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Why we're going to get the state pension later and later

The government has vowed to link the state pension to life expectancy, or longevity, in a bid to curb the cost of introducing a new flat £140 weekly rate.

 

by Michelle McGagh on Jan 02, 2013 at 11:24

Why we're going to get the state pension later and later

The government's plan to introduce a £140-a-week state pension will coincide with the linking of the state retirement age to life expectancy, meaning Britons can expect to retire later.

Chancellor George Osborne has said his support for the Liberal Democrats’ plan for a flat-rate state pension relies on linking the state pension to longevity, or life expectancy, according to the Financial Times.

By linking the state pension to life expectancy the chancellor hopes to keep the £140-a-week pension, which represents a rise in the state pension, cost neutral.

The state pension age is already set to increase from 66 to 67 by April 2028 and further rises would then happen in line with average life expectancy. The move to link pensions to longevity is an attempt by the government to curb the costs of the state pension which continues to grow as people live longer.

A white paper on state pensions reform was due in the summer but was delayed over cost concerns. It is now expected to be published next month.

According to the Office of National Statistics a man aged 65 today will live to 83 on average and a 65-year-old woman to 85.

The flat-rate state pension will help reduce the amount of means-testing needed for pensions and help increase the amount the poorest in society have to live on.

However, due to cost concerns it will also mean some people will receive less in retirement. Those who retire before the introduction of the flat rate in 2016 will not benefit from the changes and higher earners will no longer be able to build up additional retirement income by savings into the state second pension – although money already accrued in the state second pension will be honoured.

Further Reading:

Pensions Guide from The Lolly

95 comments so far. Why not have your say?

Keith Cobby

Jan 02, 2013 at 12:46

Day 1 of the new financial year and surprise, surprise a feature on the prospective flat rate pension.

From this I see that it is due to be introduced in 2016 which puts it the other side of the general election.

I doubt that the incoming Labour administration will wish to alienate millions of people straight away so it will be interesting to see what happens.

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sgjhaghsdg

Jan 02, 2013 at 13:38

I'm looking forward to seeing some detail on what's being proposed but doubt we'll get much of that at this stage.

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Wenlock

Jan 02, 2013 at 14:49

I started to receive my state pension in May 2012. Because I paid into my employers pension scheme, which has been very advantageous now that I am retired,I opted out of any extra state pension benefits.This means that although I paid tax and NI since the age of 16 and continue to pay tax on my pensions I will be on less state pension than people starting on the new flat rate.

This puts me and people like me at a disadvantage. A Tory party that puts savers like me in this position deserve to be voted against at the next election.

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Snotter

Jan 02, 2013 at 15:06

There will be a massive rise in the soaring welfare bill to keep those over 65 but below pension age who live off benefits as a way of life.

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Old Young or Young Old?

Jan 02, 2013 at 15:06

How can life expectancy be considered to be a national "average" statistic? Life expectancy is linked to your person gene pool, so can only be a "family" based statistic. Based on the performance of my parents, one died at 62 the other just made 65, means my personal life expectancy, statistically speaking is just 63.5 years. Does that mean I can start drawing my state pension at 45.5 years allowing my 18 years of retirement? I doubt it....

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Ian Lewthwaite

Jan 02, 2013 at 16:46

These pension deferrals are OK , but apply them across the board, to Civil Servants, All council employeesand that includes management, MP's or anyone including the BBC who hide behind a trust fund, who is being paid from public funds other than those now retired.

Make their pension funds balance with their own contributions- and no more subsidy/top up from the taxpayer let them all receive what they alone have earned, no more free ride for those who have not paid UK taxes and NHI for at least 10 years, and I dont care about their human rights, if they have 20 children, they had the pleasure now fess up to the pain, more about my rights and their obligations to the UK exchequer.

Stop telling us we are all in this together( but some pigs are more equal than others).

No one subsidized my Pension, indeed the theiving UK government Froze ours in 2003 when we retired on a 410 TEMPORARY VISA to Australia, thus doubly taxing us after 44 years compulsory UK taxes and NHI, so why do some think that it's my duty to subsidize theirs?

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Kenneth

Jan 02, 2013 at 18:35

For attention of Wenlock.

I would like to bring to your attention that the new flat rate pension also includes contracted out pension so if you like me most probably have the basic state pension,small state second pension. which gives you a total state pension less than £140 per week.. If you have enough contracted pension to give you a total pension higher than £140 per week then you would not have been entitled to the new flat rate pension if they included existing pensioners as the DWP assume the balance will be paid by the contracted out pension scheme. What many people don't seem to realise is that the new flat rate pension also includes contracted pension paid by a personal or occupational scheme so there are going to be a few million disappointed people when the new scheme starts as the government don't seem to want to explain exactly how the pension of £140 is arrived at.

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Michael Stevens

Jan 02, 2013 at 18:50

Mr. Wenlock your company scheme contracted you out of S.E.R.P.S. so saving you N. I. You cannot have it both ways. Nothing to do with the current government

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Michael Stevens

Jan 02, 2013 at 18:50

Mr. Wenlock your company scheme contracted you out of S.E.R.P.S. so saving you N. I. You cannot have it both ways. Nothing to do with the current government

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Colston Hicks

Jan 03, 2013 at 12:46

Expectation of life tables were always produced by the Faculty for Actuaries, not by employees of the government.

With the huge change in the make up of the UK population over the last 15 years I am sure that the Faculty for Actuaries would not agree with the office for national statistics.

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Dave Hill

Jan 03, 2013 at 16:55

Keith Cobby comments that an incoming Labour administration would not want to alienate millions of people straight away. He's assuming labour will get in at the next election, and most governments want to try to get rid of bad news early in their parliament. I'm surprised at the Tories planning to bring in a flat rate pension as it will hit their middle class supporters the most, and help the more traditional labour supporters, low paid workers and the long term unemployed.

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Justin Forawurd

Jan 04, 2013 at 01:31

I wouldn't mind getting the new UK state pension raise later. At least it would be better than getting it never!!

Never if my book means frozen for life - never mind how long that life is. Because that's what my British state pension is - frozen for the rest of my life. I chose to retire to the "wrong" country to spend my remaining years with my only family. But, and it's a big BUT - nobody told me that my pension would be knobbled.

Like Ian Lewthwaite, I'm furious that such unfairness; fraudery; theft and discrimination can be practised on British citizens by their own government - purely based on where the person decides to retire to!!

Thanks to the internet - we now have the power to fight back - and I, along with others are using this new found capability to the hilt!

I'm appealing to all UK state frozen pensioners everywhere to join in, and let these so-called "fair" politicians know where you stand, and how you feel.

Emailing them direct is great, but indirect pressure works fine too, as your reading this has just proved!!

Help us get rid of this policy of discrimination, and get on your keyboards!!

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RobtheFox

Jan 04, 2013 at 06:36

I can fully understand the concern of those still working who are going to be affected by the Pensions Reform Bill. That the age at which the State Retirement Pension would be raised has been a stated policy of all the major political parties; initially when the age was first set at 65 (for men) a significant number of the workforce would pass away before reaching it. It was inevitable that it would, therefore, rise.

What is perhaps of serious concern is that in presenting his Green Paper Steve Webb, the Pensions Minister, stipulated that one of his four basic principles would be that of FAIRNESS - and then, Justin Forawurd, did he not immediately breach that principle in his treatment (totally ignoring) of the frozen pensioner?

It is galling to hear the PM, Cameron, saying in his New Year diatribe that he has stood by the pensioners and given them the largest increase ever in the knowledge that over half a million pensioners now it is not the case for them.

So, yes, when the Bill comes up for its first reading, second reading and committee stages please do hammer your MP about this issue - not just for those who have already retired and are currently being discriminated against but also those who will be retiring and, like the 4% of all UK Retired Citizens do now, find they are frozen simply because it was the "wrong" country in which they decided to retire.

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Ian Lewthwaite

Jan 04, 2013 at 07:30

Hi Justin

Of all the unfairness/discrimination I have endured over a long lifetime - I don't think that anything makes me angrier or vindictive than this pension freezing. When we found out we could go to Aus under the 410 TEMPORARY VISA, I wrote to the DWP for clarication of the Freezing bit as we were past retirement age and the Visa is Temporary as we could never be Aus citizens. There response like all these square peg civil servants was to not reply but send me a booklet in the series.

In Aus with out eldest daughter family and son in NZ family, I wrote to see how these dickheads could deem Temporary residents as Permanently in Aus, lots of acrimonius correspondence followed from me, bearing in mind we had to renew the Visa every 2 years, pay compulsory Private Health Insurance, pay $50 every doctor visit, pay for any prescriptions, recieve often about 50% back from the INsurance, was denied tax relief on the Private Health Insurance, was unable to use Mrs L's unused PA to reduce my tax deduction, was paid our State pensions for some three yearsat the 2002 rate although we departed the UK 12/4/2003, and still believe that they did not pay the deducted pension for 2003-4.

