Dear Prime Minister:
Congratulations on being invited to address the British Parliament on June 13, 2013.  This is a rare privilege given to foreign leaders who have impressed the host nation with their culture, politics and economies, etc.
My wife and I understand from the Canadian Alliance of British Pensioners (CABP) that your government has been supportive of the fight to “unfreeze” British State pensions to those Brits’ who have chosen to live/work/retire in Canada in particular, and other similarly frozen countries in general.  In this regard, we also understand that CABP has provided you with a briefing note in the hope that you might raise our issue in the British House.
We are retired Canadian Citizens, Though we were born and worked in England until our mid-thirties, we have lived, worked and raised our children in Canada for 40-years.  I also served for two years in the British Army in support of human rights, democracy and dignity for all.
We contributed to the British pension/social welfare program for over twenty years and always believed that State pensions would be paid to all who had contributed financially, without discrimination.  Sadly, this is not the case nor is there any rationale for the discrimination.  By way of one example, by living in Canada, our pension is frozen at the going rate at time of collection.  If we lived in the USA, our pension would be indexed.  So far, we have lost $12,000 +/-).  Ironically, we can get temporary uprating if we visit EU countries but not so if we visit the USA.
The British government’s continuing bottom-line position has always been that, it cannot afford to treat everyone equally.  An Oxford University research firm’s cost benefit analysis has clearly shown that the government’s position is erroneous and that in fact, social welfare savings provided by absent retirees plus further savings that would accrue through a system that allowed other Brits to retire abroad would be a net benefit to the government.
This has left us in an almost borderline poverty position, whereby, as we continue to live, we may be forced to seek financial assistance from Canada’s social system.
Two particular and poignant points highlight the British government punitive action:
  • On March 11, 2013, Queen Elizabeth signed the Charter of Human Rights and stated “Our shared values of peace, democracy, development of Justice and human rights, mean that we can place special emphasis on including everyone in this goal, especially those who are vulnerable”. 
  • A recent British Supreme Court judgment stated that: “A discriminatory rule or practice can only be justified by reference to a legitimate aim other than the simple saving of cost”.
Prime Minister, we wish you a warm British reception, and we hope you can further our case for fair and equal treatment in the distribution of British State Pensions to all, regardless where they choose to reside.  We also hope that our local Federal constituency representative, Rick Dykstra, MP, St Catharines, can also be conscripted to work on your government’s behalf to persuade the British government to do the right thing.  Thank you.

Comments

  1. I believe that all British subjects who paid into The National Health as I did should receive a full pension. My vote is a resounding YES!!!!
    Robert Spence (Roy)
    Kitchener Ontario.

    P.S. This is not a duplicate, this is my first comment.

  2. My vote is YES all expat’s should receive full pension who have contributed money to the british National Health system.
    Patrick&Peggy Rice.

  3. Michael Rice says

    I too, wrote to my MP (Green Party Elizabeth May) regarding Mr. Harper’s visit to England, and stating essentially what was indicated above, requesting that Ms. May raise this with Mr. Harper prior to his departure.

    I finally received an email back from Ms. May’s constituency office….. what did they say ?

    “Thank you for contacting our office regarding your British pension.

    I am forwarding you a link to a group called the Canadian Alliance of British Pensioners: info@britishpensions.com

    This organization publishes a very informative magazine called “ Justice” and may be able to help you. There is also a link that updates the continuing progress http://www.pensionjustice.org. I hope you find this helpful. Please contact our office if you have further concerns.”.

    Not very helpful, was it ? At least I tried, only to be referred back to our own organization. How some of these people get elected beggars belief.

    Michael Rice
    Saanichton, BC

  4. For your information, I sent an e-mail to The Prime Minister asking that he raise the matter of frozen British Pensions next week in London. I also sent an e-mail to my MP.

    Sincerely,
    John Kirkhope.
    Member 31315.

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