Pension bombshell...

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Kilkis
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Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Pension bombshell...

Postby Kilkis » Wed Feb 19, 2020 11:26 pm

They didn't send out letters. It was discussed in the newspapers and on TV so it is presumed everybody knew. I have great sympathy with people who have lost out by the pension changes but to be rational does the government send everybody in the country a letter every time a law changes. The laws on speed limits, for example, have changed many times in my lifetime. I did not receive a letter every time they changed. I could quote very many laws where the same applies.

Your third category is not really a third category, it is contained within my first category, BST. Anybody who is legally resident in an EU country by the end of 2020 and continues to stay there is covered by the Withdrawal Agreement. The Withdrawal agreement specifies that they will receive their UK State Pension uprated as it is now. It doesn't matter whether they are already in receipt of their State Pension or will become eligible for it at some time in the future. The same with healthcare. It doesn't matter if they are eligible for healthcare now or will become eligible for it at some time in the future.

The key factor is the Withdrawal Agreement not whether you are receiving something now. The Withdrawal Agreement protects your rights to receive certain things. If you are within the scope of the Withdrawal Agreement your rights are protected. To be within the scope of the Withdrawal Agreement you must be living legally, i.e. registered with some form of Residence Certificate, in an EU country by the end of 2020. Everything else follows from that.

Warwick

BST
Posts: 512
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:29 pm

Re: Pension bombshell...

Postby BST » Thu Feb 20, 2020 8:21 am

Kilkis wrote:They didn't send out letters. It was discussed in the newspapers and on TV so it is presumed everybody knew.

Warwick


Well that's funny as I heard it from a spokesperson on the TV that they had sent out letters and from an employee of DWP. At the time they assumed everyone was going to find out by osmosis I didn't have time to watch much news or read the papers. Work was life and life was work. Computers were used for work and switched off after work. The only big news I heard was from the lovely Polish cleaners who I had a quick chat with in the evening before I left work. The only news I remember was 9/11 from out chats!
Plus I was told on the phone by DWP IN 2008 what my pension forecast would be when I drew my state pension at 60 not 66!!! So that employee didn't know!

Anyway that's getting away from the point of this thread.

Kilkis
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Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Pension bombshell...

Postby Kilkis » Thu Feb 20, 2020 1:07 pm

When DWP told you they had sent out letters did they tell you when they had sent them, BST?

This is response to a Freedom of Information Request concerning letters sent out to women affected by the pension changes. The first law change to raise women's pension age progressively from 60 to 65, i.e. equalising it with men, was passed in 1995. You will note from the table that the first letters were sent out in 2009. Thus that group of women were only informed directly 14 years after the act came into force and about 1 year before they would start to be affected in 2010. Note also that the letters were phased over a 2 year period. That means that all the women affected lost between 14 and 16 years in which they could have been preparing for the change if they had been informed in 1995 when the act came into force. That is reality. It was exacerbated by the Coalition Government accelerating the process with the 2011 act.

This is an example, as a pdf document, of the type of letter sent out. Note that it includes a specific pension date based on the information they held on the person. I suspect that if you had asked for an official written pension forecast to be sent to you, rather than relying on what you were told by the trained chimpanzees who answer the phones, it might have given you correct information although I can't guarantee that. I have yet to deal with any government department where the front line staff have the foggiest idea what is really happening.

Warwick

BST
Posts: 512
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:29 pm

Re: Pension bombshell...

Postby BST » Thu Feb 20, 2020 1:52 pm

Well I most certainly didn't receive one of those!!

Kilkis
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Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Pension bombshell...

Postby Kilkis » Thu Feb 20, 2020 2:13 pm

Odd isn't it? Between April 2009 and March 2011 they claim to have sent out 1.16 million letters and then between January 2012 and November 2013 a further almost 5.8 million, i.e. a total of almost 7 million letters but nobody seems to know anybody who received one. Perhaps Royal Mail lost them all? Even if everybody had received one it was too late for them to do anything about it while if they had got them 15 years earlier they could have done quite a lot.

Warwick

BST
Posts: 512
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:29 pm

Re: Pension bombshell...

Postby BST » Thu Feb 20, 2020 3:25 pm

It is extremely odd! There can't be that many people whose addresses aren't correct. It's a mystery!!

Elena
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:14 pm

Re: Pension bombshell...

Postby Elena » Thu Feb 20, 2020 4:13 pm

I have never received a letter informing me of my pension age rise.

However, it is reassuring to know that when I am entitled to my pension in just over two years, it will be annually uprated.

tomcourtney
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:15 pm

Re: Pension bombshell...

