Half of the UK pensioners who have emigrated must now await the deliberations of the European Court of Human Rights on whether their pensions will continue to be frozen or whether they will be increased in line with inflation. The decision is likely in March 2010.
An excellent source for all the background on this case can be found at the Pension Parity UK website. The inequity of the situation is apparent to anyone who studies the figures. The callousness of the British Government in this dossier is even greater when one considers that the National Insurance Fund, into which all these frozen state pensioners have contributed to fund their pensions, has a massive surplus.
Some figures recently added to the Pension Parity UK website bring out the unfairness of the situation in even more graphic detail. The page on Our Pension Rights now includes the total pension payments made to all countries. From these values, you can calculate the average pension paid out in each country, which is shown in the table below.
|Average UK State Pension being paid|
The clear division among countries is very revealing. Those countries with the yellow backgrounds are those where pensions are indexed exactly as in the UK. Those countries with the blue backgrounds are where pensions are frozen. These values are for 2008/2009. Thus we see that the average pension paid out in Spain, France, Barbados and Jamaica is more than 2 1/2 times the average pension paid out in Canada.
As year follows year, the disparity will grow even bigger. Those in the ‘blue’ countries will stay essentially the same. Those in the ‘yellow’ countries will rise in exactly the same way that pensions in the UK rise.
How much longer will this unfairness, which affects over 500,000 UK state pensioners, be ignored and perpetuated?