Jump to content
129 replies to this topic
Posted 2012-01-22 16:41:12
I have been living in Thailand for almost three months, although I have been to Thailand a few times in the past. I am on a UK state pension, and no private pension. I know I can live six months in Thailand and six months in the UK and still get my annual pension increases, if I stay in Thailand over the six months, how will the UK DWP know if I stay more than six months in the year? Do they have the authority to check my passport? I am very angry that if I stay in Thailand permanently, I won't get my annual increase, as I have worked and payed taxes all my life, and I should be able to live anywhere in the world, and still get my pension annual increases.
Posted 2012-01-22 18:15:19
The border agency will know when you leave and re enter. I think your 6 months here and there may not be how the DWP interpret your situation, I think you will find that once they know you are here you annual increases go out of the window, When you get back you can phone and they will re instate whilst you are in the UK.
I dont know how sofisticated their systems are but either a lot people are being dropped in it by tipsters in the UK or they more advanced at spotting than previously thought.
Someone who comes here for 6 months of the year has just had his benefits withdrawn, went round his house at 8am several times to see him, of course he was not there so benefits ended. Have heard of similar stories recently with pensioners losing their increases and heating allowances.
That you paid your taxes etc etc count for nothing with this regulation which is thought to affect about 500,000 people. That you are not a burden on public services in the UK and the amount of money that you saving the country count for nowt, if you go to the Phillipines everything is as it would be in the UK they have the reciprical arrangement, Thailand does not.
If you have already claimed your pension, you could just play dumb and see what happens, if they contact you well you were exploring the possibilty of moving and you looking into it, gaining knowledge, see if its the life for you etc etc.
Hope that helps although its not good news is it and what are you doing about heathcare?
Posted 2012-01-22 18:51:36
The UKBA doesn't make any records of people exiting the UK, they only record entries.
Unless you or a neighbour tell them, and you keep a mailing address in the UK, they will never know where you are or where you went.
If anyone asks, you like staying in the Phillipines as this does not affect your pension payments.
Posted 2012-01-22 19:48:44
Thanks, You have been very helpful. Is there any way the UKBA can see what is on your passport? That would soon tell them you were, or are not in the Philipines. Also, How can UKBA record any entries? If they could, they would know I was in Thailand and not the Philipines.
Posted 2012-01-22 20:07:33
Nong 38. I am too old for health care, I only have my UK State Pension. I don't drink or smoke. so just now it is not hard to live on about 22000 Baht ber month, It is the future I worry about. When you mention the Border Agency, Do you mean the UK or Thai or both? Can the DWP ask to see your passport? What about the Data protection? That is good advice about playing dumb, but if you have already been in Thailand for say two years, it will be stamped on your passport, and you would have to repay the increases for the last two years if they found out.
Posted 2012-01-22 20:48:57
the only way the uk will know what is in your passport, is to look at it, if it is not available, they can not know what is in it.
Posted 2012-01-22 21:49:06
Many UK expat pensioners have tried to avoid the freezing of their pension, but have not been successful, the day will arrive when it comes to light, via the annual tax return, your UK bank, and other matters.
When found out, the overpaid money will be deducted, and there will also be a penalty because the pensioners conduct will regarded as fraudulent, hence the penalty.
Conclusion ... don't try doing it, you will not succeed.
Posted 2012-01-22 22:40:05
The passport is scanned on UK entry, all that comes up on the computer is your personal information.
Where you go is not electronically recorded on your passport, they write nothing down.
If anyone wants to see your passport, sorry it was stolen, just waiting for a replacement.
If DWP wants to know
I live in the Phillipines,
If someone questioned me with 'information'
I always travel via Thailand as I like a weeks holiday either end of my journey.
Get my drift!
Edited by ludditeman, 2012-01-22 22:44:02.
Posted 2012-01-23 01:07:07
The moral rights and wrongs concerning your State Pension,are neither here nor there,its current law only that counts
the fact of the matter is: in order to receive your annual Pension increase requires one,to be permanent resident in the Uk.
This appeal to receive Pension Increases whilst living abroad has already been appealed twice in the European Courts and been turned down,on both occasions except if you live in a European Union Country.
If you are resident in the Uk for 6 months and 6 months in Thailand,then you are not permanently Resident in the Uk,so no ifs or buts,you are not permanently resident in the Uk!