As English born and bred I will gladly participate in the first UK Bastille day , and who dare oppose me

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Ian Lewthwaite

Jan 04, 2013 at 10:58

Is it any wonder that the workers coming on dont save , but live for the day when they can see their grandparents, parents and others blatantly robbed by successive UK Governments who seem to believe that you can continually screw/rob/cheat/deny the citizen without having to balance the books or pay for what you get.

What was voluntary then has now become compulsory, as the only means the Govt can get the funds of others, to steal from.

The bill will come and many will suffer for the greed of the few

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Dave Hill

Jan 04, 2013 at 12:26

If you were to live in America you would get UK inflation rises on your pension, but not if you live in Australia. I can't understand why as we have closer links with Australia than America. The only thing I've head is that there is an agreement with America but not with Australia about inflation rises.

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RobtheFox

Jan 04, 2013 at 13:13

Dave Hill yes, under the current policy if you live in the UK, the EEA or a totally illogical select group of some fifteen countries like the Philippines, Macedonia Israel and, as you say, the USA the State Retirement Pension is uprated annually in line with the increase in either prices, earnings or by 2.75% whichever is the greater. However, again as you say, if you live in Australia your pension is not increased. This iniquitous ruling also applies to the likes of Canada, New Zeland, south Africa, Thailand and around 100 other countries. The reason the government will give you is that those fifteen countries are covered by a "reciprocal agreement". The inferred need for such agreements is a total myth. Uprating could be applied universally by the UK....as former Pensions Secretaries Stephen Twigg (1999) and James Purnell (2007) advised the House.

The point really Dave is that it should not matter one iota just which countries the UK has close links with because it is the individual UK retired citizen that is being discriminated against, not the country

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Justin Forawurd

Jan 05, 2013 at 02:39

To Ian Lewthwaite, and apologies to the main thread of this article.

I can fully understand your frustration and anger Ian, when you are beating your head against a wall to get something done - it's not fun at all - and I sympathize with your position entirely.

As I said in an earlier post I am involved with others who are working tirelessly to get our frozen pension unfrozen.

We have found from our own experiences, that it's usually not the communicating civil servant to blame, as they're just following the rules, criteria and instructions laid down by their bosses - the bosses being directed by policies of the government of the day.

As far as I'm aware (and please correct me if I'm wrong) but a British expat's state pension will be frozen in certain countries (Oz being one of them) from the first date it is first drawn upon in that country. Mine is frozen in Canada.

Whether the expat has a temporary or permanent visa (in Oz) I wouldn't think makes any difference to the UK's rule. But as I said - please correct me if I'm in error.

I have to ask you if you are a member of any UK expat pensioners group in Australia, or like us, whether you have become fed up with waiting for something to happen, and "taken matters into your own hands" by commenting on articles such as this one??

Membership of the large UK expat frozen state pension organizations does undoubtedly help, but doing things in addition to that (as we do) helps even further, and helps relieve the frustration of doing damn all!!

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Ian Lewthwaite

Jan 05, 2013 at 09:32

Hi Justin

I also receive correspondence from BERIA group and the probelms those expats have with the discrimination regading Medical treatment etc, and follow Jim Tilley and Jamews Nelson, write to our MP David Mundell, the only Conservative MP in Scotland. Write to the PM but answered by some clown, who never answer the question.

Contribute to the Uk taxpayer alliance as well as family and relations who I talk to in NZ, Aus and Thailand so am well aware of whats going on Worldwide.

As questions under the FOI about the numbers of postal votes sent out mainly by D&G, and particularly Australia, to be denied the information for long enough -

Why? and when it finally did come, after I had been more rude that should have been necessary, it was a mass of statistics

The voting papers are released on the evening of the 11th day preceeding the election - but wilst we were in Aus it took seven days to get to Aus( sometimes franked in Sweden) so if you filled in and responded right away it would never get back to the UK to count in time.

If the French can vote at their embassies abroad why can't we - why should anyone pay UK taxes without representation?

Although when we contacted the so called British Embassy in Melbourne for some personal help following the Kinglake Bushfires in 2009 he was as much good as the proverbial chocolate fireguard- I dont think he even replied to my email,as we were blocked in up at Kinglake by fallen trees crashed and burnt out cars and couldn't even go to check on our daughter and family som 14 Klm away at Kinglake West.

We can be stolen from to pay these useless career Civil servants!

I think your southern neighbours kicked the Brits out over this ?

When i wrote to my former MP David Currie about the freezing of pensions, his response was that the Govt durty was to look after those living in the the UK - with my taxes?- like hell- I was not sorry he departed politics -in flagranti as he was uselessas an MP.

Do you wonder why I am incensed - and I am NOW at that dangerous age when I just don't care about been fed lies and bull**** by people I pay towards their remuneration- what can they do , other than hope that I haven't got long to live and having nearly died a few times it is nothing to fear.

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Ian Lewthwaite

Jan 05, 2013 at 09:37

Hi Justin -aide memoire

The first life salesman that came round to work with me, as a new NFU Group Secretary taught me a valuable lesson which I will give you for free - " if you keep throw enough s*** on the wall , the more bound to stick!

Goebbels used it very sucessfully with his propaganda machine so it does work

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Pukka Gen

Jan 05, 2013 at 17:30

I am incensed by the government continuing the freezing of pensions in some countries year after year without any logical reason for doing so. They surely have no justifiable reason to do so and when questioned they ignore the question as is usual for politicians especially when they really have no answer anyway. This should be enough for any right thinking person, politician or not, .to question the policy and change it because that is their job. So when will these overpaid representatives of the people do the job that they are paid to do ? Answers on a postcard to Steve Webb but don't expect any response.

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nik

Jan 06, 2013 at 12:40

The whole pensions issue does not bear close scrutiny. Like many, I have paid in to government and other pensions schemes for over 45 years. On being made redundant in 1983 I was told that my 9 years in the company scheme would be frozen and that transferring the fund to my new employers scheme would only buy 3 years. How could such a cost be justified?

I have been trying to find out he size of my pension fund in the teachers pension scheme for 5 months after they tried to charge me over £200 for a "transfer value' to be provided. I have just been told formally that the TPS do not have to tell me the size of my fund and that they are entitled to charge me to provide a figure.

Simple arithmetic shows that we only get the interest (if we are lucky) on our pension fund, which is our own money. When we die, this money is taken by the organisations managing the fund. Accountability simply does not feature at all...nor does any form of accountability.

This cannot be right

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Colston Hicks

Jan 06, 2013 at 13:37

nik

I am almost sure that I read that the teachers pension scheme is one of the public sector pension schemes which is ' unfunded ',that is your contributions are used to pay other public sector retired employees.

Will check my huge paperwork

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Justin Forawurd

Jan 07, 2013 at 01:50

I and others have been accused on many an occasion of "hijacking" the comments on an online article (such as this one), in order to vent our fury at the UK government, over the disgraceful and shameful discrimination we have to endure because of the totally unjustifiable "frozen pension" policy.

Our answer is that any article about UK state pensions concerns any UK state pensioner - unfrozen or frozen - or 96% and 4% of the UK state pensioner population respectively.

This article states that, "The flat-rate state pension will help reduce the amount of means-testing needed for pensions and help increase the amount the poorest in society have to live on."

When a "frozen" expat pensioner starts off with less pension cash than an "unfrozen" one (who, the writer states is already "the poorest in society") then surely that makes the frozen state pensioner poorer than the "poorest in society".

Just how poor does the UK government intend to make us?? I know - there are too many "poor's" here, but there only just over half a million of us spread about the globe!!!

If we were all concentrated in one spot, we could unite far better than the way we are now. I have said it before and I'll say it again, the frozen pensioner's biggest enemy (next to the UK government) is apathy.

Just imagine if we were all in the UK right now, what we could do, and the way we could do it!!!

As Ian Lewthwaite said earlier - we could throw a lot of muck, and it'd stick!!!!! Realistically we can't all be in the UK at one time, but we CAN sling a hell of a lot of muck by using the internet.

But we must pick our fights! It's no good preaching to the choir, and only picking articles about frozen pensions to comment on. To raise awareness of our issue we must look for articles that are pension related - period! We must educate those who know nothing about us, and convert them by argument (if needed) to our way of thinking!

The more people in the world who know of the UK's dirty secret - our frozen pension - the more pressure will be applied to Cameron & Co to change it, so that we are equal with all other UK state pensioners. This, after all is what we're entitled to, and this is what we're going to get!!

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Pukka Gen

Jan 07, 2013 at 03:13

What Justin says is absolutely right - any article deserves a comment if about pensions especially if it is the state pension and anyone reading the comments can be educated and learn the true facts should they not be aware of the frozen pension issue. Why more of those affected do not do something to change this long-standing discrimination just amazes me. As has been said, apathy rules, it seems !

