Is yours one of them?
Imagine finding $265.59* under your sofa cushions ... or how about $7967.70* instead? Now imagine that happening every year for the rest of your life! That's the range of the annual 'windfall' you might enjoy if you ever worked in the UK, because while working there you likely contributed to Britain's mandatory state pension scheme (similar to CPP here in Canada). Many people no longer living in the UK simply forget to claim it upon retirement.
The Canadian Alliance of British Pensioners (CABP) can advise on how to calculate your current or future UK pension eligibility - indeed, the younger you are when you find out, the larger the annual payment might become. And you don't have to be British to collect - you just have to have worked there or, in some cases, to be married to someone who did.
* Figure based on 2011 UK state pension amount, using an exchange rate of £1 = $1.50
THAWING YOUR 'FROZEN' PENSION
Those of you who are already receiving a British state pension know all too well that the amount you get never increases, regardless of inflation, simply because you live in Canada; whereas it would go up every year if you lived in the US or any one of some three-dozen other countries. CABP volunteers work mightily to end this discrimination that hurts more with every passing year. You can support and strengthen these efforts to end this growing injustice by joining CABP - and the current economic crisis in the UK may, paradoxically, offer the best opportunity in decades for these efforts to succeed.
The perfect storm . . .
Just as UK government coffers are approaching empty, Britain finds itself facing the imminent retirement of a whopping 17 million baby boomers! And there is an acute (and growing) shortage of nurses and hospital beds! Plus there is a 1.5 million shortfall in affordable/available housing units. Quite a nightmare combination in any economy - potentially lethal in today's crisis - but 'tis an ill wind that blows no good. This 'perfect storm' is forcing Britain's political policymakers to seek financial ease where they can find it.
. . . and a perfect shelter
At least 40,000 additional people per year would likely emigrate if their pension were indexed, according to an independent third-party study commissioned by the International Consortium of British Pensioners (of which CABP is a founding member). And a 'blue chip' economic consultancy has confirmed that this would indeed create significant savings for the UK Government, savings far beyond the cost of global pension indexation.
CABP is now focused on supporting the consortium as it makes Britain's political policymakers fully aware of the financial wisdom (i.e., gains to the UK Treasury) of indexing all state pensions. If you believe in justice - and in getting what you paid for! - please add your support to this effort by joining or renewing your membership in CABP. It's only $20 per calendar year per household to do so - a small investment in the good health of your retirement income. You will receive quarterly updates via CABP's newsletter entitled - what else? - Justice.
STOP PRESS May 2013
A bill is being debated in Parliament to introduce the "single-tier" pension on 6th April 2016. This applies to NEW pensioners only. A pensioner will receive £144 weekly at 2010/2013 rates. Each person will need to qualify in their own right. There will not be a spousal benefit. A minimum of 7-10 years of National Insurance contributions will be required. (Timing not determined as yet.) Pension will be frozen but it is still worth claiming!