21 June 2018
St Helena Government (SHG) has been made aware that a number of individuals with British pensions have had problems receiving their pension payments in recent weeks. This issue has arisen because the UK’s Department of Work & Pensions requires pensioners to periodically reconfirm their contact details and that they are still alive. This is done through a Pension Life Certificate posted from the UK. Unfortunately, due to the timelines for receiving mail on St Helena many pensioners have not been able to return their certificate in time, which has resulted in their pension being suspended. The Department of Work & Pensions is therefore trying to contact affected individuals by phone as a matter of urgency. It is understood that up to 90 pensioners have been affected or will be affected in the coming weeks.
As a short term measure, the International Pensions Team is now allowing affected pensioners to reconfirm their details over the phone. Any pensioner who has noticed that their pension has stopped, or is concerned they will be unable to return their Life Certificate in time, should call the International Pensions Team on tel: +441912187777 (Option 1) as soon as possible. The Call Centre is open Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm UK time.
The Governor’s Office is happy to facilitate pensioners in making these calls. If you would like to call the Pensions Team from the Governor’s Office at the Castle then please contact Linda Glanville to book an appointment via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 22555.
A longer term solution is also being sought to resolve the problems with receiving and returning the Pension Life Certificates so that St Helena’s pensioners are not affected in future.
If any pensioner is experiencing any financial distress and need help, please do contact the Adult Social Care Team on tel: 23172 who will be able to undertake an assessment and if necessary provide some short-term financial support. Alternatively, the Equality & Human Rights Commission can be contacted who are able to provide support.
21 June 2018