Even when you have an article concerning pensions by an organisation like AgeUK the writer invariably ignores the frozen pensioner and they go on about how badly done to are the pensioners in the UK. Now, I'm all in favour of improving the pensioners lot which is apparently about the worst in Europe in respect of pensions but if they are being treated badly, then what about us ? We were all on a level playing field when working and paying our dues but once retired we are cut out of the picture.

It is just a nonsense - depending on where we decide to retire in the world. Uprated pension given to those living in the Philippines but frozen pension in the Falkland Islands. Billions spent on a war there. You really could not make this up could you ?

So what does the Pensions Minister do ? He makes up another system and ignores the existing one because he is not up to the job of fixing it thereby further complicating an already botched up system. And who botched it up then ?

So why has the white paper been delayed and delayed ?

The answer is pretty obvious. Mr Webb.

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Jane Davies

Jan 07, 2013 at 04:01

What's this "means testing" for a state pension? If one has paid NI all ones life then it's a no brainer, if one has paid for it one is entitled to it. End of!

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Ian Lewthwaite

Jan 07, 2013 at 09:01

Hi Jane,

you are using commonsense, but you forget that teh more educated (laugh) these ruling a********le become their CS deminished by inverse proportions.

Justin is right, as you summarise should happen - but it hasn't and doesn't. Why because we Brits take it with stoic fortitude - but I and many others are tired of the diet of bull**** and lies emanating from the s*** at the top. Civil servants can retire anywhere in the world without freezing their emoluments, it high time we got rid of the LAW as administered from the top, and had simple JUSTICE instead.

You will read today about the legal system in India being slow, cumbersome and unfair, regarding the Indian Girl raped and murdered, and getting her justiceand perhaps another one today in India.

We rant on about their legal system our own system is as bad , because there is no system for Justice, only for the enhancement of our legal proffession' s income- its just a joke unless you have legal aid ( given to those who have paid nothing in (includinf Asil Nadir (poll peck) and so called asylum seekers) or just deep pockets.

It would be churlish of me to say that the Judges can be bought , but whats teh differnce from cash in an envelope, to a full years sitting on cases, which could be dealt with fairly and expeditiously by sticking to the facts only, no whaffle

And I make no apologies for bringing up the Frozen Pension ISSUE on Citiwire- which primarily deals with money issues, which this is! - yours, mine, & others

JUst consider that you and many readers, can be next today, big family on over £60K one breadwinner vs two with just under £50 each parent and a few kids-

Life is not fair, which I accept, but it needn't be UNJUST as well!

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Pukka Gen

Jan 07, 2013 at 15:13

The Equality and Human Rights Commission don't want to know when questioned about this as they are only interested in the UK residents and not the British citizens everywhere - why?

Oh - Write to the Foreign Office ?

With Iam Discrimination Smith there you will get nowhere either.

I'm alright Jack.

Who mentioned justice ?

Any suggestions Michelle ?

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Colston Hicks

Jan 09, 2013 at 20:16

nik

Have checked my paerwork

Intergenerational Foundation published it c.May 2012

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nik

Jan 09, 2013 at 21:45

Thanks Colston

An interesting report. It omits to mention that those drawing public sector pensions are only receiving a sum that is somewhat less that the interest that their notional fund would draw. This fund, of course, is then absorbed by the Treasury when the individual dies. A similar situation seems to exist in the private sector, but in this case the money presumably goes to shareholders and pays the salaries of those employed, many on salaries (and pensions) that are way beyond the aspirations of anyone in the public sector.

The baby boomer generation were prepared to fight for a fair deal and also had to pay off the considerable loan from the US to pay for the war. Many of us were born when rationing was in place but those that fought in the war, our parents, remembered how their fathers were treated after the First World War......and we're not prepared to put up with it! The fact that those in the private sector failed to do anything to prevent their pension schemes from being closed is, it could be argued, a matter of personal choice, both in terms of employment sector and the effort they take to protect heir pensions

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sgjhaghsdg

Jan 09, 2013 at 22:28

The private sector works in a competitive environment and gilt-edged pensions without any meaningful contributions just aren't affordable.

The public sector on the other hand just pulls more money in from the magic money tree of punitive taxation and unsustainable borrowing.

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nik

Jan 10, 2013 at 08:03

All sectors exist in a competitive environment. Private sector pensions in the 1980s were significantly better than public sector ones, as were salaries and associated benefits. What we are seeing now is the effect of poor regulation, social change and, I suspect, a lack of self confidence resulting in an unwillingness of many to stand up for themselves . Just try and reduce the police pension and see what happens!

This may well change again in the future, especially when life expectancy starts to shorten and people realise that those who created the situation are not suffering the consequences.

The term "meaningful contributions" is an interesting one. Financial contributions to a pension scheme are certainly meaningful. If the system had ensured that contributions had been invested instead of being absorbed by the treasury there would be no issue. As it is, a review of the TPS a few years ago ensured that it was sustainable....?or we're those paid to do the review incompetent?

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Kenneth

Jan 10, 2013 at 10:04

I think the people who do the review of the pension scheme may be incompetent as they only use a value of about 20 to 1 to find out the value of a persons pension is no matter what a persons age is. For a person aged say 65 it should be roughly 33 to 1. The reason they don't change it is that if they used the higher value many more public service members would be cought by the cap of £1,250,000. . The cap allows them to have a pension of £62,500.

£1,250,000 on the open market would only purchase for a person aged 65 about £42,000. So as you can see a person in a public service scheme can accumelate a pension roughly 50% higher than a person in a money purchase scheme. with a sum of £1,250,000.

As far as I know the figure of 20 to 1 has never been changed even though annuity rates have been plunging over many years. One day they will realise all public service schemes are highly underfunded. Most probably they know ,but don' wan't to admitt it!

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Colston Hicks

Jan 10, 2013 at 11:10

nik

All is not lost.

The report failed to mention the free inflation proofing pensions handed out to every public sector retiree every year. No country can afford to hand out this welfare benefit to so many.

This was a mistake by Ted Heath c.1974, He was wrongly advised that all ( private sector and public sector) final salary pension scheme funds would be overflowing with money in 1997.

These free pensions must be stopped, no right minded person ( private sector or public sector) would object. They would all see reason.

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nik

Jan 10, 2013 at 11:19

The plunge in annuity rates and the validity of the reasons for the current low rates is an interesting topic, given that the annuity is probably less than the fund could get in a high interest account. Upon death, the fund itself disappears into the company to pay for high shareholder dividends etc. Perhaps we should be allowed to withdraw all of our money and invest it ourselves. Thus the fund would remain in our possession to pass on as we feel fit rather than have it taken by unknown, unaccountable individuals and companies.

In one way, private pensions are funded by the public. A part of every transaction with a private company will include an amount that pays for employers contributions to its employees' fund. this, for those organisations that do not demand a contribution from its employees, (and there are a fair number of these, particularly, it seems, in the legal sector), can be a substantial amount that is hidden from the public who, unknowingly, continue to pay inflated prices to fund these pensions, often for indifferent service.

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Ian Lewthwaite

Jan 10, 2013 at 16:45

Hi Nik

whilst i agree with your first para. I don't follow your logic in para 2.

A business of what ever kind even Govt agencies sells its products to the Public who either buy it or go elsewhere where they consider the product is either better or cheaper.

With advice you cannot hold it in your hand ? and this is where common sense , that rarest of qualifications comes in,each one is deluding themselves if they do not take due diligence.

Unfortunately in the Public sector, large monopolies like Heating & Electricity, I am afraid they cannot even spell service and civility and you are charged one way or another for mediocre service, because they either through their Union or indifferent management they cannot be sacked, and like their masters unanswerable to the Public.

However they also charge a notional amount to cover their staff Pensions and NHI so are no different in charges than a Public sector and here's the RUB- the taxpayer can be called upon to make up their pension shortfall, however much it may be.

The private sector have to find the shortfall without any external help and may eventually loose control of the "firm" by having to borrow money

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nik

Jan 11, 2013 at 07:30

Electricity, water, gas etc are not public sector, they are private organisations, often foreign owned. South Eastern/southern water for example, is owned by a Canadian pension company which uses an Australian company to carry out the management functions. The high yield demanded of these organisations (12-13%) is achieved through high bills to the consumer who has no choice but to buy water from them. Check on who owns the electricity companies in the UK.

If one wishes to blame Unions, take a look at the Law Society, Police Federation etc. Germany, with far stronger worker/Union rights than UK are a far more stable and profitable country than UK.but their standard of management is far higher and more accountable.

