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Danby Bloch: Why the Govt’s state pension top up is such a good deal

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From October 2015, some clients will be able to top up their state pension by making the new Class 3 national insurance contributions. The deal will be very good for most people who qualify, so advisers need to make sure that these clients have enough funds to be able to make this investment.

Advisers should plan for this valuable opportunity because ignoring it could open them up to criticism.

The risk committee of the fictitious Smith Jones Financial Planning has been considering how to build this into their advice processes.

The opportunity to make this investment will be given to people who are either existing pensioners, or who will reach state pension age before 6 April 2016, when the single-tier pension is introduced. They must have an entitlement to a UK state pension – either basic or additional.

Welcome option

One of the aims is to give people the opportunity to increase their state pension in retirement. These people are generally those who will not get the new higher flat-rate pension, and who may have lost out because of the structure of the legacy second-tier pension. But the opportunity goes wider and will be a welcome option for self-employed people and others who have never qualified for Serps or S2P.

The Government intends to introduce Class 3A in October 2015. The scheme will be open for a limited period – it expects most people who want to take up their Class 3A entitlement will do so in the first few months, so the money will need to be available pretty promptly.

The Government says rates will be actuarially fair both for the individual contributors and to taxpayers generally but, in practice, they look pretty attractive.

The rates are age-related but are the same for men and women. The maximum income that can be bought per individual is £25 a week – that is £1,300 a year.

As an illustration, the contribution required for an extra £1 pension per week for a person aged 65 is £890, or 5.84 per cent, increased in line with prices and inheritable on death in the same way as existing additional state pension, and with a minimum of 50 per cent for the surviving spouse or civil partner. 

The maximum investment for a 65-year-old is therefore about £22,250. The corresponding open market commercial annuity rate for an equivalent return would cost roughly twice that.

For a 70 year-old, the rate reduces to £779 (i.e. a maximum investment of about £19,475).

There is a website where advisers and clients can go to get an exact quotation: www.gov.uk/state-pension-topup

The risk committee want to try and identify those clients who should be reserving funds for this purpose. The key issues are:

  • Identifying who qualifies
  • Deciding the characteristics of clients for whom this would make a suitable investment and how to prioritise it
  • Determining how much clients should aim to invest
  • Agreeing the appropriate source of funds for the investment in October 2015 or the suitable interim investment for the holding period

The firm needs to establish who this opportunity is most suitable for.

Clients who are looking for long-term retirement income are the main target. This covers a large number of people but there are be bound to be a few people who do not need any more taxable income now, and almost certainly will not in the future. But even these people may be grateful for such an opportunity and might use it to finance further gifts from income to help with their IHT planning. 

State pension top-up

Alternatively, they could save it or make extra pensions contributions (if possible) it they do not need the income initially.

With government backing and full indexation, it is a low-risk investment. The main problems are liquidity –or the lack of it – tax and health.

A priority would be for a client who is likely to be paying basic-rate tax, rather than a spouse or partner who is a higher-rate taxpayer, to invest in a state pension top-up on their future income.

A client with poor health would probably not want to invest in the top up, but it would depend on the degree of their impairment.

A client without someone to whom the dependant’s pension would pass would be less inclined to regard this as a priority investment, although it might still make a lot of sense. 

Danby Bloch is editorial director at Taxbriefs  

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There are 25 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. ” With government backing and full indexation it is a low risk investment”. What happens then if a few years after retiring the ‘client’ needs to, for whatever reason, move to a country to live out his/her days only to find they have moved to a country where the government refuses to pay annual indexing? You know, the mainly Commonwealth countries where UK seniors suffer the discriminatory injustice of the frozen pension where they are denied the same rights to uprating as everybody else?

  2. Kenneth Thompson 1st May 2014 at 10:23 am

    If one is thinking of taking up this offer you should first think about deferring you pension which allows you under current rules to increases your pension at 10.4% pa. If you take this option you have to defer both your basic and state second pension. Instead of purchasing the additional pension you could use the lump sum to replace your pension remembering to only pay yourself what you would have received after tax. The pension you defer would receive current cost of living increases when you actually receive it and could in certain circumstances be passed on to spouse/partner. I think it would be a bargain for a higher rate tax payer compared to paying extra NI.

