[BITList] Fwd: Expat Pensioners Served an Injustice from European Court of Human Rights

John Feltham wantok at me.com
Wed Mar 17 02:52:52 GMT 2010

Our pensions are still being stolen.


Begin forwarded message:

See the following links:
Australians to Pay: British Expat Pensioners Served an Injustice from European Court of Human Rights
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) today ruled that the United Kingdom can continue to withhold inflationary adjustments of the UK basic state pension from 250,000 British expat pensioners living in Australia.
The ruling comes after an 8 year battle between the British government and a group of British expat pensioner organisations, including British Pensions in Australia (BPIA) and British Australian Pensioners Association (BAPA)
BPiA chairman Jim Tilley said, “With this ruling, the UK Government will continue to discriminate against its age pensioners based upon where they choose to retire.”
“This is a devastating result and it will affect the lives of many British expat pensioners. The living standards of many will only continue to decline.”
The UK has been denying annual inflationary adjustments to British expat pensioners living in Australia, while awarding adjustments to British expats living in other countries such as the United States, Turkey, Israel, Jamaica, Barbados the Philippines and European Economic Area countries. Further injustice lies in the fact that whilst working in the UK they all paid the same compulsory contributions into the pension system.
“Now it is up to the people still working or living in Britain to tell their government that they will no longer stand for this injustice. By paying increases in some countries and withholding them in others, the UK government severely limits our freedom of choice regarding where we can retire,” said Victoria based Vice President of BAPA, James Nelson.
The ECHR Grand Chamber ruling permits the continuation of an ever-increasing negative impact on the quality of life of some of Australia’s most vulnerable elderly, many of whom have had their pensions frozen for up to 30 years.
“One elderly woman, who arrived in Australia in 1974, is still receiving, from Britain, a pension of only $11 week (£6.70),” said Tilley.
The negative impact on the Australian economy will also continue; an estimated $400 million a year in lost foreign pension income, plus an increase in the significant sums paid out by Centrelink to supplement ‘frozen’ pensioners residing in Australia.
Although the ECHR has made its ruling, the work of BPiA is far from over. The not-for-profit, volunteer run organisation needs to increase its member base in order to continue their fight for justice. BPiA also provides advice on a variety of UK State pension issues.
To arrange further comment or to discuss interview opportunities please contact:
Paul Leary
Consultant, Reputation Pty Ltd.
Suite 2, Level 1, 30 Clarence St Sydney, NSW 2000
Ph: 02 8252 7091
Email: pleary at reputation.net.au

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