If one really wishes to allocate blame, the (private) banking and financial sectors are the real culprits. Not much Union or public sector influence there, I think

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Ian Lewthwaite

Jan 11, 2013 at 12:23

Hi Nik

The Electricity supply is controlled by 5 companies,is this not a monopoly of a kind, all playing follow my leader upwards evermore greedy? why because politicians found like all organisationseventualy they become corrupt at the top, and some shyster money man saw a way of making money for himself/his company, like all the Uk companies sold to foreign ownership.

But basicaly the Mangement in the UK rests on their laurels, do not watch the competitors , are frightened of any change to upset their "nice" lifestyle, and promotion is given to other square pegs who are basically in the image of the management - echos of yes minister!

Whilst in Au, the son of a good mate of mine, came to London to work in BT as a hatchet man, as the other so called managers had not the balls/resolve to sack people who they had known and grown up with in BT.

The Aussie was not related in any way to those chopped and was on a short contract.

Exampleshistorical are all around, Henry V111 and the dissolution of the Monasteries, Dunlop, BMC /leyland, Clyde shipbuilding to name a few who ruled the world when I was younger.

The fault with money is that it goes for short term gain and the best return on capital (profit) without also being responsible for the jobs they destroy and the personal misery that ensues. If Cadbury/shwepes? picked up the tab for the unemployment for teh jobs they destroyed in moving production abroad after giving assurancesthey wouldnt during the takeover, would they have done it?

A bit like getting a girl pregnant then saying, youve got one darling - goodbye-

whatever happened to old fashioned responsibility for your own actions, no one is immune from mistakes but fess up to it - again Justice not the Law

Change in life is inevitable whether we like it or not, whether it is finance or manufacture too many do NOT wish to change working practices and hide behind collective action against it. There is too much managent using no directions

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nik

Jan 11, 2013 at 14:50

Regrettably, those short term hatchet men "with balls" are the ones who never take long term responsibility for their actions, as is evidenced bythe uk banking fiasco (didnt Fred the Shred of RBS have "balls"). Such people are a liability to any organisation.

In more competently managed organisations with national regulations that force consultation to ensure long term sensible, accountable planning, there is rarely a need for such individuals.

Regrettably, those in control, whoever they are in this country have permitted foreign companies to screw Those in he UK in a manner that would not be tolerated in the countries in which they are based.

In the words of a French acquaintance, when I complained about Companies based in France and Quebec making very high profits from the British "yes, it is quite correct that the UK should pay for French and Canadian pensions. If your government doesn't care about you, why should mine?"

The same is true of US companies (in the US it is unpatriotic not to pay tax). Google, Starbucks etc would never doin the US what they do in he UK.

It will be interesting to see how long this will continue.

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Ian Lewthwaite

Jan 11, 2013 at 16:48

hi nik

Ever the cynic, you know in your heart the can will be kicked down the road , AGAIN

but first we will have a long talkfest about now't, to let it die a natural death and then decide, that collectively we cant do anything to change the situation due to some EU bull**** we haven't yet been appraised of-

which we all know, means my mates are giving me a kickback directly into my Swiss account, (sorry- I had to move it to the caymans, due to osbourne giving me 18 months notice of swiss penalties) or paying toward my propaganda spin to get me re-elected, so that the good times (for us ) will continue to roll on

Your comment about the French and their perception of the perfidious English not caring about the UK taxpayers - I have have already had a taste, and it left a nasty residue, when our state pension after 40+ years paying in to the UK slush fund, called Tax and NHI, and was frozen when we retired and went to Australia for a 6 year holiday.

We had to also take out Private health Insurance, pay to see the Doctor $50 , pay for all prescription medicines charged at 30% more than the Aus PBS price (their NHS equivalet) which went up annually sometimes as much as 30%, and also being UK taxed on my private pensions before remitting from the Uk, paid for at least 3 years at the year before rate on the state pensions, despite reminders that we left of the 12th April 2003

The other UK idiots running the National Election ballot took no notice of the time a posted ballot paper took to reach Aus, normaly 7 days, but with the ballot not been sent out until the evening of the 11 day prior to - no hope in hell of getting back to be count, so DISENFRANCHISED as well AS DOUBLY TAXED

Meanwhile in the real world, the French ( a backward nation) - allowed their citizens to vote at their embassies abroad -

so who is this Govt looking after when all these immigrants come here mainly unwanted "qualified rocket scientist"and demand and get a multitude of freebies house, pension, furniture and allowances without ever paying a bean to the Uk exchequer

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nik

Jan 12, 2013 at 09:14

Presumably you chose to move to Australia knowing the pensions situation? Countries cost money to run and this is why we pay taxes, NI etc. regarding he voting issue, there is an argument that people that don't live in a country shouldn't be allowed to vote for the country's government. It is also significant that ex pats do not spend their pensions in he UK.

It seems that you are also complaining that Astralia treated you in the way you wan the UK to treat people that come to UK.

In the end, it is a matte of personal choice

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Ian Lewthwaite

Jan 12, 2013 at 10:23

Hi Nik

now why should I know that all Commonwealth countries the pension was frozen? We went on a 410 TEMPORARY RETIREMENT VISA as it was temporarary (the english dictionary meaning) I wrote to teh DWP for clarification and got a booklet in response, but no explanation.

My 40 years payments was compulsory I had no option, neither did I ever envisage at any time living anywhere other that the UK, so why should I know BUT more importantly why was my State pension frozen ?

I would not, and neither would you countenance a life or pensions company giving you a freeze on the sum insured by voiding the policy at the Ins Co alone and arbritary decision - You know all hell would break loose! so why should I expect different treat ment from the UK govt? I didn't deserve it

More so when despite the lies by the Foreign Office and william hague and to the Public and in the Carson v Regina case in the Hague, My personal pensions were subject to UK tax before remittance to us all the time we resided in Australia.

We were refused tax allowance against the compulsory Private Health Insurance in Australia.

I was refused the use of the UNUSED Personal allowance of Mrs as her income would never exceed the PA even back in 2003.

I compared the rate of exchange of my private pensions falling about teh same date as the State pension and found that the UK Govt through Citibank were giving a worse rate that Barclays bank.

Complained vehemently but never recieved an apology or explanation/breakdown for the £600 payment about 2005 which appeared in out Aus bank after some two years telling the DWP they were paying our State pensions at the 2002 rate rather than the 2003 rate.

I still believe that I was not paid correctly for the 2003 - why because i found out that the records were manual and someone was too lazy to go down and check them.

So don't tell me to be proud I am British, I AM ASHAMED with such a heap of overpaid crap in charge, I wouldnt trust them with my prosthesis which is another gripe.

If the same dickheads decided that jobs should be given on racist lines rather than on merit - no wonder the UK is up S*** creek

I paid in expecting to be paid out - why would anyone do otherwise?

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Colston Hicks

Jan 12, 2013 at 11:14

Gentlemen, with respect, your personal stories are not helping the millions of private sector workers who lost their pensions in 1997.

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Ian Lewthwaite

Jan 12, 2013 at 11:45

Hi Colston.

whilst I agree I do not wish to leave any question unanswered unlike the UK Govt - I was brought up to be honest and answer the question - unlike the UK Govt.

I could go on about small pensions on herself with GA, Merchant Investors and Equitable life, the diffences and our loses but thats gone in the past.

All I require is Equity not use my taxes from our meagre total income to prop up the quality and integrtiy of either the Government past or present or the diplomats who are overpaid both while at work and retired.

I have had to pay for everything I recieved regardless and others should be made to do the same - pay nothing in get nothing out.

As Robt Owen of Lanarkshire Mills found out in Virginia when he started a home to "help destitutes" like sparrows on the full milk bottle top, they were only interested in the freebies.

Socialism summed up in one! and here endeth the lesson

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RobtheFox

Jan 12, 2013 at 12:02

May I just point out to Nik that as regards the State Retirement Pension the country of one's residence is irrelevant. The discrimination is against the individual pensioner not a particular country.

The pension is paid in recognition of a certain number of qualifying years when working and during which NI contributions were made. Where one opts to live should have no influence.

You say the pension is not spent in the UK - true. But there is nothing within the NI Act which decrees it must be and, of course, your argument fails when one considers that uprating is payable in the EEA and places like USA, Serbia and Macedonia.

No what the Frozen Pensioner is wanting, having contributed to the NI Scheme on the same terms and conditions as everyone else, is, in retirement to be treated equally fairly and justly in line with all the other UK pensioner living in the UK, the EEA and that select group including those previously mentioned.

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nik

Jan 13, 2013 at 18:28

The simple fact is that the country cannot afford the level of pension payments that people hope for.

Those in he public sector have had their pensions slashed through the change from RPI to CPI and have had their salaries frozen. Those in the private sector have had pension schemes defaulting and, for some, seen inal salary schemes discontinued. If people are, indeed, "ashamed to be British" that is their option, but frankly, the country is better off without them.

