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 Expats get winter fuel allowance: UK pensioners lose out

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davshaz
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PostSubject: Expats get winter fuel allowance: UK pensioners lose out   Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:03 pm

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I've just come across this and wondered what your thoughts were? and is it fare?
My thoughts are.......Administering a "
fair"
scheme will cost a fortune, monitoring the temperature around the world and figuring out what regions are due payment, likewise the means testing idea.You could probably cut the payments to pensioners by 10%, but spend 10 times more than that on staff.The wealthier pensioners have probably paid more tax over their lives anyway.I look at what this government is doing and I become convinced they are determined to never win an election again - perhaps some of them prefer being in opposition.


Ex-pats get winter fuel allowance: UK pensioners lose out
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Pensioners living in southern England could be stripped of their £200 winter fuel allowance while ex-pats in Spain continue to receive the benefit, under government plans. Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, is fighting “ludicrous” European rules that mean the winter fuel payment must be made to an estimated 440,000 British pensioners living abroad.

Taxpayers face a £100 million bill for the annual hand-out to people who have retired to the Continent in order to live in sunnier climes.

Mr Duncan Smith announced yesterday that he intended to introduce a new “temperature” test to prevent pensioners receiving the benefit if they live in warm countries and do not need extra money to spend on winter fuel.

However, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) confirmed that the new temperature rule would also apply to pensioners in Britain.

Campaigners raised concerns that this would see the elderly in milder areas of the south of England lose the benefit, while those in colder parts of Europe continue to receive it. The reform could also mean that pensioners living in Labour-supporting parts of Scotland and northern England keep the payment, while those in the southern Tory heartlands lose out.

The average low January temperature in Portsmouth is 41.4F (5.2C), warmer than Madrid, which has an average low of 37.4F (3C).

David Cameron has promised not to cut pensioners’ benefits during this parliament.

Pensioners’ groups warned that the current simple fuel payment scheme must not be withdrawn.

Michelle Mitchell, director-general of Age UK, said the payments provided “a lifeline to many vulnerable older people” who worried about their fuel bills. “While the introduction of a temperature test could allay concerns about ex-pats in hot countries receiving the payment, it is important that proposals for change do not complicate the system or result in those in need losing out,” she said.

The National Pensioners’ Convention described the current system of payments to ex-pats as “a complete mess”.

Neil Duncan-Jordan, a spokesman for the group, said: “Any attempt to clarify or simplify the allowance should not affect people in the UK.

“All parts of the UK are cold and most areas dip below freezing. We certainly wouldn’t want to see the winter fuel allowance moving on to some temperature test that means you only get it if you live north of Watford.”

Under previous rules, elderly ex-pats on the Continent could only receive the allowance if they turned 60 before leaving Britain and if they had left after the payment was introduced in 1998.

However, the European Court of Justice has ruled that claimants only need to have “a genuine and sufficient link” to the UK to qualify.

Payments begin at £200 for a household with a pensioner and rise to £300 for families including someone over 80.

Mr Duncan Smith yesterday promised to “protect taxpayers’ money and bring in a temperature criteria”. DWP officials said the details had not been finalised.
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Andy
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PostSubject: Re: Expats get winter fuel allowance: UK pensioners lose out   Mon Sep 10, 2012 12:52 pm

I am an expat but not old enough for my pension yet however I worked for 40 years without ever being unemployed or scrounging off the government. In that 40 years I paid every penny of my NI and Taxes so why should I not be entitled to the same benifits In The UK the Winter allowance is to keep you warm in many other parts of the world even Spain in the Winter you need to either keep warm or cool which is no different. If you work all your life and pay your dues you should be able to live anywhere in the world and get what your entitled to !!!!! I have now been living abroad for 3 years and every month I still pay to HMRC over £100 in taxes on my private pension which no doubt supports scroungers living in the UK.
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PostSubject: Re: Expats get winter fuel allowance: UK pensioners lose out   Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:24 pm

