The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Frozen British Pensions’ AGM was held on 14 September 2016. (All APPGs are required to hold an AGM.) Some of the points arising from the meeting:
- A research report appeared necessary to put forward the unfreezing case but this was not easy without access to government data. The International Consortium of British Pensioners (ICBP) had in the meantime commissioned an initial scoping exercise from Prederi Research.
- It appears that the Brexit option has thrown open the whole question of frozen pensions, especially for the 400,000 EU resident pensioners. It is not known if pre-existing arrangements with individual countries will be reinstated.
- Government changes, in addition to Brexit, have also disrupted progress following the encouraging Commons debate on the ‘Uprating Regulations’. In particular the responsible minister, Oliver Letwin, a key government ally, had since been succeeded by Richard Harrington whose initial thoughts on the matter were somewhat negative. Similarly the supportive Angela Rayner had been moved from her Labour Pensions spokesperson position.
- The ICBP suggested that discussions on frozen pensions could be included along with those for new trade deals between the UK and frozen pension countries.
The APPG set up a website http://frozenbritishpensions.org/ after the 2015 AGM and this has recorded over 8,000 visits which indicates that it is serving a useful purpose. The next APPG meeting will be held on 15 November 2016. The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and the ‘Chairman and Registered Contact’ is Sir Roger Gale MP.