Postby tomcourtney » Fri Feb 21, 2020 1:10 pm

Spent 2 hours yesterday trying to get through to the DWP International Pension section. :(

Emailed the following this morning along with links to the gov.uk page showing that

- uprating of state pensions for UK citizens resident in the EEC would continue for 3 years from 2019. But with the ‘Withdrawn on 29/1/20’ addendum.

And a link to the gov.uk page dated 1/2/20 showing that

- uprating would continue if resident in the EEC before the end of 2020.

Emailed today
“ Can you please clarify the position for me. I was told by 2 different people from your department that after the 2022/3 rise UK residency was a requirement for further uprating of state pensions.
Is this the case? Will UK nationals resident in the EEC before the end of 2020 lose annual rises in State Pensions after the 2022/3 increase?

I was also told I could request a copy of the letter. Can it be emailed to me?”

Waiting .....

BST
Posts: 512
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:29 pm

Re: Pension bombshell...

Postby BST » Fri Feb 21, 2020 5:01 pm

Thanks for the update! Waiting with baited breath..

tomcourtney
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2020 5:15 pm

Re: Pension bombshell...

Postby tomcourtney » Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:52 pm

Just spoken to a supervisor in the International Pensions section.
She confirmed that the as in Withdrawal agreement if someone from the UK is resident in an EEC country by 31/12/20 then they would continue to receive uprates to their pension for as long as they remain entitled to a pension. This would also be the case if they we’re entitled to but had not yet started receiving a pension.

She apologised for the confusion and admitted not all staff were fully au fait with the confusing situation and she would hilight this problem to management.

Panic over, it seems....

OliveTree
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2020 10:06 pm
Location: Durham, UK

Re: Pension bombshell...

Postby OliveTree » Sun Feb 23, 2020 9:49 pm

I would be extremely cautious about accepting assurances from politicians and civil servants regarding pension uprates or any other promises for that matter. The UK state pension is and always has been classed in law as a 'benefit' and as such like all other state financial handouts can be varied at will by any British Government, regardless of any possible EU 'treaty' obligations they may have agreed to in the past. The phrase 'a scrap of paper' as one infamous German politician referred to the Munich Agreement comes to mind and could just as easily be used by Boris & Co. who after all based their Brexit campaign on not being ruled by Europe or accepting their laws on workers rights, amongst other things.
I can quite easily see a time in the near future where budgetary difficulties will force the abandonment of the 'triple lock', winter fuel payments and other vote-winning perks for those in retirement and the extension of further means-testing. The Tories have long advocated such a move. With the right mood in the country, the newspapers on their side, an easy first target would be those considered rich enough to live abroad, particularly in the sun. No votes to be lost there!
Personally, I would not consider moving to another country if my budget relied on inflation/cost of living uprates to the basic state pension. The days when much of Europe could be considered a cheap place to live are now long past in my view.

GlennB
Posts: 156
Joined: Thu May 04, 2017 9:38 pm
Location: Arkadia, Peloponnese

Re: Pension bombshell...

Postby GlennB » Sun Feb 23, 2020 10:42 pm

OliveTree wrote:I would be extremely cautious about accepting assurances from politicians and civil servants regarding pension uprates ... [The rest respectfully snipped]


Damn right. And the same goes for everything that's supposedly safeguarded by the Withdrawal Agreement. I wouldn't trust one single thing about it after Dec 31st 2020.

Kilkis
Posts: 11529
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Pension bombshell...

Postby Kilkis » Mon Feb 24, 2020 12:10 am

The Withdrawal Agreement is an International Treaty. Once it is ratified by both sides, as it has been, neither side can walk away from it. It is enforceable in International Courts.

It is true that the UK government can do anything it wants with benefits of any sort tomorrow. For example, Priti Patel has stated that any gaps in the labour market, caused by new immigration laws, could be filled by the 8.4 million economically inactive people in the country. It has been pointed out that the vast majority of the 8.4 million people classed as economically inactive are students, pensioners, people who are ill and people who are carers. I don't see why that is a barrier. Scrap the State Pension, scrap all sickness benefits, scrap the carer benefits and scrap all financial support for students. Job done. A new labour force of around 8 million, since they would have to go out to work or starve to death, and a massive cut in state expenditure helping to balance the books. Win-win.

The government can certainly do all that if it wishes but it would have to do it to everybody both UK residents and expats, which might have a teensy-weensy negative impact on their chances of getting elected at the next election. If they try to do it just to expats then they would face legal challenges in the International Courts who would use the terms of the International Treaties to make their judgements. The UK government would lose.

Obviously, once the UK government has completed the ongoing transition from democracy to dictatorship then it can do whatever it wants.

Warwick


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