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Old 30-07-2016, 11:05   #1
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UK Liveaboard pensioners & the DWP

I had my pension stopped by the UK DWP because they didn't know where I was living. We sold our house, bought a 40ft ketch and sailed the Caribbean for three years. My pension was always paid into my UK bank account every month but was stopped when the people at our old address returned mail the DWP had sent out. We've spent the last three months trying to get them to reinstate it.

One of the complications that has arisen has been that there had been some small increase in my pension since 2013 and I may not have been eligible to receive the rise. This is because the DWP don't pay the increase if your living in a country that is on a list where they don't pay the increase. The list is a bit nonsensical, eg. they'll pay the increase in the USA but not Canada, they'll pay it in Jamaica but not in the Dominican republic. As we have been cruising around the islands in the Caribbean, sometimes we should have got the increase, and at other times not.
We should have contacted them each time we entered a new country so they could calculate my next months pension.
Of course there's no information on the DWP website that pertains to liveaboard cruisers so we we're ignorant of the facts.

The whole saga is written up on my blog if you feel like reading the long tale of woe. The adventures of Picaroon | or a story of two novice sailors seeking adventure before dementia
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Old 30-07-2016, 11:15   #2
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Re: UK Liveaboard pensioners & the DWP

Reality encounters bureaucracy. What fun.

Be glad they didn't have you declared legally dead.
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Old 30-07-2016, 12:00   #3
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Re: UK Liveaboard pensioners & the DWP

Wait till you have to renew your SSR, thats also fun.
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Old 30-07-2016, 13:45   #4
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Re: UK Liveaboard pensioners & the DWP

Being retired and living onboard here in Australia, which by the way disqualifies me from any increases in my UK pension, but at least that pension automatically goes into my bank account here.

Friends of mine cruising the Caribbean a few years ago always had their pension paid...including increases because they used a relatives address for their mail. So officially they were living in UK...living with a sister, brother, parents. That's all you need to set up!


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Old 31-07-2016, 09:05   #5
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Re: UK Liveaboard pensioners & the DWP

You will not receive an increase in your UK pension unless you live in the EEU, Switzerland or Gibraltar. See -

https://www.gov.uk/government/public...ou-live-abroad



































































































































Quote:
Originally Posted by shantycrew View Post
I had my pension stopped by the UK DWP because they didn't know where I was living. We sold our house, bought a 40ft ketch and sailed the Caribbean for three years. My pension was always paid into my UK bank account every month but was stopped when the people at our old address returned mail the DWP had sent out. We've spent the last three months trying to get them to reinstate it.

One of the complications that has arisen has been that there had been some small increase in my pension since 2013 and I may not have been eligible to receive the rise. This is because the DWP don't pay the increase if your living in a country that is on a list where they don't pay the increase. The list is a bit nonsensical, eg. they'll pay the increase in the USA but not Canada, they'll pay it in Jamaica but not in the Dominican republic. As we have been cruising around the islands in the Caribbean, sometimes we should have got the increase, and at other times not.
We should have contacted them each time we entered a new country so they could calculate my next months pension.
Of course there's no information on the DWP website that pertains to liveaboard cruisers so we we're ignorant of the facts.

The whole saga is written up on my blog if you feel like reading the long tale of woe. The adventures of Picaroon | or a story of two novice sailors seeking adventure before dementia
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Old 31-07-2016, 14:10   #6
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Re: UK Liveaboard pensioners & the DWP

In the U.S. one's Social Security benefits do not change according to where one lives. However, getting one's mail is important, and relying on a generous friend or relative to handle that responsibility is not the best means at your disposal. We have had, and still have, a mail service that forwards our mail to wherever we might be. It's quite reasonable, perhaps $150+ a year plus the cost of postage to forward our mail whenever we ask for it. Much more reliable than trusting that one's friend or family is immobile and/or immortal.

The mail service, St. Brendan's Isle, is in Green Cove Springs, Florida; there are other such services in other states. I would think you'd find one in the UK or elsewhere in Europe, too.
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Old 31-07-2016, 15:52   #7
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Re: UK Liveaboard pensioners & the DWP

Always good to have a local mailing address that is active and a mail forwarding service. That way you are always a "resident", whether of the UK or the US. We always maintained a po box rather than a street box for many reasons, one of which was to have secured mail service friends could access. St.B. is a good alternative; but also keep a local po box address; a local bank account, and a local phone number. Fairly easy to do nowadays. Avoids a lot of bureaucratic nonsense. The phone rolls over to our cell phone which goes global.
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Old 31-07-2016, 23:10   #8
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Re: UK Liveaboard pensioners & the DWP

Surely if on a British registered vessel you are technically still in UK.
I believe you must be resident in Uk to have SSR111 but if not resident at slightly more cost you can register SSR1:-
https://www.gov.uk/register-a-boat/the-uk-ship-register
hops this helps but bureaucrats will be bureaucrats.
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Old 01-08-2016, 05:08   #9
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Re: UK Liveaboard pensioners & the DWP

Quote:
Originally Posted by tim_burley View Post
Surely if on a British registered vessel you are technically still in UK.
I believe you must be resident in Uk to have SSR111 but if not resident at slightly more cost you can register SSR1:-
https://www.gov.uk/register-a-boat/the-uk-ship-register
hops this helps but bureaucrats will be bureaucrats.
I am one of those bureaucrats, well civil servant and each week watch 'Yes Minster' to ensure I have the right approach

Part 1 Registration is quite a bit more expensive and if not done during first purchase a real pain to go back and show ownership etc. Our Moody is Part 1 and maintained on the register but only because when we bought her the previous owner had registered her, otherwise I would have gone down the Part 3 route.
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Old 01-08-2016, 05:14   #10
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Re: UK Liveaboard pensioners & the DWP

We did have are mail forwarded to a relative for 12 months, but in the UK you can only get that service for a year. As most of the mail these days is junk mail we thought that would cover us. I talked to friends who were still in the UK to see if they had been contacted by the DWP and all said no they hasn't had any letters. So it's a puzzle as to why they were trying to contact me or perhaps I was caught in a random mail out. Had we known about this kind of thing we would have contacted them and given them my brothers address, which they now have and post any letters to him. I don't think they will post to a post office box number.
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Old 01-08-2016, 10:19   #11
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Re: UK Liveaboard pensioners & the DWP

I hate to admit this but I was a civil servant at DWP, albeit briefly.

DWP only uprates pensions if there is a reciprocal agreement with the country of residence. Whilst there I had a watching brief on a case being taken to the European Court of Human Rights by someone named Carson, contesting DWP's refusal to uprate state pension for claimants living in South Africa. Carson lost.

So forget any land based argument.

The suggestion that if you're living on a UK registered boat you remain resident in the UK seems eminently sensible and worth putting to DWP. If you're lucky, a junior civil servant will accept it and process the uprating. If you're not lucky and it hasn't been put before, you will need patience, determination and a lawyer who fancies taking this pro bono to establish a principle.
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Old 08-08-2016, 06:12   #12
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Re: UK Liveaboard pensioners & the DWP

So after almost four months the pension office have decided that I am alive and kicking and have decided to start paying my pension again. The catch is that they will only pay me the amount that it was worth in 2013 which is when we left England to go cruising. looks like I'm down by about 40 pounds a month. Anyway were waiting to see how this was arrived at, but may take 28 days til that letter arrives. will post here when I find out the details.
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