  3. Andy Robertson-Fox 1st May 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Jane Davies, I think you have raised a very interesting point here. There does not seem to be any information being given from the DWP but as frozen pensioners know only too well the lack of information from that department is not unsual. It seems to me that one could be topping up only to find that one loses out.
    Equally it is said that in the event of death it is inheritable as in the same way as additional second state pension and with a minimum of 50% – (it could be as little as 50 pence a week….just think of the administraion costs on that!) – for the surviving spouse or partner. But what if, as Webb would have us believe, many of those spouses have no personal UK rights and, perhaps have not been to the UK? WIth the eligibility to claim a pension based on the contribution record of one’s deceased partner being scrapped the thought of handing over GBP 890 to the government looks more like a gift to a cash collection scheme than a sound investment…….buyer beware was never more appropriate.

  4. George Morley 1st May 2014 at 3:07 pm

    To pick up on what Andy Robertson-Fox said “There does not seem to be any information being given from the DWP but as frozen pensioners know only too well the lack of information from that department is not unsual. It seems to me that one could be topping up only to find that one loses out. ”
    As a frozen pensioner myself I can can support his argument and that of Jane Davies and would hope that those who are dealing with pensions will and have been asking the very question as to why and how the government justifies the withholding of indexing to some state pensioners but not others dependent on their location. How is a future pensioner to know his/her circumstances when reaching retirement and where that may be in the world ? Of course we do not know. Working abroad and family moving away is not uncommon in today’s world and this draconian policy has no place in the 21st century.
    I would hope that those directly involved in the pension industry will and do put pointed questions to the Pensions Minister and MP’s in the government to get this unnecessary discriminative policy removed to make the whole state pension system more simple for everyone and certainly bring fairness and equality to what should already be the maxim today. It will not go away by ignoring it as that has been happening for over 60 yrs.

  5. Danbury Bloch.
    When I wrote to the DWP for a pension forecast in 2004, I knew that by emigrating to Canada I wouldn’t get the full UK state pension. The reply from the DWP said I’d have just 57% of the full state pension – £68 a week, which included an ‘additional’ pension of £17.
    I was also told that if I paid £4,800 in “voluntary contributions” it would increase my pension to £110 a week (previously £68) which would now include an additional pension of £20 (previously £17).
    What they DIDN’T tell me was that that I’d never get the annual increase – that 96% of all UK state pensioners get – for as long as I live, and (as has been mentioned by others here) my pension would be unjustly, unfairly, and cruelly frozen!
    I’m no mathematician, so perhaps you could do the sums for me and compare what I was offered to what’s being offered by Steve Webb now. It doesn’t look like much of a deal to me!! Having paid for a pension, and then having it unfairly frozen is no good deal either!!
    The point about the probability of the “top up” not being indexed for ‘frozen’ expats has been raised before, and now it’s been raised again by contributors here.
    How about it Danby, can you answer the questions that have asked here??

  6. If I may I will butt in:

    Jeff – you can’t have your Chips and eat them. Presumably you are going (have gone) to Canada for a better life. (And who can blame you!) No doubt there are many advantages of you doing so. Emigration is a big step and involves considerable expense – so no doubt as one engaged with financial matters you crunched the numbers.

    It is quite logical really that you don’t get indexation. When you get your State Pension here in the UK you pay tax on it. You also pay tax on everything you spend (VAT) and you pay Council Tax and Water Rates and all the other costs involved when you live in an insolvent country.

    Presumably you will pay less tax in Canada and the UK Treasury – who allowed the tax relief on contributions – will be unable to claw anything back from you. (Unless of course you would be claiming additional benefits).
    So in the light of the foregoing I would have thought it is pretty generous of them to pay you a pension at all. What they could have done perhaps is just repaid your NI contributions that you made during your working life – less the amount attributed to the NHS.

    Of course emigration within the EU is a different matter, but if we exit then maybe the same will apply. Then there will be howls from the ex pat community!

    Oh and BTW it’s DANBY – No one has buried him yet!

  7. Kenneth Thompson 2nd May 2014 at 10:26 am

    Danby Bloch,

    As everyone is talking about not receiving cost of living increases because they live in a country where the DWP don’t pay increases I would like to bring to your attention that when the new single-tier pension starts anyone who was contracted out of SERPS prior to 6 April 1997 and reaches state pension on and after 6 April 2016 will not receive any increases on part of their occupational pension known as GMP which is normally paid by the DWP. At the moment pre 1988 GMP is paid by the DWP in full and post 88 GMP anything in excess of 3% is paid by the DWP. The occupational pension scheme is responsible for paying the firs 3% of post 1988 GMP increases.