In a capitalist system, risk and personal choice are the primary factors. The consequences of making the wrong choice, either through accident, failure to examine the facts or just plain bad luck is part of life. Expecting the overburdened British taxpayer to pay more will simply not work. Young people I know are doing everything they can to avoid paying in to any pension scheme at all because the evidence suggests that they may not live long enough to take it......even if there is anything left to take which may well not be the case.

We must all take responsibility for our choices, actions or inactions. We allowed this to happen and we have elected a government to act as it has. I suggest that young people, many of whom cannot even get a job, may well decide that the retiring generation, many of whom have had a career history that is no longer available (being employed, paying tax and NI for 40 years) should be treated in the same manner that they have been treated.

We may get nothing at all, so perhaps we should feel very lucky if we do! I suggest that we need them far more than they need us and unless we restrict our demands for more when they are getting less they may well decide that we are useless mouths and a burden. Take a look at the figures for use of the health service to see what I am getting at.

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Colston Hicks

Jan 13, 2013 at 21:47

nik

You have got it all wrong.

The country does not have to afford the level of pension payments that people hope for.

Each person has to save for the level of pension payments he or she hopes for.

I saved from 1940 to 1983 and I have the level of pension payments that I hoped for.

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nik

Jan 14, 2013 at 07:16

If we are prepared to accept mass civil disturbance, of the kind that we have seen over recent years, fine. There are those who were very concerned hat these were the precursor to revolution.

The problem is that those without decent pensions is increasing and the time may come when people feel that they are not willing to accept this. It seems likely that the NHS may be the first to go and that a higher rate tax on pensions, given that the cost of care is so high may be the logical result. Perhaps it is reasonable that those that use the service should pay the true cost and not rely on others who may not be in a position to pay, especially when pensions payments for many are so generous and, as this thread suggests, are not sustainable.

What do other countries do? Do, for example, Australians who emigrate to the UK still get their Australian pension, inflation linked?

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Ian Lewthwaite

Jan 14, 2013 at 09:00

hi Nik

you talk like a politician/civil servant? about getting what you pay for, but yet you deny me and 520,000 others that very thing you expouse. WHY?

I was 67 when we emigrated to Australia on that temporary 2 year visa so I had already paid my dues to age 65.

The UK government issued some crap about reciprocal agreements needed before they could pay the increases which they applied to many countries as a matter of course.

The UK have no friends in this world so get over it, we have many acquaintances that were bribed/threatened one way or another.

We have more relatives and supporters in the former Commonwealth countries who alone (exception) suffer from the frozen pension. Positive discrimination by the UK Govt. ?

Many I talked/corresponded with served in the wars under the Union Flag, with their lives on the line- these are the ones like me you shafted and were not restricted to Australia, New Zealand and Canada

You dont know the half of it , and yet YOU support this discrimination in paid up pensions only for some- if I had been a civil servant/ MP i could have retired anywhere with no pension restriction.

Through the internet, Freedom of Information , Julian Farange etc Uk citizens and others like the Chinese, are finding out we have and are being lied to by Govt and their paid quangos, civil servants all supporting the Govt line, as they will loose their sinecure and cushy? way of life.

Why else did DC want to have access to every telephone conversation and E mail? you don't like the message shoot the messenger syndrome

When Govt and the populace are singing from divergent hym sheets revolution is the only cure, before a differnet lot take over and inturn do their thing to the exclusion of others aspirations become so wide , uns so vite.

Change whilst you have time, support those who paid for the benefits and stop being a socialist which is all right till you run out of other peoples money

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Colston Hicks

Jan 14, 2013 at 12:09

nik

You asked what do other countries do?

The most likely answer is nothing.

Most likely because they relied on the UK Gilt market to provide the suitable investments..

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Jane Davies

Jan 14, 2013 at 16:39

Expats living in the UK, whether they are from Canada, Australia or any other country with a similar state pension scheme get annual cost of living increases from their "home" country. The UK is alone in treating it's seniors in this disgraceful way. Why is the British state pensioner who lives in the USA, Israel, Croatia, just to name three, allowed to enjoy annual uprating and the 4% who happen to live in a "wrong" country sent into poverty by having a frozen pension? There is no logic, what it is though is theft and discrimination, both are illegal last time I checked!

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Ian Lewthwaite

Jan 14, 2013 at 16:58

Hi Colston

my recollection of Australian pensioners living abroad were treated no differently from those in Australia and the pension increments were paid bi- annually.

so what's your point?

Australians relied on themselves, their own stock market for their self invested pensions or share dealing, they werent skimmed or scammed by their Govt.

the other bit I did like is they change the PM regularly I think it was 3 different ones, Howard, Rudd and the present female Gillard whilst we were there in just over 6 years - maybe thats the way we should go!

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nik

Jan 14, 2013 at 17:08

Ian

You are wrong on all counts. I am not a socialist, a politician nor a civil servant. I do not agree that Great Britain has no friends. I travel widely to Europe and the Middle and Far East and have met nothing but good will.

Do Australians that retire and move to the UK get a pension, and any increases, from the Australian government?

Your accusation that I talk like a socialist was, no doubt, meant to be an insult. I suggest that my views regarding paying inflated pensions to people who clearly have no gratitude to Great Britain and who still expect the UK state and taxpayer to fund their lifestyle is rather the opposite.

Many of us pay and have paid tax, NI etc. this pays for the services that we use at the time and for the pensions of those that are entitled to one in the hope that subsequent generations will pay for our pensions in due course. The simple reality is that we simply failed to pay enough for the benefits that we are now demanding and continually awarded ourselves rewards that were not sustainable; those that are working do not feel inclined to pay for a retirement that they may never get. And why should they?

I have, in fact retired and am continually grateful that I receive a pension at all.

Many of my investments are, in fact nearly worthless but that is the price that I must pay for the risk that I took. I do not have the right to expect others to support me if they themselves are in very difficult circumstances themselves.

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nik

Jan 14, 2013 at 17:25

Hi Jane and Colston. Didn't the rules for pension/supplement change at the beginning of the month. That is my understanding from http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/outside-australia

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Colston Hicks

Jan 14, 2013 at 18:08

nik

I havn't a clue

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Colston Hicks

Jan 14, 2013 at 18:20

Ian

No one, I repeat NO ONE, should rely on any stock market for a guaranteed payment of pension at retirement.

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RobtheFox

Jan 15, 2013 at 00:56

Nik - you say "that your suggestion that paying inflated pensions to people who have no gratitude to Great Britain and those who still expect the UK State and taxpayer to fund their life style..."

While I do not support Ian in much of what he says may I ask you, Nik, how you can justify that suggestion?

What evidence do you have that UK citizens who live abroad have no gratitude towards GB?

May I also remind you that the entitlement to State Retirement Pension is based on the number of qualifying years served and the payment of the pension is in recognition of contributions made during those years. There is nothing in the NI Act that stipulates either where one may or may not live or, indeed, where one may or may not spend one's own money.

Finally Nik may I point out that all UK citizens, whether retired or not and where ever in the world they live, are assessable for Income Tax and , as I know to my cost, pay it.

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Ian Lewthwaite

Jan 15, 2013 at 07:27

Hi Nik

i didnt mind the unexpecetd pension freeze only why after taking my money , was it somehow worth less when i parted with my tax and NHI than yours?

But to be taxed by the UK govt but providing nothing tangible to me whilst in Aus, smacks of the child who wants both the cake and the halfpenny.

There was not reciprocal Health Service in Aus either, even though we were still UK citizens, never lived outside of England, and were there under a temporary 2year visa.

So why should I pay the UK Govt for something that we were denied in Aus which amounted to double taxation does it not? along with all the other maladministration we endured

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nik

Jan 15, 2013 at 10:18

Hi Ian

Wasn't it the Australian government that withdrew from the Social agreement in 2001? Regarding double taxation, we get it in the UK on diesel and petrol. It costs money to run a country and to provide benefits and this money must be acquired in some way.

Young people, that are needed for the country to survive are already far worse off than the baby boomers who failed to act responsibly and now expect those worse off than themselves to fund their lifestyle. I suggest that his is unlikely to continue.

All of the factors you mention we're not hidden from you and your choice was to do what you did, and suffer the consequences. I suspect that things are going to get worse before they get better and revisions to pensions will continue. It will be interesting to see how the latest revisions will affect individuals such as yourself.

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Ian Lewthwaite

Jan 15, 2013 at 10:27

Hi Nik

perhaps your comments re the stock market - is this any less honest perhaps than the UK Govt have proved to be over fully paid for UK State Pension for UK citizns in former Commonwealth countries?

You want/demand all you have earned: but not for me and the 520,000 residing abroad for their own personal reasons- and yet the list of Countries that my family DID NOT settle in, are no good as far as where they eventually ended up -

You have children but with education or without all too often, they end up where they want to be- with or without your say so, or consent

We were, when I left in 2003 a Christian country, not a Eastern one where the parents kill their offspring for marrying the wrong kind of bloke, or blighting family honour

it was called respect for each other or even tolerance sometimes -now sadly lacking in the UK

So just explain to me cooly and logically, where is the UK govts logical (NOT POLITICAL) mandate for this discriminating decision against a minority 4%.