If you decide not to declare the above facts,then you should be aware of the Departments Advertising and Hotline to prevent fraudulent claims............"Its not if we catch you,it's when"
Posted 2012-01-23 03:12:52
The only way that the Pension Service found that I was living in Thailand was that I used my ex wife's address in the UK as a mail drop. She ditched all the adverts and special offers and forwarded the stuff that might be of interest to me. The men from the Ministry eventually told my ex that they were going to stop some of her many allowances, which included a new car every three years that she receives because after suffering from a stroke, she was registered as being disabled, and it appeared to them that she was not living alone and therefore not entitled. She wrote back and said that I wasn't living with her. My pension was stopped immediately and I didn't notice for about 6 months. I sold them a load of BS about travelling around a lot and staying with relatives and kin when I was in the UK for at least six months of every calendar year. They reinstated my pension payment taking the date that I stated that I had taken up permanent residence inThailand to calculate what I should be paid. Nobody asked for any money back. Nobody questioned why they sent pension payments to an off shore account, so at that time at least, they were not all that much on the ball.
Posted 2012-01-23 07:25:06
I don't know why you post such speculative rubbish with researching first !
This from the direct.gov website - it really is quite clear:-
Receiving your State Pension when moving abroad
If you are moving permanently, you will only get yearly increases in your pension if you are in a European Economic Area (EEA) country. You’ll get yearly increases in your pension if you move to a country that has a special agreement with the UK. This special agreement must allow for the annual increase of the UK State Pension. If you spend six months or more each year in the UK, you'll be entitled to your State Pension - with yearly increases - paid in full.
Posted 2012-01-23 08:25:32
As far as healthcare is concerned it seems like you are pay as you go. 22,000 a month possible depends on where you are and lifestyle and how many is that paying for. The DATA protection act does not apply to government departments and you. If the rule is 6 months in and 6 months out maybe you can make that work for you, when I asked at the NHS how I would be affected they told me 3 months was the figure they used. Insurance companies use 3 months as per residency, so dont assume one figure is the same all round. HMRC will consider you a resident as they want your money.Nong 38. I am too old for health care, I only have my UK State Pension. I don't drink or smoke. so just now it is not hard to live on about 22000 Baht ber month, It is the future I worry about. When you mention the Border Agency, Do you mean the UK or Thai or both? Can the DWP ask to see your passport? What about the Data protection? That is good advice about playing dumb, but if you have already been in Thailand for say two years, it will be stamped on your passport, and you would have to repay the increases for the last two years if they found out.
As far as evading the information about where you are living, it seems that one way or another eventually they found out where you are so you have to decide if you are honest with them, galling though that may be to us all. I knew the communication manger for the NHS and on this topic I was told simply dont lie to them, much as I would like to as why should it make any difference where I live?
The last thing I will say is that when I go back to the UK I will claiming my state pension, one of the questions is in the last 12 months have you spent any time abroad? So I will see what they are currently asking at the time but the last thing I want is to have my pension withheld when I still have 7 or 8 months here.
Posted 2012-01-23 09:39:29
Don't the airlines have to notify the UKBA of the passengers on their flights in and out?
Or is that only for travel to / from USA?
Posted 2012-01-23 09:41:56
The burden of proof is on you.
If you have 'lost' your passport you are guilty until you prove otherwise.
Posted 2012-01-23 09:45:05
I'm sure Thailand doesn't inform the UK you are here. Or where you fly to after coming here.
Thailand has connecting flights to many countries where you are entitled to pension increases.
Including, Australia, Phillipines, Canada, Spain, France, etc.
Don't know what MAJIC was on about, you only being entitled to pension increases if you live in the UK.
How could anybody in the UK possibly know if I am staying in my apartment in Angeles City, or in a condo in BK?
Just think about it for a moment!
As for the morality of claiming pension increases.
All the politicans think it's OK to falsify expenses and steal from the state.
Everyone else thinks it's OK to falsify tax returns and falsely claim benefits.
How come we pensioners have to be honest, in the face of a dishonest law to deny us our rightful pensions?
Edited by ludditeman, 2012-01-23 09:49:05.
Posted 2012-01-23 10:01:38
The UKBA don't advise other government agencies of people travels, but I suspect this could well change in the future, or even now on request with good reason - like suspected fraud.
