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'FROZEN' STATE RETIREMENT PENSIONS

A message from
the International Consortium of British Pensioners (ICBP)

The International Consortium of British Pensioners (ICBP), based in Canada, represents the two national pensioners bodies, British Pensioners in Australia (BPiA) and the Canadian Alliance of British Pensioners (CABP).  The ICBP maintains close liaison with the UK Parliament’s All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Frozen British Pensions, which has secured agreement in the Commons to backbench motions in favour of ending the policy of freezing the pensions.  However, such motions are not binding on the Government, so the campaigning continues.

Here is a message from the Chairman of the International Consortium of British Pensioners:

‘We in the International Consortium of British Pensioners are saddened to learn that the Overseas Service Pensioners’ Association will close its doors later this year, but understand that the time has now come for it to end.

A number of OSPA members are also members of the ICBP, and have joined with us in our fight for the unfreezing of the pensions of those British state pensioners whose pensions are frozen by the British Government, just because of where they chose to live in retirement.

We know the policy is discriminatory and unjust. How can it be that a Britishpensioner living in Mauritius has an indexed pension, yet one in South Africa does not? One in the USA is unfrozen, but one in Canada is. One in the Philippines is unfrozen, but one in Thailand is? The policy creates ongoing hardship to so many British expatriates, many of whom actually moved overseas to serve their country.

Many expatriate Britons living in South Africa, Australia or Canada, for example, are being forced back to the UK in their 90s as they can no longer live on their pittance of a pension. I can quote as an example, Joe Lewis, from Canada who is now planning to return to the UK at age 93 because he can no longer manage on his pension. It would be far more economical for the UK to just uprate his (and all) pensions rather than accept the costs relating to his return next year.

We would urge all OSPA members living overseas who are not yet members of ICBP to join us in our campaign for fairness: www.pensionjustice.org

Our lobbying has brought very positive results so far. The Labour Party has committed to supporting us. We already have the support of SNP MPs. Theoretically, if there were a debate and all MPs voted according to their party declaration, we could have a majority of MPs supporting unfreezing. We have never been in this position before. We firmly believe that finally the policy could be reversed.

Please check out our website and add your voice for justice to ours. The more people we have writing articulate letters to MPs on our behalf, the stronger our message for fairness will be.”

Sheila Telford
Chair ICBP
August 2017