Would you pay an insurance policy knowing that you will shafted before maturity or the terms varied after you had taken out, and paid for that particular product.

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George Morley

Jan 15, 2013 at 13:56

Nik, You said : Do Australians that retire and move to the UK get a pension, and any increases, from the Australian government?

Can you tell me of a country that does not pay annual increases to their pensioners resident in the UK that have similar pension systems ?

I can tell you that a Canadian will and the UK is the only country in the OEDC to treat their pensioners in this way and I have no doubt the only country in the world to do so.

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nik

Jan 15, 2013 at 14:39

I can now see why Australians have certain things to say about British immigrants.

The continued suggestion within this thread is that the UK government has been deceitful. The situation regarding pension increases to people who choose to live abroad are quite clear and have been for some time. If an individual chooses to live abroad, that is their choice and what other countries do is irrelevant.

Complaining that the UK government do not pay pensioners abroad the rises given to those in the UK is ridiculous. The UK government never said it would and there is nothing in he NI legislation that says they should.

The comments regarding "a Christian country" are interesting. Doubtless the Aboriginees feel much the same about Australia and the effect on their lifestyle that immigration has had.

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RobtheFox

Jan 15, 2013 at 15:20

Whether the situation regarding pension increases to pensioners living abroad is quite clear and has been for some time does not make the frozen pension policy any the less discriminatory, unfair and unjust.

What is deceitful is that the UK collected our NI contributions on the same terms and conditions as everybody else but we are prevented from claiming under the same terms and conditions as everyone else.

What would be your reaction if say someone in Kent was given the annual uprate but his counterpart was denied simply because the lived in Lancashire and ONLY because they lived in Lancashire?

Complaining that the UK government do not pay pensioners abroad the rises given to those in the UK is NOT ridiculous; it is a a fight for universal justice, fairness, and parity.

Unfortunately you are incorrect when you say that the UK government never said it would pay pensions abroad; they already do to pensioners in countries in the EEA and sixteen other countries like USA, Serbia and Macedonia.

So why the discrimination?

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George Morley

Jan 15, 2013 at 15:23

Yes Nik, you assume that everyone who emigrated was told that their pension would be frozen but that is not the case. When working and paying your NI contributions, were you told that should you eventually retire to certain countries that you would not receive any increases ? And this a contract between the individual and the government which is being broken. A private company would be breaking the law if doing the same. The fact that the government put in some gobbledegook does not make it right and they have never been able to justify it.

Why would Steve Webb say:

"That this House notes with concern that 520,000

British pensioners living abroad have their pensions frozen in

value and thus not increased when the pensions in the United

Kingdom receive annual increases; believes the practice of freezing

these pensions is wholly unfair, discriminatory and irrational

especially when some pensioners living overseas do have their

pensions increased annually; believes that all pensioners living

abroad, many of whom have made lifelong mandatory payments to their

state pensions, are deserving of this annual increase; and urges

the Government to bring forward proposals to end the evident

unfairness in the current arrangements"

He is telling the truth but has a bad memory now it seems.

The aboriginal comment is just not worthy unless you include the effect that immigration into the UK has had as well !

Touche'

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RobtheFox

Jan 15, 2013 at 15:46

Yes George, you are quite right in the quote from Steve Webb which was, I believe, the subject of an Early Day Motion he actually tabled while an opposition MP.

From the point of view of knowing about the policy you are also correct in saying it was not made common knowledge; I was officially first advised with my initial pension payment and that despite having been in frequent contact with HMRC and DWP in the course of the previous fifteen years about my contributions and pension situation ...with never a mention of freezing.

Perhaps it is because of people like us fighting for the end of this iniquity that people like Nik have come to learn about it.

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Jane Davies

Jan 15, 2013 at 16:32

Nik, I retired to join family in Canada after a lifetime of working and paying UK taxes (still pay tax, by the way) in 2006. My school friend emigrated to the USA in the 1980's, paid nothing into the UK economy since then. But she gets her UK state pension increased annually whilst mine is frozen. If you cannot see the injustice of that then you have a problem. And no nothing was said to me when I left the UK I only found out about this theft when I applied for my state pension in 2008.

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Ian Lewthwaite

Jan 15, 2013 at 16:53

Hi George

methinks the bloke, nik, doth protest too much.

Unfortunately; on subjects he should steer clear of like the Aboriginees, and it is not my job to educate him.

He is oblivious of the UK frozen pensions disgrace,

520,000 cant all be wrong can they? our UK servicemen are amongst them in Frozen pensions countries, and just like this last lot of Service redundancies after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, with their life and limb on the line, shows up this Govt contempt acutely

and obviously digests the UK Govt line emanating from their response in the Carson v Regina case, and of late, William Hague's outburst

( I did admire him as aYorkshire man , but since he got involved in Government he has been disengenuous on several reported speeches), which is not borne out by the Truth of the Carson case.)

I am pleased for nik that he is comfortably off, and enjoying the fruits of his labours, as long it was by his own efforts and not by an overpaid UK Govt remuneration.

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nik

Jan 15, 2013 at 17:41

Regarding the Aboriginees my comment was in response to your ill informed comment about Eastern people killing their offspring. Immigration has bought a richness, freedom and maturity to the UK that is to be envied. I believe that Australia will, within the next few years experience a similar influx of people from a wide rang of cultures and will benefit accordingly.

All the comments about those who risked life and limb serving their country I can comment on having served 17 years in the Infantry.

If I am comfortable with the fruits of my labours it is because I invested, by personal choice, in those things that I, after researching the situation, felt would provide an acceptable level of risk with reasonable rewards. I took responsibility for my future and certainly would not have thought that the State, or future generations owed me a life style that I had not paid for.

The rules regarding those countries with a Social agreement have been available for years and it is for individuals to find these things out for themselves rather than expecting the State to spoonfeed them at cost to the UK taxpayer.

That you have chosen to live in Australia, or any other country that does not have agreements with the UK is your choice. If you did not bother to fully examine the implications of this, that is unfortunate but, once again is your choice.

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George Morley

Jan 15, 2013 at 20:16

Nik, you said :

"The rules regarding those countries with a Social agreement have been available for years and it is for individuals to find these things out for themselves rather than expecting the State to spoon feed them at cost to the UK taxpayer"

This is another misconception and a lie in respect of the freezing policy and the DWP have had to withdraw that statement as a requirement.due to our pushing for the truth. The freezing can be stopped tomorrow given the will of the politicians in government and they have no justification for continuing this theft and discrimination. Why don't you ask your MP ?

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nik

Jan 15, 2013 at 20:48

You have not read what I said. I did not say that the UK government could not unfreeze pensions, only that the rules, including the one freezing pensions have been available for years. If individuals don't bother to read the rules, that is their choice and they must take the consequences.

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George Morley

Jan 16, 2013 at 00:32

Nik, It is only now that the pensioners can get together thanks to the internet and they are able to confront the government as a body rather than a lone voice which has been ignored.

If you feel that the government have a right to withold a pension uprating for a minority and that is acceptable, then you are as bad as they are and your comments are as worthless as their excuses.

It has been said that many were not told or aware but you choose to disbelieve them like the DWP do.

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RobtheFox

Jan 16, 2013 at 02:28

Nik you have made many statements in this thread and when challenged have failed to substantiate them. For example I asked you what evidence you had that people who lived abroad have no gratitude towards Great Britain but you have provided none.

I have advised in a previous comment that in over fifteen years of my corresponding with them - from both the UK and abroad - none of the responsible governments, despite advising my pension was payable world wide, mentioned freezing. Why, when told it is payable world wide should anyone even suspect that such morally corrupt discrimination exists?

And why do so many expats complain of this failure to incorporate the information in their leaflets and why should the ICBP Parliamentary Adviser find it necessary to raise this issue with the government?

But, let me ask you a couple more simple questions.

Do you believe that the frozen pension policy is fair and just?

If you do then perhaps you would care to justify it - something you have not previously done.

If however you accept that the policy is discriminatory why are you so resistant to those who campaign for the abolition of the regulation?

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nik

Jan 16, 2013 at 07:23

George

A review of this thread will show a continual whine about the UK government together with comments that refer to the change in ethnic balance and in particular, inappropriate comments about the religion and those from the East.

If that is not disrespect, what is?

The UK taxpayer continues to pay you a pension despite being in very severe financial difficulties that will certainly get worse. Our young people are suffering from unemployment and a falling £ but continue to support the NHS for all, including those immigrants who have paid nothing in. Your situation is one of personal choice, all of the information regarding frozen pensions has been available for many years.

