LAST month I wrote about the Democratic Unionist Party and the opportunity to use their votes to overcome Conservative Party policy.
The first two pensions pledges on their manifesto were to retain the triple lock payments on pension increases and to campaign to force the government to review the current pension arrangements for women born in the 1950s.
Their first objective was achieved within the first few weeks of this current government and the second is now within their sights because 37 Tory MP’s have stated that they support the WASPI campaign for a review.
These MP’s with the help of the other parties could defeat the government when the Labour Party holds an opposition day debate and forces the issue to a vote, possibly as early as this month.
This is the same scenario that we are now hoping for on frozen pensions.
The Australia government has agreed to hold conversations with the DUP MP’s to discuss the subject of expat pension increases.
The UK’s Financial Times reported that the Australia Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade would push London to increase the pensions of 250,000 retired Britons living in Australia in line with inflation.
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have confirmed that applications to pay additional voluntary contributions (AVC) are now taking 14 weeks to be processed through the department.
Therefore, time from posting to receiving a response is taking five months.
Then it will be a further three or four months before the information is added to your National Insurance record.
However, as I have previously reported mistakes are being made by the HMRC in allocating years paid for AVC’s and I now have three cases where people are wishing to claim their UK State Pension and we have established that their records are incorrect.
HMRC has confirmed it takes 18 weeks to have a record corrected.
If you wish to make a voluntary contribution to increase your UK State Pension you are better off applying immediately.
Even those in their late 40s to early 50s should be applying, because you are always financially better off with both the maximum UK State Pension you can achieve and your Australian pension.
As we say in Yorkshire, it’s a ‘no brainer’ so, don’t delay, apply today.
Anyone who would like to discuss the above in greater detail or require help on any other aspects regarding their UK State Pensions, is welcome to contact Mike Goodall on 08 6364 0859, 0403 909 865 or via email:– firstname.lastname@example.org