PP, I don't know that airlines have to notify the UKBA of peoples travels, though the UKBA do have a network of Airline Liaison Officers throughout the world, I think they are called the Risk and Liaison Overseas Network now, and whilst their function is to help carriers detect inadequately documented passengers, I believe they do have access to airline passengers manifestos and it's probably possible that, in the days of big brother, they could track movements in and out of the UK, ok it's not their function, but who knows?
Edited by theoldgit, 2012-01-23 10:02:34.
Posted 2012-01-23 10:12:21
Is it worth all the fuss just to get a small annual increase. If inflation averages 2-3% a year then you would get an extra 2-3 GBP on your pension, enough to buy one beer !!! OK over 10-20 years that would mount up but by that time you will be 80+ years old. You would be lucky to be still alive and even if you are too old to be buying beers (or anything else).
Posted 2012-01-23 10:15:48
This years increase is about 10%
UK pension doubles approx every 7 years.
Posted 2012-01-23 10:19:37
Of course they do. Every exchange and documentation is stored electronically these days. And on record.
Posted 2012-01-23 10:20:02
Having been a police officer and worked for several uk government departments I can tell you that this information is not freely shared between departments, in fact there is specific policy in place to stop people 'trawling' for information. Government departments are pretty careful who they release information to including the Police everything needs to be accurately recorded and justified. The UKBA will have an information sharing protocol with the DWP, they would need to apply for any information if they had an active investigation into your claim and they would need to justify the reasons behind it. The technology exists for this information to be shared but unless your Carlos the jackal your not going to suddenly ping up on anyone's computer screen upon entering and leaving the UK.
Personally I think it's a travesty that someone living abroad who is not using the nhs or any other services, should not be entitled to state pension increases. I just don't understand the justification for it, other than penny pinching!
Posted 2012-01-23 10:21:45
It's not about making a fuss to buy an extra beer, it's all about trying to protect your current standard of living. The OP has already said that he doesn't have a private pension, so he's going to see his income eroded by a percentage every year, so yes, I think it's worth all the fuss.
Of course the rule that we in Thailand don't get the yearly increases is bordering on the obscene, that topic has already been done to death. OAP's in the UK are partially protected by the Government because they are scared of the grey vote, we don't matter much here, so I doubt very much if this wrong will be addressed.
Edited by theoldgit, 2012-01-23 10:23:07.
Posted 2012-01-23 10:24:51
I would not want to try and fool the UK Pensions department myself - too much complexity and stress, but I can understand that morally it seems wrong that you would not get an increase because of the lack of an international agreement.
What if you waited till the UK pension had increased enough to make a 6 month trip to UK viable, then go back for 6 months to get the invcrease, then came back to Thailand for another couple of years?
You could use the 6 months for some NHS treatment at the same time to get maximum value from your past Tax and NI contributions and to make the trip worthwhile.
Posted 2012-01-23 10:25:19
I am sure foreign countries dont advise each other about comings and goings, there is alot of work and whats in for them? With 500,000+ UK pensioners currently living abroad and with new chips in passports I do wonder if anyone now coming up to pension age is flagged and watched.Want some new kit for boys in Cheltenham? Now they are top hole on surveilance, they come under the control of HMG, how can we link up and screen some databases? Big brother is getting bigger all the time.
The expenses for people in power, wherever they are countrywise is always open to obuse and regularly is, its big money.
People with big money can pay people to circumvent systems one way or another, its the same type of fraud, but different names.
If we try it, we are not in the big money league, its small time, but we are more likely t be tracked by volume and it looks more effective in results terms.
A sad reflection on a once fair country and society and now how how to deal with the dilemer.
Remember anything is possible to those who dont have to do it.
Posted 2012-01-23 10:27:59
And to add to this post (knowing both police and other 'government' investigative services)
Most people admit to 'wrongdoing' if questioned, then bluster on about their rights, after it's too late.
As my brief always instructed me, 'deny everything, deny you were even there, even if they caught you on the job, nothing to lose by lying'.
Posted 2012-01-23 10:32:59
They cant even catch terrorists and the like from getting in and out of Britain ,so to be honest i do not think "percy the pensioner" has a lot to worry about.
Sponsored by ...