shouting this from the rooftops? Does no one care about the older generation any more?
This is sheer discrimination and surely needs to be made public? A few front page headlines would surely help get us on the agenda! Any newspapers brave enough and willing to take it on?
The British Governments’ outrageous frozen pension policy has been unfairly depriving about 4% of the UK’s pensioners of some of their pension retirement income. Furthermore it’s discouraging many UK pension recipients from African, Asian and most Caribbean nations from retiring back home from the UK. Over 95% of the frozen UK pensioners live in Commonwealth nations, nations with which, following Britain’s departure from the EU, the UK will soon be seeking special favorable trade agreements. It’s time the UK Government woke up to its appalling unique pension policy and realized how damaging its frozen pensions policy is to its relationship with many of the Commonwealth Group of nations.
Legally and morally I cannot understand why HMG would consistently break this contract. In court HMG claims it cannot afford to increase all State pensions to the covenanted amount ; this is a lie, it would only cost 0,7% of total throughput. In view of how assiduously MPs value their own pensions ( work pensions but still Government derived ) and reduce their qualifying time it is hypocritical to deny us our contracted amount. Could it be that we, as a group, are unlikely to be militant although we do have the vote for the first 15 years of living abroad. Until 1975 the armed services’ personnel with less than 12 years service were not pensioned — another non-militant group. HMG enjoys substantial financial advantage from our
absence particularly in the NHS and housing areas.
Thanks for the clarity Jane. I could never see why other governments could have a say on our pension rights.
Please can you stop saying agreements with countries are needed to pay seniors their rightful pensions? The DWP admitted years ago that reciprocal agreements are not needed to uprate all overseas seniors who are entitled to a UK state pension. This is an excuse they trot out to justify this outrageous and blatant discrimination of 4% of those who retire overseas. All state pensioners have paid for their pensions under the same terms and where they live in retirement is irrelevant and the UK is the only member of the OECD to steal money from their own seniors. The government gets away with this year after year, meanwhile the most vulnerable struggle to live and many are living in poverty because of this injustice and nobody, except a few politicians seems to care and NOTHING changes.
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