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SAEBP newsletter 1
Newsletter 1

SOUTH AFRICAN EXPAT BRITISH PENSIONERS
Newsletter 1
 
I am so heartened by some of the replies to my first introduction letter. Also to those new pensioners that have contacted me wanting to be put on my list for the newsletters. Welcome.
I also want to point out that SAABP is closed, that any pensioners that joined there should join one of the other organizations like the BPiA in Australia or CABP in Canada.
All the money is placed in one pot to be used for media coverage etc.
Some people have asked me if I need any donations, the answer is NO.
I am not registered by law.
If someone wants to donate to our cause please join either BPiA or CABP and pay the membership fee.
One can donate to the cause by contacting one of the following above.
 
All of us are volunteers and require no payment. The donations and membership fees go into one pot and finance our media coverage etc. Also if one wants to donate they can contact Sheila Telford of the ICBP, at sheilatelford@shaw.ca
 
 
One of the things I have been asked was about Life certificates that are being sent out.
I copied the following from the Justice magazine from the CABP in Canada.
 
The UK Pension Service sends out Life Certificate forms to many overseas pensioners. In order for the recipient to continue getting the UK State Pension, the form must be duly completed – including being signed by an approved witness – and returned to the Pension Service.
Approved witnesses include staff at Service Canada offices, who are usually helpful in signing the ‘Witness Declaration’ portion of these forms, and NO FEE is charged.(Do NOT go to a provincial service office, e.g., Service Ontario, Service Nova Scotia or Service BC.) A local police officer is another approved option, or where the pensioner is in a care facility, a doctor can witness the form. The witness will need to see the original of one or two pieces of personal identification that include a photograph, e.g., a passport, landed immigrant card, driving licence or health card.
 
The purpose of the life certification exercise is to establish that the pensioner is indeed still alive, as the Pension Service is frequently not informed when a death occurs overseas. Do not ignore the form or the pension will cease and it takes quite a while to get it activated again.
 
Here in SA one can take it to a police station, a magistrates office, your bank or as it says above your doctor.
 
 
 
Another query was about a widow who was receiving a war widow’s pension and it suddenly stopped, this was perhaps because she did not fill in a life certificate.
If your husband was receiving a pension for an injury whilst serving in the forces, you as his wife are also entitled to a widow’s pension if he dies because of his injuries.
 
 
 
 
 Another gentleman has also volunteered the following>
 
I would also like to introduce myself to you. I am 62, have been in SA 5 years after a career in UK financial services specialising in Pensions. I am happy to answer any questions on UK Pension Schemes / Pension Plans ‘though even after 40 years and loads of qualifications, I may not always have the answer. I still work advising people on UK Pensions BUT anyone referred by you will not be charged and will be under no obligation.
 
So if anyone wishes to use this gentleman’s services, please contact myself and I will pass your message on.
 
 
On passport renewal another kind lady asked me to pass this on in case there is anyone who needs to renew their passport.>
 
If you should have anyone through U3A enquiring about UK Passport renewals, this is the up to date on line contact with the UK direct.  No more contact through Pretoria.  Most efficient and took very little time.   Everything was done on line, other than the posting of the original application and enclosures to Durham.  Delivery of my passport to my door came through about a week ago.  (About six weeks after application).   Even the passport pics did not have to be endorsed by a Commissioner of Oaths.
From:Durham Overseas Team 3
Please note that this e-mail address is NOT to be used for general enquiries.
If you wish to check the progress of your application and completed this on-line,  please log on to
https://passportapplication.service.gov.uk/ips-olc/
For general enquiries, or to check progress of a paper application, please contact our advice line on: + 44 (0) 300 222 0000. If our letter to you is requesting scanned/emailed documentation or information, this may be sent to us using the following email address: durhamoverseasteam3@hmpo.gsi.gov.uk  If our letter is requesting original documents, new application forms, or new photographs these should be sent to us by mail using the address below:
Her Majesty’s Passport Office
OVS-D Team 3
Durham
United Kingdom
DH97 1PA
Yours sincerely
Overseas Team
 
 
Another site that is interesting in our fight for justice. Written by Brian Brown.>
 
http://www.parity-warrior.com/347947279
 
 
 
On 1st April, ICBP are launching at the Palace of Westminster, an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Frozen Pensions, chaired by Sir Roger Gale. We, and our parliamentary supporters are determined that the issue of frozen pensions will no longer be swept under the carpet! 
WISH THEM LUCK AND PRAY THAT SOMETHING POSITIVE COMES OUT OF THIS MEETING.
 
 
The more people that join us in our fight the greater impact we will have.
If you are interested go to the
International Consortium of British Pensions (ICBP) https://www.facebook.com/#!/pensionjustice?fref=ts
British Pensions in Australia (BPiA) http://youle.info/bpia-blog/ 
Canadian alliance of British Pensions (CABP) http://www.britishpensions.com/
 
Keep your spirits up with a bit of humour.         
 
