An article from Leah Hyslop in the Telegraph entitled, “Cheaper to Uprate Frozen Pensions,” caught my eye recently. The piece highlights nicely the current campaign being waged by the Pension Parity and the International Consortium of British Pensioners(ICBP) to uprate frozen British expat pensions .
Quoting from a report commissioned by ICBP as part of their new “hearts and minds” strategy Ms Hyslop highlights some interesting facts relating to pensioners in the UK, their plans for retirement and the actual cost to the British Government of introducing pension parity for all overseas based UK pensioners.
For me an even more interesting revelation is the “savings” a British Government actually makes from pensioners who live overseas in their retirement. This is what John Markham, director of UK Parliamentary affairs for the ICBP has to say:
“Every person who retires abroad saves the Government around £4,000 per year, and we estimate that around 7,000 people retire to countries where pensions are frozen every year. This number would clearly increase if the freeze was lifted. The report suggests that if all pensions were uprated, the Government could save £31 billion over the next 15 years, compared with only £33 billion if they weren’t uprated.
“Essentially, these are vast numbers, which I don’t think the Government understands or recognises. It’s not simply the case that these people, many of whom made national insurance contributions their whole working life, deserve to have their pensions unfrozen: it makes economic sense too.”
If John’s figures are correct and I am sure they are, then personally I do believe we have a very good case for some Government action. A government that incidentally came to power pledging to get the countries finances in order.
You can help support the campaign to win the UK Governments hearts and minds by visiting the Pension Parity(ICBP) web site and discovering what you as an individual can do. If you have a British Expats orientated web site you might also like to display the Pension parity banner(in the side bar) with links to the relevant site.