“It’s almost like a lottery. It’s deterred some from going home…We’re having to subsidise the British government by making contributions to their pensioners based overseas and welcome the option of partial uprating. This is an issue which needs sorting out”.
– Cenio E. Lewis, the High Commissioner of St Vincent
and the Grenadines – February 2016
“The situation makes me very angry. The government are scaremongering. They say it will cost a lot of money, but it is only a tiny percentage of the pensions budget. The government should be doing more, especially for Commonwealth countries and MPs can’t explain why they are not. I would consider returning to England in the coming years.”
– Abhik Bonnerjee , 74, emigrated to India in 1997
“Thousands of people have gone back to India and Pakistan and don’t know about this. It’s very unfair. Why are they discriminated against? They have done the same job all their life to enjoy their golden years. I know people who were thinking to go back home when they retire, but they have changed their mind. I know one lady who went to India to retire there, and now I hear she is coming back. Life is very different there and can be quite expensive, especially medication. That slight increase in the pension can mean a lot, especially in India.”
– Ramesh Verma, founder of Ekta,
a charity which supports elderly Asians
“Those in our community who choose to retire to warmer climates and have paid their contributions in full should not be penalised and essentially robbed under this ludicrous system.”
– George Ruddock, Editor of The Voice
“Most British Asians are unaware of the government’s discriminatory frozen pension policy.What makes this policy most outrageous is that it is not applied consistently. Move to anywhere in Europe or the US for example, and your pension will be uprated as it would be had you stayed in the UK, but move to Pakistan, India or Bangladesh and find your pension frozen. This is even more ironic when you consider the values of inclusiveness and ‘implacable opposition to all forms of discrimination’ espoused by the Commonwealth Charter on Equality. Indeed, the UK is the only country in the OECD that discriminates against certain pensioners because of their choice of country in retirement”.
– Yasmin Qureshi – Labour MP and Vice-President of the APPG
2-Apr-16 The Voice: African And Caribbean Pensioners Hope For Fair Pensions Deal
15-Aug-15 The Guardian: Frozen pensions: why I believe the rules are unfair
“In my constituency of Leicester East there is a large Indian population. Returning to retire in their ancestral home is something many of my constituents would like to do. When I hold a surgery, perhaps half of the constituents who attend are first-or second-generation immigrants who have come here to work and to build a life here, and they have made their contribution to our economy in doing so. If they ask me why they would lose their right to a pension if they retire, what am I to say? Sorry, please consider the Philippines?”.
– Keith Vaz, MP and member of the APPG – August 2015
1-Aug-15 Eastern Eye: Pensions bias leaves Asians cold
4-Apr-15 The Voice: African and Caribbean pensioners being ‘robbed’
25-Oct-14 The Guardian: Spare a thought for the ‘frozen’ state pensioners
25-Oct-14 The Guardian: Floella Benjamin – frozen state pension system a double blow for minorities
13-Apr-14 The Voice Online: Elderly Migrants Demand End To Pension Freeze
18-Feb-14 Asian Express: Public anger at ‘hidden’ pensions policy
1-Nov-13 Eastern eye: Pensions ‘bias’ hits UK Asians