The UK supports immigrants in a way that, it seems, many other countries choose not to. Many immigrants to the UK come from countries that pay no pension at all, particularly those from the poorer groups in Africa, India, the Middle East etc. Many are asylum seekers that come with nothing but because we have agreed to the legislation on Human Rights, they are generally treated well, certainly they are given somewhere to live and receive social security benefits.

I understand that immigrants to Australia are entitled to supplementary benefits, health treatment etc. in a similar way to the UK. Are you eligible for this? If you are making a valued contribution, surely you are entitled to receive some support?

You seem to expect me to provide a simple response to a complex question. If the UK taxpayer had a bottomless pit of money, then perhaps I would support your case but frankly, there are so many others that are far worse off than you and your group that in the list of priorities, you are some way down.

If the Australian government chooses not to support those immigrants that need help, that is the choice of the Australian taxpayer; as I have said before, it was your choice to move there.

It seems that of the nearly 200 countries of the world, few actually pay their pensioners to live abroad and with the world financial situation getting worse, it is likely that this practice may stop all together even for those so-called developed countries.

It seems that the cost of unfreezing to the UK taxpayer is considerable and frankly, I suspect that the UK taxpayer will feel that there are more important things to spend this money on. Certainly, the attitude of many on this thread has not encouraged me to support your cause. Quite the opposite.

I can understand the Australian government's attitude. If immigrants need help, financially then it is clearly better to get another country to pay.

I do not think this will happen in the case of the UK, especially given the changes that have been implemented in the UK that mean that many people paying in now may never get to draw any pension at all.

It will be interesting to see the effect that the increased levels of immigration into Australia that will take place in the future will have, especially if people come from countries that are bankrupt or who do not pay pensions to ex pats.

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nik

Jan 16, 2013 at 07:23

George

A review of this thread will show a continual whine about the UK government together with comments that refer to the change in ethnic balance and in particular, inappropriate comments about the religion and those from the East.

If that is not disrespect, what is?

The UK taxpayer continues to pay you a pension despite being in very severe financial difficulties that will certainly get worse. Our young people are suffering from unemployment and a falling £ but continue to support the NHS for all, including those immigrants who have paid nothing in. Your situation is one of personal choice, all of the information regarding frozen pensions has been available for many years.

The UK supports immigrants in a way that, it seems, many other countries choose not to. Many immigrants to the UK come from countries that pay no pension at all, particularly those from the poorer groups in Africa, India, the Middle East etc. Many are asylum seekers that come with nothing but because we have agreed to the legislation on Human Rights, they are generally treated well, certainly they are given somewhere to live and receive social security benefits.

I understand that immigrants to Australia are entitled to supplementary benefits, health treatment etc. in a similar way to the UK. Are you eligible for this? If you are making a valued contribution, surely you are entitled to receive some support?

You seem to expect me to provide a simple response to a complex question. If the UK taxpayer had a bottomless pit of money, then perhaps I would support your case but frankly, there are so many others that are far worse off than you and your group that in the list of priorities, you are some way down.

If the Australian government chooses not to support those immigrants that need help, that is the choice of the Australian taxpayer; as I have said before, it was your choice to move there.

It seems that of the nearly 200 countries of the world, few actually pay their pensioners to live abroad and with the world financial situation getting worse, it is likely that this practice may stop all together even for those so-called developed countries.

It seems that the cost of unfreezing to the UK taxpayer is considerable and frankly, I suspect that the UK taxpayer will feel that there are more important things to spend this money on. Certainly, the attitude of many on this thread has not encouraged me to support your cause. Quite the opposite.

I can understand the Australian government's attitude. If immigrants need help, financially then it is clearly better to get another country to pay.

I do not think this will happen in the case of the UK, especially given the changes that have been implemented in the UK that mean that many people paying in now may never get to draw any pension at all.

It will be interesting to see the effect that the increased levels of immigration into Australia that will take place in the future will have, especially if people come from countries that are bankrupt or who do not pay pensions to ex pats.

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nik

Jan 16, 2013 at 12:14

Ian

You are a dangerous fool. Making threats like the one you have just made is a serious issue and will be reported elsewhere.

I have nothing more to say to you other than to tell you that you were wrong on all counts. If I lived in Australia, I would be wondering whether you should be allowed to remain

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Ian Lewthwaite

Jan 16, 2013 at 13:48

hi nik - perhaps if you could conceed a differning view or even accept that your information is not only wrong but that it has left a tale of wonderment at your inteligence.

You cannot or dont want to see that of 520,000 many were lied to about their pensions, and their honest expectation that they had done the right thing when contributing all those years in the UK.

I only hope that you can live with you concience and your obvious masters keep paying you to expound such tripe, as none of the contributors share your views.

regarding the fool bit, that is only your opinion, which is of no concern to me, and what missives from your lack of logic that has preceeded on this site make even that questionable

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George Morley

Jan 16, 2013 at 15:45

To Nik, So you condone discrimination then and broken contracts ? You agree that the government have a right to do this and pay the uprated pension to a person living in let's say Niagara Falls USA their full uprated pension, the same as those in the UK BUT deny the pensioner living in Niagara Falls Canada the same uprating. Over half a million pensioners do not receive the uprating which represents 4 % of all pensioners worldwide. If you think that this is fair then you have a problem. I would add that the NI FUND is in a massive surplus situation that is due partly to this theft. Also should a country that is frozen join the EU then they automatically get the uprated pension in that country because the EU presumably tell them they have to - human rights I guess !

I mentioned the surplus in the NI Fund that the govermnment can borrow from but have to pay back with interest and the interest paid back last year was more than twice the amount needed to pay all pensioners worldwide their rightful pension. To do so would be justice done.

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Jane Davies

Jan 16, 2013 at 16:58

Nik, One has to be a resident in Canada for ten years before being eligible to receive any tax payer funded benefits.

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nik

Jan 16, 2013 at 18:37

George

There was no broken contract and failure to unfreeze pensions is certainly not theft. The fact that pensions for ex pats in Australia and a number of other countries would not increase was no secret. Ignoring facts does not make them go away! Those who failed to research their personal situation properly have only themselves to blame.

Regarding the NI pension fund, this has to pay for a range of social security benefits, including those for immigrants, asylum seekers etc. not just pensions.

This is the policy that the UK government has adopted; Australia and Canada choose not to support people in this way and that is their, and the electorate's choice. Sneering at the Human Rights policy of the EU is contemptible. It is a pity that some countries choose only to be bound by some parts of the Convention rather than the whole. Australia is, I believe, one of these.

Actuarial examination of the UK fund has shown how critical the situation is with an ageing pension and fewer people paying in. This is why the retirement age has to be increased to 67 and the intention is to raise it further to 70.

As I said earlier in the thread, it is unreasonable for young people to pay for something that they are unlikely ever to receive, and the likelihood is that many will refuse. It is morally wrong to expect them to pay more and more to people who, presumably, retired at 65 (or 60 for women), especially if there is no obligation to do so.

The UK government that has been so heavily criticised in his thread has been elected by the tax paying electorate. Significantly the decision not to increase ex pats' pensions was made long ago, possibly when those ex pats complaining now were part of the electorate that put the government that made the decision in power. How many of these complained at the time I wonder?

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Jane Davies

Jan 16, 2013 at 19:57

Nic, you are wrong social security benefits come out of general taxation, here is a link so that you can get your facts straight. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Insurance_Fund

It say's amongst other things "Contributions are not "taxes" because they are not directly available for general expenditure by the government".

The government however are allowed to borrow from the surplus but have to pay back with interest.

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George Morley

Jan 16, 2013 at 20:45

Nik, There is little point in responding to your comments because you areso out of touch with actual facts about the pensions. I see others have shot you down see and the last person Jane Davies has had to correct you.

RobtheFox asked about the justification for denying the frozen pensioners and you have no answer. You asked if Australian pensioners received annual uprating and so on.

Educate yourself before coming onto a forum to make yourself look foolish.

Guess work and personal opinions are'nt facts.

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nik

Jan 17, 2013 at 07:03

Dear Jane and George

Once again you have demonstrated that you are seemingly incapable of seeing the facts.

NI contributions pay for a range of benefits as detailed below. This data is from

https://www.gov.uk/national-insurance/what-national-insurance-is-for

Basic State Pension, Additional State Pension, Contribution-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance,Maternity Allowance, Bereavement benefits.

Whilst Wikipedia is a useful, it has no review process that is acceptable, for example by Universities and there have been many examples where information on the site has been found to be incorrect.

Anyone with even the most basic competence in research would know that the source of the data is the only valid reference, not someone's opinion.

As you said, guesswork and personal opinions aren't facts.

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RobtheFox

Jan 17, 2013 at 08:16

Nik why is it you seek to battle with Jane and George but have yet to answer any of the aspects that I have put to you?

I appreciate it is very difficult for you to do so when you are so clearly speaking from a position of weakness, picking on minor issues and avoiding the main thrust of the argument.

