Simon Read: An Australian 'frozen' pensioner speaks out


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The Independent Online

My report last week about 92-year ex-army veteran Vic Williams prompted a lot of response from readers. To remind you, Vic made a video for David Cameron - you'll find it here In it he raises the issue of the pensions injustice that leaves almost half of our British pensioners who live abroad facing a frozen state pension while the rest get annual increases as if they still remained in this country.

Many people who now live abroad, mostly in Commonwealth countries, receive only a fraction of the pension they would get if they've retired to elsewhere. In Vic's case he would be much better off if he'd simply moved over the Canadian border to the USA.

Most of the responses have been supportive. Dian Elvin wrote: "I personally find this situation unacceptable. I don't have a frozen pension, having returned to the UK but feel a great shame on behalf of the governments of my country who have made this unfairness last for decades."

She also attached an email from an Australian pensioner, another war veteran like Vic Williams. "I am now 90 years old and my British pension is still £70 per month," she writes. If she had retired to another country her pension may instead have risen with yearly increases to the standard weekly rate of £110.15, roughly £440 a month.

She continues: "I had four years in the WAAF during the war and have lost two husbands who also served five years each during the war. I have no love for or loyalty to the British Government. I feel badly done by. GG"

Who can blame her, or the 565,000 other pensioners who are hit by the unjust frozen pension rule, for being fed up with the British Government.

Clive Walford, who as chairman of Pension-Parity in Indonesia, has been campaigning hard for a change to the unfair rules said: "I hope you have opened the door for other journalists to join in the campaign and hopefully the government will eventually accept its discrimination and agree that we have a legitimate claim."

This is a story that won't go away as it seems clearly unfair to penalise so many people. You can find out more about the battle for pensions parity at

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