UK expats fall victim to health tourism
Expatriate Britons have been caught up in a major crackdown on ' health tourists' announced by the Government yesterday.
Under new restrictions, people who fly to Britain to exploit the NHS will be denied free care.
The ban preventing visitors and failed asylum seekers from milking the system is likely to come into force by next April.
Health Minister John Hutton warned that health tourism was a 'significant' problem and swift action was needed to safeguard the NHS for taxpayers.
The new rules may lead to all patients being asked for proof of residence, such as a passport or electricity bill.
However, pensioners from the UK who live abroad for more than half the year will be denied free treatment.
No matter how much they have paid in tax and National Insurance over the years, such expatriates will now have to pay for NHS care back in Britain.
Only treatment for emergencies - such as heart attacks, accidents or sudden illness - will still be free.
The move will hit thousands who have retired to the Spanish costas, France or other European countries.
Under existing rules, pensioners are only supposed to spend up to three months abroad to qualify for free NHS care. But officials did not vigorously apply this rule.
Under the 'health tourism' clampdown, thousands of expat pensioners will find themselves being quizzed on their eligibility.
The Department of Health said it had made one concession - that pensioners who return to the UK 'to spend their final years' will still be eligible for free care.
But pensioners who spend more than three months outside the EU - in countries such as Canada, America or Australia - will find they become ineligible.
Overall, the proposed law changes will mean that, unless people from overseas meet strict eligibility criteria, they will be able to receive only emergency care.
Typical cases of 'health tourism' include foreigners coming to the UK on a business trip only to turn up at an NHS hospital demanding treatment for a long- standing problem such as kidney failure.
Pregnant women from overseas also fly in shortly before giving birth. Failed asylum seekers and illegal immigrants will be stopped from receiving free treatment for conditions which arise after their legal status has been determined.
The new rules allowing anyone living in the UK for 12 months to get free treatment, regardless of immigration status, will no longer apply.
However, there is already concern about how the crackdown will work in practice. Failed asylum seekers and illegal immigrants with infectious diseases including TB, rabies, measles or smallpox will be given free treatment.
But the Health Department admitted yesterday that the policy for HIV and Aids sufferers had still to be fully worked out.
The NHS faces a soaring drugs and treatment bill for HIV cases, up to a third of which are thought to come from overseas. Under the plans, HIV 'health tourists' will be refused the right to start a 'new course of treatment'. But ministers have yet to decide exactly what this means for HIV sufferers, as they are constantly on drugs costing up to £15,000 a year. Doctors may be expected to tell patients they cannot be treated with drugs which would keep them alive longer. Mr. Hutton said it would fall to NHS managers to make sure people qualified for free treatment and not doctors and nurses. But there are fears that A&E departments would be swamped by migrants desperate for nonemergency care but unable to get it elsewhere.
 
 
 
Some pensioners have written to me about the news in the Telegraph, also about the lady called Anne Puckridge.
Anne is one of a small group of people called POP (parity or poverty), that writes on an ongoing basis, I am also proud to be part of that group, although since taking on this newsletter I have not had time to be more involved.
 
Read Anne’s Story here>
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/pensions/10665839/Frozen-pensions-force-expats-to-come-home.html
 
 
 
Sheila Telford of the consortium is looking for more people who are willing to be interviewed like Anne.
She is looking for pensioners who are really struggling with their frozen pension. A pensioner similar to Anne, who has being forced to return to the UK.  Or, if you are a pensioner that has already returned to the UK due to the pension being frozen?
 
If you feel you could be that someone, please contact myself and I will let Sheila know.
 
 
Another media interview of a gentleman forced to live a lonely life in the UK because of the frozen pension
Read his story here>
 
 
A letter from the Chairman of the ICBP
First of all, let me introduce myself, I am the Chairman- a totally volunteer (and very time consuming!) position and I am sending this from my personal email address as I don’t want it to be rejected as SPAM.
It is not!
 
If you have given us a Gmail/Hotmail address, please get in touch to let us know where you are based. If you are in the UK, please let us know where.
People living in certain constituencies could really help in our fight for justice for frozen British Pensioners wherever they choose to live in retirement.
 
You may have noticed that there have been a number of press articles recently about the discrimination suffered by 560,000 frozen pensioners, mostly living in Commonwealth countries. We believe that our campaign is gaining momentum and we intend to keep it up. A recent poll we conducted showed that nearly 70% of the British public believed that pensions should be unfrozen and some 42% would vote for a political party which had this policy as part of their agenda.
 
Finally, let me urge you to contact BPiA – the Australian arm of our organisation.
http://youle.info/bpia-blog/ or the Canadian organisation, CABP www.britishpensions.com  
 
We cannot continue our campaign without memberships and we need our members to write letters and comment on articles and approach their MP’s or their ex MP’s if they already live overseas, and spread the word. This issue is not going to go away and will prevail if we all work together.
 
Kind regards,
 
Sheila Telford
Chairman ICBP
 
 
  
http://dribblingpensioner.wordpress.com/2012/02/06/pensioners-photos/#comment-11033
The above is a website of a pensioner who has pages of jokes and other interesting articles Please visit.
 
Stay Strong and think positive that we will win this fight.
 
Warm Regards Norma Maloney norma@bestbirds.co.za

Date Added: 2014-04-02
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