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A straw poll.  

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(@old-bloke)
Noble Member VIP Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 1503
15/05/2017 11:19 am  

Every year I receive a form from my private pension administrator asking me to prove I'm still alive with the threat that if I don't return the form duly signed by an independent witness "promptly" my pension will be suspended. This year I received one in April and another one last week (which annoyed me somewhat). They have apologised for sending me the second one this year which was a mistake and explained that these forms are part of the UK National Fraud Initiative.
Now I don't have a problem with any measures undertaken to prevent fraudulent drains on the UK National purse but, with the exception of one person who has had 2 in 12 years, no-one else I have spoken to so far out here has ever had one of these forms.
(The form I receive is such that it's a waste of time if they wanted to stamp out fraud, but that a long story).
What I'm trying to establish amongst the UK pensioners out here before I delve further with my pension administrator is a rough idea of the number of UK pensioners (State, Local Gvt, Military) who get these forms and at what frequency.
I accept that the information I'm trying to establish is of a private nature but I would really appreciate any feedback, by PM if preferred, regarding this. I don't want, nor need, to know anyone's names, addresses or ages and any responses would remain anonymous
If you are willing to assist me I only need to know if you've ever had such a form, and at what frequency, and whether it relates to a State, Local Gvt, Military or private pension.
Many thanks


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(@global-nomad)
Estimable Member VIP Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 154
20/05/2017 1:37 am  

I forgot to say that the form that came with the letter said whoever signed had to have their official stamp thingy - i.e. saying "pharmacy xyz" with their address.

They really need to get up to date. How many businesses actually have stamps these days? I work for a law firm (yes, even if it is outback Australia) and we don't have a stamp.

Besides, if you think about it, will someone who is prepared to claim the pension of a deceased person have even the slightest scruples when it comes to looking up an appropriate signatory, forging their signature and getting a supporting stamp made up, which could only cost a couple of Euros these days? I think not.


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(@global-nomad)
Estimable Member VIP Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 154
20/05/2017 1:50 am  

@Old Bloke
If no stamp is required for your private pension why would you even bother getting someone to sign? Look-up the name of a local doctor and sign on their behalf. Who will ever know? The pension administrator is never going to contact the doctor. He's just ticking a box. What's the worst that could happen? You're still alive and entitled to the pension so it's not like you've engaged in fraudulent activity other than a little creative writing, to save time and money.


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(@x-camone)
Noble Member VIP Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 2146
20/05/2017 8:01 am  

You don't understand what it's like to be British, Global.

The rules can be as silly as you like and we can complain as bitterly as we like about them. But the one thing we mustn't under any circumstances do, is to break them.


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(@old-bloke)
Noble Member VIP Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 1503
20/05/2017 10:25 am  

@Old Bloke
If no stamp is required for your private pension why would you even bother getting someone to sign? Look-up the name of a local doctor and sign on their behalf. Who will ever know? The pension administrator is never going to contact the doctor. He's just ticking a box. What's the worst that could happen? You're still alive and entitled to the pension so it's not like you've engaged in fraudulent activity other than a little creative writing, to save time and money.

XC has hit summed up the reason why we do it. (Besides if I did as you suggest I'd be the person who got caught. If I didn't have bad luck I'd have no luck whatsoever.)
I have spoken to every witness who has signed my forms since they started being sent out in 2012, none of them have ever been contacted. This is part of my annoyance with these forms. If they're not checking with witnesses they're a waste of everyone's time.
If you're going to do something do it right or don't do it at all.


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(@richardhenshall)
Noble Member VIP Member
Joined: 11 years ago
Posts: 1268
21/05/2017 2:13 am  

What you're all forgetting is that it's all about the numbers - statistics and probability. They're looking for dead people, not fraudsters, and IMHO they're more likely to find the former.

If they challenge you with a requirement to sign and have witnessed a life certificate and you respond, you are much less likely to be dead than someone who doesn't respond - especially if they stop paying and you still don't respond.

Whether you're a fraudster or not is not important as nobody (especially in the public sector) wants to admit that they've been defrauded especially by some Antipodean with a John Bull Printing Set and a penchant for forgery. :insert wink here:


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(@old-bloke)
Noble Member VIP Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 1503
21/05/2017 10:27 am  

What you're all forgetting is that it's all about the numbers - statistics and probability. They're looking for dead people, not fraudsters, and IMHO they're more likely to find the former.

True, but because they are relying solely on the vagaries of the postal system of each Country, they seem to be suspending the pensions of more people who are still living than those who are actually deceased.
The DWP say they don't keep a tally of the number of dead pensioners (State pension) this system has identified but there are loads of posts on expat forums throughout the world where living people are reporting losing their pension and the difficulty in getting it re-instated. (Obviously dead pensioners can't use forums).
Granted a lot of those who had their suspension suspended hadn't notified DWP that they had changed their address so never received the form. Something expats need to ensure they do if ever they move house.


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(@global-nomad)
Estimable Member VIP Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 154
23/05/2017 4:40 am  

Did Emmeline Pankhurst shrink from her cause for fear of breaking the law? How about the Manchester Martyrs? Nelson Mandela? Did Ali choose jail time over war as a matter of principle? This is clearly a very emotive issue for you and I would expect therefore that you would be willing to be detained at Her Majesty's pleasure rather than renege on your principles.

At the end of the day, if you believe you have a just cause then do something about it. At the very least, refuse to follow instructions, forge a signature and laugh to yourself when nothing happens. Otherwise it's all so much hot air...the complaining voice in the wilderness. Strike a blow for pensioners everywhere! In years to come there may be a statue in your honour in one of the great squares of Expatia! Imagine yourself in bronze, with a pigeon perched on your head and a Japanese tourist posing for a snapshot in your lap. If that isn't compelling motivation I don't know what is.....


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(@old-bloke)
Noble Member VIP Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 1503
23/05/2017 11:08 am  

Did Emmeline Pankhurst shrink from her cause for fear of breaking the law? How about the Manchester Martyrs? Nelson Mandela? Did Ali choose jail time over war as a matter of principle? This is clearly a very emotive issue for you and I would expect therefore that you would be willing to be detained at Her Majesty's pleasure rather than renege on your principles.

At the end of the day, if you believe you have a just cause then do something about it. At the very least, refuse to follow instructions, forge a signature and laugh to yourself when nothing happens. Otherwise it's all so much hot air...the complaining voice in the wilderness. Strike a blow for pensioners everywhere! In years to come there may be a statue in your honour in one of the great squares of Expatia! Imagine yourself in bronze, with a pigeon perched on your head and a Japanese tourist posing for a snapshot in your lap. If that isn't compelling motivation I don't know what is.....

Your right, I'd forgotten the consequences (and stress) of fighting for what's right. As the problems seem to be mainly with the State pension it doesn't actually affect me at the moment.


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