Australian business leader may step into frozen pensions row



A powerful Australian businesswomen is set to be asked to join the campaign to unfreeze expat pensions.

Therese Rein is one of the most influential people in Australia. Recently, her company Igneus UK won a £1 billion contract with the UK Department for Work and Pensions to find more work for the British unemployed.

Thoughts now lean towards Rein having tremendous influence in the DWP due to the contracts, and the frozen pension campaigners are believed to have Rein in their sights as a potential, and powerful, ally.

Australia is both a popular destination for expat retirees and one of the places that is lumbered with the frozen pension problem. It is estimated that 500,000 frozen pensioners are living in Australia.

Ms Rein, who is married to former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, will now be approached by the British Australian Pensioner Association (BAPA) to give weight to their cause.

Australian politicians have not shied away from the row and Jenny Macklin, Australia’s minister of pensions recently released a statement supporting the cause: “The UK government’s policy disadvantages UK pensioners in Australia and imposes an increasing burden on all Australian taxpayers. The Australian government remains of the view that the UK government should index pensions for UK pensioners living in Australia, as it does for UK pensioners in the EU, the US and other countries. The Australian government considers this situation unfair and discriminatory.

It’s estimated that the Australian government loses around $A110 million each year through supplementing the frozen pensions of UK expats in the country.