Two comments from me. I tried to apply for the allowance because Bulgaria has a far colder winter than Britain. I was denied because I left Britain before 1998 when the allowance started. Secondly, I became eligible for my pension in 2004 and have saved Britain a fortune in benefits because I am on the very basic State Pension which is just over £4,000 from my personal taxable earnings over a lifetime. I can live on this with my partner in Bulgaria but will need top-ups when I return to Britain. I do not wish to take this 'charity' because I have earnt it. The whole issue of the winter fuel allowances is a complete nightmare from the very beginning. Apparently I understand that it has to be applied between certain dates in the year - why????
Before kind people here try to give advice on applying I should mention that I wrote twice to the pensions people but it seems that it is written in stone that me and people like me are not eligible. Pension allowed, fuel allowance not.
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PostSubject: Re: Expats get winter fuel allowance: UK pensioners lose out   Mon Sep 10, 2012 1:27 pm

im afraid the rule is....you have to have been recieving the heating allowance before you left the uk. why, i dont know.
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PostSubject: Re: Expats get winter fuel allowance: UK pensioners lose out   Mon Sep 10, 2012 5:27 pm

Agreed Starlite but its no more fair than what they are now suggesting. A pensioner who has paid into the system all their lives should still be entitled if they can receive their pension abroad. Especially when those of us who are honest are penalised while we have to listen to others not so honest, bragging that they receive it on a technicality. I could have used my family but refuse to involve them in any dishonesty. Maybe I am foolish but at least I can sleep at night.
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PostSubject: Re: Expats get winter fuel allowance: UK pensioners lose out   Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:00 pm

I phoned the DWP today and you can claim the Winter Fuel allowance if you are 60 or over,but. You have to apply and you must fill in the application form. If you are not receiving a UK state Pension you must also send a Birth Certificate .

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PostSubject: Re: Expats get winter fuel allowance: UK pensioners lose out   Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:05 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
I phoned the DWP today and you can claim the Winter Fuel allowance if you are 60 or over,but. You have to apply and you must fill in the application form. If you are not receiving a UK state Pension you must also send a Birth Certificate .



is that if you live abroad tony ...or only if you live in UK , as theit website says ???
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PostSubject: Re: Expats get winter fuel allowance: UK pensioners lose out   Thu Oct 04, 2012 5:30 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
I phoned the DWP today and you can claim the Winter Fuel allowance if you are 60 or over,but. You have to apply and you must fill in the application form. If you are not receiving a UK state Pension you must also send a Birth Certificate .



is that if you live abroad tony ...or only if you live in UK , as theit website says ???

Yes it is if you live abroad but only in a cold climate in winter if I understand it right. There was a court case in the European court and hence Mr Duncan Smith has got the hump. Check the DWP web site and it does now include Europe and Swiss locations. Or do as I did and request a form by ringing +4419112187777

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varnagirl
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PostSubject: Re: Expats get winter fuel allowance: UK pensioners lose out   Thu Oct 04, 2012 7:06 pm

yep...its now on their website ..if you live in an EEA country you can apply
thank you tonyb60
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PostSubject: Re: Expats get winter fuel allowance: UK pensioners lose out   Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:12 am

I got a letter today from HMRC which said I would not be getting the winter fuel payment.

So I phoned them.

Apparently I filled in the wrong form on line , this was the form they gave me the number for . Turns out there are 2 forms one of which is for claiming back dated payments, which as far as I am aware I didn't do , so be careful if you claim.

Oh Happy Days.

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PostSubject: Re: Expats get winter fuel allowance: UK pensioners lose out   Thu Mar 14, 2013 1:37 pm

Just another small warning for people who's birthday is in September.

Like most things in life there is a starting date, of which I missed what could have been my first payment because my birthday fell on the 25th September which was if I remember correctly 3 or 4 days out of the criteria.

At least that is what was correct a few years ago, but the point being you need to check if you are also eligible with your date of birth.

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