A group of expat pensioners are suing the government after having their pension benefits frozen.
It seems that the government has decided to freeze the state pensions of some retired pensioners who have decided to re-locate to sunnier climbs for retirement. This will mean that they will not receive the same inflationary rises that others with state pensions in the UK will.
The case goes before The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights on September 2nd, following a previous attempt in a lower court of the ECHR that was rejected. Thankfully for them, their referral was granted and they have this second hearing.
According to a website that represents the interests of British ex-pat pensioners, says that around half of all UK expatriate pensioners are affected.
The ex-pat state pensions of those living in France and Germany will not be affected as these two Governments have agreed to boost the pensions of German and French pensioners living in the UK. Countries that do not have the same ties will not have such agreements.
According to the chairman of the Canadian Alliance of British Pensioners, it is nothing to do with ties and everything to do with saving money. He states that the Canadian Government has agreed to boost the pensions of their own nationals living in the UK – so why is Britain not doing the same?
Seven of the 12 most popular destinations for British expats to retire to, will have their pensions frozen. This list includes New Zealand, South Africa, Dubai, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and of course, Canada.
The 13 who are going to the Court of Human Rights argue that they are being discriminated against as the British pensioners living in the USA, Philippines and Israel will see boosts to their pensions.
The case is known as Carson and Others v United Kingdom, after Annette Carson who took the original case to the House of Lords in 2005. Her pension was frozen in 2000 at £67.50 a week, whereas if she had been able to take advantage of inflation, she would be on £82.05 a week.
As pensions hit an all time low in the opinion polls, this case will just be the beginning of many to hit the headlines.