A group of British expats currently living in Canada have written an open letter to English PM David Cameron that has been published today, Canada Day, by The Telegraph.
Excerpts from the letter read:
“In the decades following World War Two when Britain's economy was struggling to recover, the UK government encouraged its citizens to emigrate to Canada and other Commonwealth countries in order to improve economic ties and boost British business interests abroad. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of British citizens moved to Canada during that time.”
“Yet whilst those British citizens diligently paid into the UK national insurance fund – even from overseas, as they were required to do if they were working in Canada temporarily for British companies, or as they were encouraged to do by the Government if they had moved permanently – the majority were not aware that despite the UK's on-going cultural and political ties with Canada through the Commonwealth, they would be penalised in retirement by the very same Government that encouraged them abroad and promised to support them in old age. Due to an arcane and unjust regulation that discriminates against Commonwealth countries, on reaching retirement these pensioners found to their shock that the British state pension they had paid for would be frozen forever at the same rate, with no annual increases to account for inflation. This situation has left many pensioners nearly destitute and some forced to leave their families behind and return alone to the UK.”
“We are not asking for the unreasonable, simply for people to be given the pension they pay for, no matter where they choose to retire. For the sake of the 500,000 British pensioners already living on meagre incomes in Canada and other Commonwealth countries, and for the sake of all British workers whose right to a fair pension should be guaranteed without caveats when they pay their national insurance, we call on the British government to repeal this arcane regulation and let fairness prevail.”
This letter can best be described as an impassioned plea, but it remains to be seen if it will have any impact on the frozen pension row that is currently affecting thousands of expat pensioners.