What you need to know about YOUR pension if you move to Australia from the UK.
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time
….Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Yes, we are all getting older whether we like it or not. Whether I like it or not, I’m rapidly approaching my retirement years, you know, time to hang up my boots. Time to whittle twigs on my veranda. A chance to kick back and take it easy.
Well, is not quite that time yet, but what used to be an event I could only imagine in some distant future is now a fast approaching reality.
Not being the whittling kind, I imagine my retirement to be blessed with travel, having fun and occasionally sipping the odd Pina colada (figuratively speaking, I’m sure I’ll still be drinking beer) whilst sitting on some sundrenched beach.
Well, I’m in Australia, how can my retirement not be good?
Ironically, the answer may well be because I AM IN AUSTRALIA. As a British expat retiring in Australia, my pension, which I paid cold hard cash into during my working years in the UK, unlike that sundrenched beach will actually be FROZEN!!!!
Had I moved to Canada, New Zealand or even Pakistan, I would have still have suffered this ridiculous discrimination, yet if I had moved to the USA, Macedonia or the Philippines, for example, my pension would have been index linked as it should be for me here in Australia.
I have to tell you, all this is making me ANGRY!!!
I know I am repeating a good deal that was said over a year ago in my post called British Pensions in Australia: The Bad News, but as this problem has still not yet been resolved, then I think it’s still worth reminding you of the situation.
Lots of people and organisations are fighting on our behalf; by “our” I mean all of those expats in countries where our pensioners are being discriminated against, or as I would call it, ripped off.
We do have some media behind this campaign as well, in particular the UK’s Mail Online.
A couple of days ago they posted an article called Suspend Britain from Commonwealth over unfair expat pensions.
Suspend Britain from the Commonwealth? Is this possible? On what basis?
Here’s one quote from the article…
Sheila Telford, chairman of the International Consortium of British Pensioners, told The Telegraph: “The UK is now defaulting on the Commonwealth Equality Charter, which Her Majesty the Queen signed in March this year, calling for equality and an end to discrimination for all. We believe that until this issue of discrimination and inequality is dealt with, the Commonwealth should consider suspending the UK from membership.
It’s not just discrimination either, it’s downright theft in my view. For those who don’t know, people like myself paid into the UK’s National Insurance Fund Pension Scheme because we had to. There was no choice, it was mandatory.
We had to pay so that we could provide for our own retirements.
Imagine if I had telephoned the UK government 30 years ago and said “Hey, how’s it going? Just a quickie, I’m going to be moving to Australia when I’m about 50 years old, so you won’t need to look after me when I retire. Alright if I duck out of this pension payments thingy scheme of yours?”
What do you think they would have said to me?
Exactly! And I think that’s kind of what they are still saying to me now.
What can we do about this?
If you click both of the links already mentioned above, and I will be repeating them both again below, there are things you can do from each of those pages that just might help. Half a million British expats are affected by this frozen pensions fiasco, we all need to make our voices heard.
Even if you are not yet affected, but you do hope to one day move to one of the countries that is on the frozen pensions list, make your voice heard now!
Remember Jim Tilley? Here he is again with former Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard…
Please read this article and vote YES on the survey which asks: Should the Government pay the full state pension to all expats?
Please register and post a comment.
This is important. Please don’t just vote YES, but pass the link on to all your friends and relations to do the same and ask them to do likewise.
Thank you, on behalf of the board of BPiA
Again, this is where you need to go to do that…
And as Jim mentioned, do leave a comment, there are already hundreds there; I want to quote just one. It came from someone who called himself icaruscan…
My mother, who died recently at 102 years of age, received less than 7 pounds sterling per week for the 32 years that she lived with us in Canada. One more British pensioner short changed by a UK government that she trusted with her retirement wellbeing.
Whether it’s in Canada, Australia or anywhere else where pensions are frozen by the UK government, less than £7.00 a week does not go far, does it?
When I am 102, looks like I won’t be sipping those Pina coladas on the beach, at less than £7.00 I’ll be lucky to be able to afford just one cold beer a week…. and nothing else on my pension.
And that’s just not fair dinkum.
Here is that link to my article again as promised: British Pensions in Australia: The Bad News.
Unfortunately though, I truly think that if you are considering moving here to Australia to live permanently, or even if you have already done so, you need to make plans of your own to ensure you do provide for yourself when you retire.
That’s why you really need to be aware of this.
Something tells me nothing is going to change, despite the best efforts of all those campaigning against this injustice, but let’s hope I’m wrong about that.
PS. And another thing…
This makes me angry as well. Remember my post about Compulsory Third Party (CTP) Insurance? Well, my rego was up for renewal the other day and when the notification arrived it included CTP insurance through their selected insurer.
You don’t have to use the default insurer though, you can go online and check out prices from the others and then select a different insurer if you want.
Could I save some money here, I wondered? So I logged online and went through the process of filling in some of my details to get alternative quotes.
Here’s what I got…