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nik

Jan 17, 2013 at 17:33

I do not seek to "do battle" with anyone. The reason that I do not bother to respond to you is simply because I think your attitude immature, confrontational and lacking in any kind of factual basis.

As I have said before, there is no legal obligation for UK taxpayers to fund the cost of unfreezing pensions for people who have chosen to live in particular countries. The moral argument is spurious and increasingly irrelevant given the current financial situation in the UK.

Individual choice and the maturity to accept the consequences of their individual actions is a part of life. We do not live in a world where the nanny state looks after everyone at the expense of others and people feel that others will bail them out. We simply cannot afford it. Even if some people feel that all personal responsibility should be removed, most of us are prepared to accept that we are to blame for our own actions, or inactions without whinging.

I should add that the last sentence was made by an Australian colleague, living in Australia, who has followed this thread with interest. I will not say what else she said, because it illustrated the perception that many Australians have about Poms and was not very kind.

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Ian Lewthwaite

Jan 17, 2013 at 17:58

Hi nik

i have know many people in my life ,but your intransigence takes the biscuit. To infer that you are obtuse and deluded is not an understatement , and employ arguments without basis in fact, only makes you appear probably of a worse intellect than you have in reality

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George Morley

Jan 18, 2013 at 02:53

Nik, You said : The moral argument is spurious and increasingly irrelevant given the current financial situation in the UK.

So you are saying that morality has no part in politics Eh ? Individual rights and freedoms can be curbed at a whim The fact that approximately half of the pensioners abroad are given the uprating and the other half are not is ok by you ? The finance has nothing to do with it and the government have a responsibility for all British citizens wherever they are in the world.

The government spent 90 billion I believe on a war in the Falkland Islands but deprive the pensioners there the rightful pension. The finance for uprating these pensions is a drop in the bucket and the UK is not as poor as you seem to make out. It would be covered by the interest paid back into the fund. Another way of looking at it is 12 days payments to the EU which can go up and be acceptable to you I suppose - I mean they are telling you what you can and can't do are'nt they ?

You said : We do not live in a world where the nanny state looks after everyone at the expense of others and people feel that others will bail them out.

We are not asking for anything that others do not get - get that into your thick head. We would like parity with the majority who are treated properly.

Those that get the increases have paid no more than we have and you do not seem to comprehend that. Just 1in 25 pensioners are robbed and you cannot justify that ! You were asked to do so before and ignored the question in the same way that the Pensions Minister has done.

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RobtheFox

Jan 18, 2013 at 06:25

Nik,

Immature? No - I think you are confusing my higher level of communication skills with your lower level of intelligence.

Confrontational? No - I think you are confusing my enquiring mind and questioning ability on your simply posting opinions and not facts.

Lacking Factual Basis? No - I think your confusing your pot and kettle somewhat.

It has become apparent over many years that when people start being personally insulting and start simply reiterating their unsubstantiated opinions, as is the case with your posting Nik, it is invariably because the argument is lost.

That a poster should invoke the thoughts of an unspecified and anonymous individual and consider them as contributing to the discussion really carries no weight. One might place some credence on their view if they chose to post a comment with their evidence.

That there is growing resentment among Australians, fronted by Foreign Secretary Bob Carr and Cabinet Minister Jenny Macklin is fact.

The fact being that the Australian taxpayer is currently subsidising the UK government by over £70 million a year to keep UK citizens above the poverty line.

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nik

Jan 18, 2013 at 07:13

I have no wish to continue this discussion with people such as yourselves.

My view is that money that you want the UK taxpayer to give you would be far better spent on other things to more deserving people. This is the moral decision and the UK government is correct in refusing your demands. I am sure that this will continue.

You have chosen to live in parts of the world that are not included in the provision for increasing pensions. This was not hidden from you, you had only to look but you did not, and now you are demanding that others, who are subject to the current, very severe austerity programme, should pay more. These demands are unreasonable.

Regarding the "unspecified and anonymous" person, you have conjured up many such individuals who, presumably are ready and willing to join your cause.

Your "higher level of intelligence and communication skills" are presumably those skills that you used to research the conditions of your pension scheme.

If they are so good, why are you in his situation?

I am sure that the Australian taxpayer and government resents subsidising the UK government. Perhaps they should consider repatriating those who are a drain on the Australian economy. You would then get the rise in your pension that you are demanding but would then be in the same position as others in the UK.

George Morley says that the government has responsibility for all British citizens wherever they are in the world. It does not; whilst the government may have an obligation, personal responsibility lies with the individual. There is not a limitless fund available to bail out anyone who chooses to make demands just because they happen to hold British citizenship.

He rants about curbing individual rights and freedoms. Your rights to pension increases are defined, you do not get any. You are free to raise the issue, but the UK taxpayer also has the right to refuse your demands and the freedom to require elected representatives to refuse to spend taxpayers money irresponsibly. In the end, it is the UK taxpayer that has to pay.

He then goes on to make abusive comments that clearly illustrate his immaturity.

I will pass this entire thread on to others who,I am sure will find it most amusing

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Ian Lewthwaite

Jan 18, 2013 at 08:37

nik, now why is hague in Australia? is he going to have to make up the pensions freeze monies and eat crow pie?

The Aus Govt wont be impressed by the Uk previous attitude and having to make payments to Britsh pensioners in Australia because it was the UK govt who blocked the original agreement years ago and the UK blamed the Aussies-who had to pick up the UK tab!

You pretend to understand world politics, but not the s*** that invariably accompanies the series.

The two faced Brit politicians and flunkies have have abandoned the Commonwealth nations - like a discarded first wife, and then after all the acrimony which ensued - kiss and make up, and go back to start !

Thank christ I wasn't sailing under your tutelage!

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Ian Lewthwaite

Jan 18, 2013 at 08:40

Even the Germans( alleged friend) dont trust us and others, and want their Gold back home where they are able to at least see and count it, without fear of "shrinkage"

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nik

Jan 18, 2013 at 09:32

Ian

You will note that I have had your threatening comment removed from this thread. I have not changed my opinion of you from that made at 12.14 on Jan 16.

I have nothing more to say to you

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Ian Lewthwaite

Jan 18, 2013 at 11:14

hi nik - if you took your "bought and paid for Govt line " hat off and took your head out of your backside, and look around you and more importantly assimilated what you must see.

Ultimately, none of your arguments or statements are true or even remotely approaching the truth - i am just amazed that you have expended so much time and effort in persuing a dead argument.

you are just a bully-boy - were you like that at school? - take a look at yourself.

You may not like my comments, tell someone who cares, especially when they are true- and give you a reasoned response to your continued drivel on subjects you know very little about ( and thats being generous) which goes on and on - about now't- just pretending ( are you putting up as an MP or what?)

your promise not to reply to me will at least shut you up, for which many readers will be grateful.

Just do me and others a favour/dis-service- and don't continue on this site at all!

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RobtheFox

Jan 19, 2013 at 05:15

I do not intend to comment on Mr. Lewthwaite's entry which has been made since Nik made his latest posting.

My comments relate to the posting by Nik in which he says "I have no wish to continue this discussion with the likes of you people" .....and then takes another thirty seven lines in doing so!

It is, therefore, rather unclear as to whether he really wishes to continue living in ignorance or, by allowing myself and perhaps others to address the points he raises and on which he is seemingly so misinformed.

I do not wish to expend energy on an apparent time waster herein but would offer just one piece of advice.

He says he intends to pass this entire thread on to others who, he is sure, will find it most amusing.

Maybe they will but beware as in all probability they will be laughing at you and not with you

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Ian Lewthwaite

Jan 19, 2013 at 09:01

Lets just stick to finance only, please, which is un-necessarily corrupted by politicians: unfortunately !

I do not wish to hear about lies masquerading as TRUTH, from anywhere in the world- only the Truth without the spin I can still think for myself - slow maybe by no dementia as I keep that most vital human organ the brain, working

basically i wanted to hear on this site- Money subjects

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George Morley

Jan 19, 2013 at 15:16

Nik, You said :"George Morley says that the government has responsibility for all British citizens wherever they are in the world. It does not; whilst the government may have an obligation -"

So you accept that the government have an obligation to us then and they have an obligation to be honest as well don't they ? This issue has been ongoing with the help of false information and lies from the DWP. Somehow you feel that it is alright to do this and I can only hope that you will find yourself or your family members in a similar situation and your words come back to bite you.

You also said :

"There is not a limitless fund available to bail out anyone who chooses to make demands just because they happen to hold British citizenship"

We are not asking to be bailed out because we are British citizens which shows that you fail to understand the problem. We paid into a pension scheme and should be treated equally with others in the same pension scheme. Simple.

This is why we feel it imperative to comment wherever possible and educate people like yourself who have been misinformed or who really have no understanding of the problem which is painfully obvious by your responses.

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