Stupid rules lead to apartheid of British overseas pensioners

At this time when George Osborne is considering removing the Personal Tax Allowance from Brits who retire abroad to spend their final years with their families, many of whom have their state pensions frozen as a result, you might be wondering what all the fuss is about? You might be thinking that there are some countries such as Afghanistan, or Libya, or Syria where the government is right to limit any British funds. A counter argument is, of course, the ethical morality – something in which the Conservatives are supposed to believe - of a contributory pension scheme which forces all workers to pay National Insurance all their working lives to provide a pension in retirement, only to find those pensions frozen when they join their families overseas.

And all of this discrimination is the result of crazy, stupid, historical anomalies.

Another result is that immigrants who were invited to come to Britain from the Caribbean countries in the 1960s can go home with an indexed pension if they came from Barbados, Bermuda or Jamaica but will have their pensions frozen if they return to Bahamas, Barbuda, St Lucia or other Caribbean countries; people can retire to Israel and the Philippines with indexed pensions but not to India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Similarly, retirees to USA receive indexed pensions; while over the border in Canada they do not.

The following tables will enable you to check on countries that may interest you. They certainly illustrate the totally illogicality (admitted by a number of ministers) of the present system.

Frozen pension countries:

Afghanistan

Congo, Democratic Republic (Zaire)

Jordan

Papua New Guinea

St Helena & Deps

Albania

Cook Islands

Kenya

Paraguay

St Lucia

Algeria

Costa Rica

Kiribati

Peru

St Martins

Andorra

Cuba

Kuwait

 

St Vincent and the Grenadines

Anguilla

Djibouti

Laos

Qatar

Sudan

Antigua

Dominican Commonwealth (Dominica )

Lebanon

Rebublic Of Georgia

Surinam

Argentina

Dominican Republic

Lesotho

Republic Of Armenia

Swaziland

Ascension Island

Ecuador

Liberia

Republic Of Azerbaijan

Syria

Australia

Egypt

Libya

Republic Of Belarus

Tahiti

The Bahamas

El Salvador

Macau

Republic Of Kazakhstan

Taiwan

Bahrain

Ethiopia

Madagascar

Republic Of Kyrgyzstan

Tanzania

Bangladesh

Falkland Islands + Deps

Malawi

Republic Of Moldovia

Thailand

Barbuda

Faroe Islands

Malaysia

Republic Of Turkmenistan

The Russian Federation

Belize

Fiji

Maldives

Republic Of Uzbekistan

Togo

Benin

 

Mexico

Republic Of Yemen

Tonga

Bhutan

The Gambia

Monaco

Rwanda

Tours

Bolivia

Ghana

Montserrat

 

Trinidad and Tobago

Botswana

Greenland

Morocco

San Marino

Tunisia

Brazil

Grenada

Mozambique

Sarawak

Turks & Caicos Islands

Brunei Darussalam

 

Namibia

 

Uganda

Burkina Faso

Guatemala

Nepal

Saudi Arabia

Ukraine

Burma

Guinea

Nevis, St Kitts Nevis

Senegal

Uruguay

Cambodia (Kampuchea)

Guyana

New Caledonia

Seychelles

Vanuatu

Cameroon

Haiti

New Zealand

Sharjah

Venezuela

Canada

Honduras

Nicaragua

Sierra Leone

Vietnam

Cape Verde Islands

Hong Kong

Niger

Singapore

Virgin Islands (British)

Cayman Islands

India

Nigeria

Solomon Islands

 

Central African Republic

Indonesia

Norfolk Island

Somalia

Zambia

Chile

Iran

Oman

South Africa

Zimbabwe

China

Iraq

Pakistan

South Korea

 

Colombia

Japan

Panama

Sri Lanka

 

By comparison:

EU Member States                                                 Reciprocal Agreement Countries ***
Pension paid and indexed annually:                      Pension paid and indexed annually:

Austria

Malta

Alderney

Macedonia

Belgium

Netherlands

Barbados

Puerto Rico

Bulgaria

Norway

Bermuda

Republic of Bosnia Herzegovina

Cyprus

Poland

French Overseas Departments

Republic of Croatia

Denmark

Portugal

Guam

Sark

Finland

Republic of Estonia

Guernsey

Samoa

France

Republic of Latvia

Israel

Serbia & Montenegro

Germany

Republic of Lithuania

Jamaica

Turkey

Gibralter

Republic of Slovenia

Jersey

United States of America

Greece

Romania

Mauritius

Virgin Islands (USA)

Hungary

Spain

Philippines

 

Iceland

Sweden

 

 

Ireland

Switzerland

 

 

Italy

The Czech Republic

 

 

Liechtenstein

The Slovak republic

 

 

Luxembourg

 

 

 

***        The Department for Work and Pensions has recently admitted that a Reciprocal Agreement is not legally necessary for uprated pensions to be paid to all British pensioners.

A recent survey has shown that there are thousands of previous immigrants who want to go back to their countries of origin, but cannot because they could not survive on frozen pensions. Yet they would vacate homes in England that are desperately needed and each one would also save taxpayers an estimated £3,800 a year in benefits such as NHS treatment, TV licences and free travel. Think of the pressure it would take off the NHS if these thousands left the country.

To add insult to injury, it costs the Treasury at least £1 million a year to manage the disparity between pensions. Also, while the Chancellor is quietly penny-pinching on taxes and, in the process, robbing every working household in the UK of hard-earned income, he could save an estimated £2 billion a year by “doing the right thing” and paying indexed pension to every British pensioner – payments which they paid for during their working lives and deserve now.

Such discrimination against a certain group of citizens was called apartheid in South Africa – it is certainly British pensioner apartheid now!