    I have been in contact with Steve Webb the Pensions Minister and the DWP regarding this and they have confirmed to me that GMP increases will no longer be paid by DWP for people reaching state pension age after 5 April 2016. He and the DWP also go on to state that the DWP don’t and have not ever paid GMP increases which was a great surprise to me as their own booklet NP46 “A guide to state pensions dated 2005 stated they did.

    If any one who has ever worked for an organisation that was contracted out of SERPS studies their pension booklet they will see that what I have said above is true.

    As far as I can see every Government Department other than DWP state that DWP pay all or part of a persons GMP increases. The potential loss for a high earning woman is about £23,000 and man £17,000.

    The subject of GMP increases was not mentioned in any of the Government publications, green or white papers or Work and Pension Committee meetings regarding single-tier pension. and as far as I can see not been mentioned by any articles in the press other than by Neasa Macerlean in The Independent dated 10 January 2014 “Losers who never knew in the switch to single-tier pensions”

    This could be the next big scandal because the Government don’t seem to want anyone know that GMP increases will no longer be paid by DWP. It will effect millions of people.

    I my self am on state pension and have been told that my increases will continue to be be paid as now.

  8. George Morley 2nd May 2014 at 3:12 pm

    Harry Katz, You fail to understand the problem and take the view of the DWP so I can only assume that you are a plant by them to support the freezing of some pensions.
    Tell me why do the DWP pay the increases to pensioners in the countries within the EU where the pensioners do noT spend their money in the UK either ? Oh and you failed to say why they pay the indexed pension to those living in the USA, Macedonia, Israel, the Philippines and many other places around the world like the US Virgin Islands but not the British Virgin Islands and not even the Falkland Islands.
    The pensioners in those countries where they get the indexing do not spend their money in the UK either do they ?.
    I would add that every pensioner is possibly a UK tax payer should their income be sufficient so every one is assessable for tax and have to pay it to the UK with exceptions where there is a tax agreement with the UK.
    In any case, the pension is your money to spend as you wish and if you want to holiday in Jamaica or Iceland that is up to you not the DWP. So your argument is totally flawed and unworthy of anyone who has a sense of right and wrong including the politicians who if they gave an honest answer cannot dispute the discrimination of this bad long standing policy.
    Why is the UK the only country to do this in the OECD and all other countries with a similar pension system ? That must tell you something !

  9. George

    As far as the EU is concerned I wouldn’t have thought I had to explain that. But as far as UK pensions in general are concerned – you have no argument from me. The UK pension as a proportion of average earnings is the lowest in the OECD – bar Mexico and will be THE lowest once we have the level pension.

    Allay this to the fact that overall we are also the highest taxed. You will notice that I said “.. when you live in an insolvent country.” In which case what do you expect? The solution is not to leave it until you retire to leave, but do so as early as possible if you are so minded.

    Perhaps too it might be a good idea for potential retirees to do a bit of research before they emigrate if indexation is so important to them.

  10. Andy Robertson-Fox 2nd May 2014 at 4:43 pm

    Harry you still don’t seem to have understood the problem.

    ThIs Is about discrimination pure and simple – there is no “perhaps a solution” other than abolishing the iniquitous policy . These pensioners, when working, contributed to the same NI Scheme on the same terms and conditions as everyone else. Now, in retirement, they are being denied the right to claim from the same NI Fund on the same term and conditions as everyone else.

    The country of residence is totally and utterly irrelevant. What other countries may or may not do in relation to pensions is their pension policy and is a matter between them and the expat pensioner; it has nothing to do with the UK government whatsoever.

    The solution is not as you suggest “and not to leave it until you retire to leave but to do so as early as possible if you are so minded”. The reason and timing for emigrating are personal decisions and it is not for the UK government to dscriminate but to treat pensioners equally, fairly and justly.

    Whether one does a bit of research before emigration is again not relevant; there should not be any need as there should not be any variation in the level of payment and indexing based on whether one lives, for example, in Niagara Canada or across the narrow stretch of water in Niagara USA..

    This is the discrimination that half a million frozen pensioners are fighting against and for the right of parity not only with their UK counterparts but also the 660,000 pensioners who also live abroad and get uprating.

  11. George Morley 2nd May 2014 at 5:46 pm

    But Harry, You have’nt addressed the discriminative aspect of this policy.
    Why should a person seek employment abroad in another country before retiring ? You mean to get a pension from that country I assume ?
    Why should anyone have to do that ?
    Everyone has to pay the contributions to the ring fenced National Insurance Fund you will agree and they ball pay under the same terms from day 1. On retiring, all pensioners should get the indexed pension from that fund without exception.
    That is fair, right and democratic.
    The Fund has a surplus ( over and above the current requirement) of about 18 -20 Billion today and ALL pension demands should be met from it without exception. The very fact that some get it and others do not is discrimination and neither you or Mr Webb can change that without removing the regulation 3 that imposes the current freezing and also removing clause 20 from the new Pensions Bill which will impose that same policy on future pensioners.
    There is no place for this in a free and democratic world.
    For myself I was a member of the armed forces and spend many years abroad doing what the politicians would have me do. For reasons of my own, I moved with my wife to Canada where there were family members established who were born there. Why should we be penalised by joining family in a Commonwealth country where there is an agreement recently signed by the Queen that says that “We are implacably opposed to discrimination of any kind ” while my cousin in the USA gets the indexing but we do not.?
    You cannot defend the indefensible unless you condone discrimination.
    Would a private Pension Provider be able to do this ?

  12. Gerry Manders 3rd May 2014 at 2:34 am

    To Harry Katz. Of course you may butt in – free speech (until the moderator steps in) right?

    To clear a few points…….

    I emigrated to Canada in 1980 as a skilled tradesman (machine builder) and I ‘crunched the numbers’ as best I could, but I had to rely the DWP information for guidance on state pension matters. At the time it was the only pension I had!
    That guidance emphatically did not mention that my future partial UK state pension would be frozen dependant on where I chose to live in retirement.

    I’m now retired, and receive my frozen partial UK state pension in Canada, but it is accessible for UK tax, and I have a UK tax code to prove it. However, I pay Canadian tax on my worldwide income – which of course includes my UK state pension. A dual tax agreement, as George Morley mentioned, is in place between Canada and UK, so the tax I pay at the UK source is reduced. Please note the word ‘agreement’.

    As far as your reasons why I shouldn’t get indexation, you seem to favour not paying a state pension to any UK citizen overseas. George Morley and Andy Robertson-Fox have already answered you on that so I won’t add to his very correct words – except to say that by hitting all expats with Draconian measures that you seem to agree with, that you are also severely restricting EVERY UK resident, whether they are considering moving abroad – or not!

    Harry, when the government legislate against expats, then it must be obvious to you that in doing so, they also affect the UK population just as much, by restricting their choice of country of residence. So much for freedom of movement. Do you think the UK population would go for that??

    On the same topic, have you read Clause 20 of the new Pension Bill? It might be right up your street!”

  13. This is all rather off Danby’s point.

    The purchasing of extra pension by UK resident and domiciled citizens is a very good deal and I shall certainly avail myself of the maximum – in addition to the 10.8% compound annual uplift I receive for deferring my State Pension.

    Just as relevant I think is the fact that I don’t have to rely on this as my only means of retirement income. Perhaps those who are feeling sore at the loss of indexation in their jurisdiction might have benefited from some good independent financial advice in earlier years, thereby making the pain of the loss of indexation less keenly felt today.

  14. George Morley 6th May 2014 at 3:57 pm

    Well Harry , It would have been nice if the government had actually told people about it which they will now say but it’s on the website. We are fighting for what is right and just and doing it for those thousands who were led astray by a dishonest string of politicians over the years. You may not remember the exodus of many people who went to Australia encouraged by the government.a few decades ago and this was never mentioned. Now many of those are receiving less than £20 or even £10 per week and are reliant on family and whatever the government provide which comes from the Australian taxpayer, similarly this is happening in Canada. Steve Webb seems to think that this is ok and virtually boasts about it. Of course it is easy for you to say that they should have made better provision for themselves but there was no real problem of inflation then and it was’nt considered. I have a service pension which makes a difference for me and that pension is indexed as all pensions should be. There is no honest answer that can support this freezing policy.
    This may not have been Danby’s argument but it is very relevant to those who are affected now and those that will also be affected by the new Pensions Bill clause20 – tomorrows pensioners – who wish to join family abroad but will have to make a decision whether to go and perhaps be a liability to their family or to stay and be a liability to the government with the rising cost of prescriptions and healthcare which is the very argument that they are apparently blind to. Estimated gain to government is about £2,500 per year which is after taking into consideration the uprating as I understand it.
    We need all of those concerned with pensions to be vocal about this issue and get pension parity worldwide. Hence the comments being raised here and elsewhere.

  15. George

    Sorry but I cant start crying crocodile tears.

    In the grown up world we all know that Governments are dishonest – they always have been. You will see from my last post and Danby’s article that there are certain advantages – if you keep up to date and are still in the UK.

    No inflation a few decades ago – who are you kidding? In 1990 RPI was 10.9% in the 1970 under Wilson it was ballistic. It seems you have a convenient memory. If people went out on the assisted passages they must have done so a good while ago. Then they probably worked in these countries for a while and are probably entitled to their State Pensions – and as I said again – if you decide just to rely on the State (any State) then you are probably not going to be very happy.

    Anyway as I said this is a red herring and way off the point of the article.

  16. Andy Robertson-Fox 6th May 2014 at 6:31 pm

    Harry,

    I think if you go back through the threads to the very first comment from Jane Davies you will see that the point she raised about how these top up proposals affected the frozen pensioner are more then valid and relevent to the article. The subsequent postings have been a natural progression and typical of many a blog.

    Red Herring it most certainly is not.

    That the scheme may have some attraction for you is a personal matter but it is not necessarily ideal for all UK residents and citizens – the single person and those in poor health for example…and probably, too, the potential frozen pensioner.

    You also seem to think that if the pensioner is getting a pension from the country to which they emigrated then that is the solution. It is not – not all countries subsidise the UK government in relation to the expat pensioners, anyway, but whether they do and whether the individual knew before they left the UK that their pension would be frozen or not does not create any justification for the discriminative frozen pension policy..or the implications of that policy on this scheme.

    These pensioners met the same conditions when working as everyone else but are denied being able to withdraw from the fund on the same conditions as everyone else in retirement; discrimination against some of the most vulnerable in our society which your comments tend to suggest you condone.

    Are they going to be victims yet again if they subscribe to this scheme?….the article does not say…nor does the DWP and neither have you.

  17. My original question has not resulted in an answer as it would seem nobody seems to know what would happen if having handed over a lump of hard earned dosh what would happen if one retires overseas. I am guessing here, but as usual Webb has not seemed fit to acknowledge the permanent elephant in his room, the frozen 4%. He thinks if he ignores this elephant it will disappear…well here is some breaking news for him……it won’t! To uprate annually the majority of overseas retirees who are entitled to a state pension but to freeze the minority is nothing but blatant discrimination and if as has been suggested here, one should find out about this before moving does not make an injustice just! I would suggest also that the majority of retirees who move to Canada, Australia etc do so to join their children and grandchildren who have established their lives there so it’s a fait accompli. This government a year ago joined her Majesty the Queen is signing the new Commonwealth Charter which states therein that the commonwealth countries are “opposed to all forms of discrimination” and yet I believe the UK is the only Commonwealth country to treat it’s seniors in this disgraceful way. Complete hypocrisy. Another aspect of this downright discrimination affects many of those from the West Indies who came to Britain in the 50’s to help rebuild the country after the war and who now want to return to their homeland on retirement only to find their state pension would be frozen if they did so. It doesn’t matter which excuses some politicians use to try to justify this outrageous scandal because there are none and they resort to lies and bluster. As the saying goes….you can put lipstick on a pig…but it’s still a pig!

  18. Philip Milton 7th May 2014 at 2:31 pm

    But Danby, really it is not. The return doesn’t entice me and so many forget the total loss of the capital invested too. To suggest not advising people to ‘do it’ is negligent is a tad rich!

    A balanced portfolio of equities and bonds will do me fine thank you – similar potential qualities and I keep my capital and over time the capital values will escalate too. The risks of popping-off early and forgoing all that capital sitting with the Government are not ones to worry over either.

    Index-linking? Real assets from companies which have to survive also have to keep-up with inflation so comparable economic arguments follow through to a balanced portfolio, even if there is volatility along the way but that’s why you should always be absolutely balanced.

  19. Sascha Klauß 7th May 2014 at 2:50 pm

    It’s rather ironic that Harry, a long-standing and relevant contributor to these blogs, is being accused of being a plant for the DWP, by what is clearly a lobby group which monitors the Internet for blogs and articles related to the State Pension, and then organise the creation of a large number of single-purpose accounts to complain about the expat indexation issue, whether or not it is directly relevant to the blog.

    It happens on every article Money Marketing posts about the State Pension – and also on mainstream newspaper websites. Once you have seen a few they are easy to spot. A cursory check of the four accounts above indicates that they – if the plural pronoun is actually appropriate in this regard – have not commented on any other subject or shown any sign of being interested in the UK financial advice industry.

    I have no great feelings about the actual issue. It’s merely that, like Mario Balotelli, I suffer from an allergy to astroturfing. If it’s supposed to influence popular opinion in favour of giving all expats index-linking for life then it’s certainly not working on me.

    If Money Marketing do actually read these posts before approving them, I would ask them to consider whether allowing this organisation to post is actually constructive, as it drowns out any possible debate relevant to the actual article.

  20. “With government backing and full indexation, it is a low-risk investment.”

    Hmmmm………..a low risk investment…………..based on a political promise………interesting…….

  21. Sascha – Appreciated. Thank you.

    Me work for the DSS – Brrrrr!!

  22. Andy Robertson-Fox 7th May 2014 at 4:05 pm

    “It happens on every article Money Marketing posts about the State Pension and also on mainstream newspaper websites.”

    The reason for this is obvious, the article is about State Pensions.

    For some people their State Pension is frozen and concern not only about the implications such proposals as discussed in these articles have for them but in the course of which it is also frequently necessary to remind readers of the iniquitous policy itself. This is particularly important when ignorance of the discrimination is exhibited by other contributors in their comments.

    I shall most certainly continue to identify articles which are relevant and comment upon them – having never met and, judging by the georgaphical references they have made in threads, living half a world away from them I will leave it to them to decide what they will and wll not comment on…as happens now.

    Many of the threads on which I comment are as a result of reference to the Facebook page of The International Consortium of British Pensioners….well worth a visit.

    I usually comment under my own name or use “RobtheFox”.

    I would suggest. Sascha KlauS, that in future when you see either name you make a decision…ignore the comment and pass on or read it and, who knows, actually develop a feeling of abhorrance for the discrimination being conducted against just 4% of of the most vulnerable of UK citizenship…Old Age Pensioners.
    From my own point of view I see litle value in commenting on other articles in möoney Marketing or any other stream if my knowledge on that subject is limThe frozen pension policy is a fact is a very good reason why the frozen pension policy

  23. George Morley 7th May 2014 at 4:22 pm

    I would ask Sascha Klauß if he knew about the frozen pension issue before I and others brought the subject up ? From so many articles about pensions and the state pension in particular both here obviously and in the press there are many many people who are oblivious to this discriminative policy by the DWP.. So I am educating those people along with others of the same mind as to the true situation in respect of the ex-patriot pensioner. The ignorance is very common it seems in the UK and as this can affect the future pensioners then it is not only important for them to get justice for their future as it is to raise the profile of this discrimination amongst the people involved with pensions who could make a difference to the attitude of the politicians who are responsible. My comment is not stopping others from making their views known whatever they may be. You could agree with the denial of the indexing for some (4% of pensioners worldwide) but I would doubt that and am not suggesting that you do.. We need you and others like you to know the truth and spread the word for the benefit of future pensioners and hopefully for ourselves of course when the government come into line with the rest of the world where similar pension systems are found.

  24. Andy Robertson-Fox 7th May 2014 at 4:52 pm

    Sorry – the last paragragh should have read ” From my own point of view I see little value in commenting on other articles in Money Marketing or any other stream if it does not interest me or my knowledge on the subject in question is limited or even non existant…so I don’t.” Apologies again.

  25. Sascha KlauS, until you are a minority who suffer discrimination you have no idea about the anger this generates. The DWP have kept this grubby little secret under wraps for decades and it is thanks to those who refuse to suffer in silence that this disgraceful treatment of vulnerable seniors is now ‘out there’. Why should we not comment and ask questions on articles concerning pensions? The frozen issue is a very important one and it will not go away until the UK government does the right thing, so if you are tired of reading comments about this injustice you are not forced to read them. The 4% who are victims of this outrage have every right to protest and will continue to do so until this blatant discrimination ends.

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