Proposals effecting pensioners are coming thick & fast from the Tory Manifesto. Our resident pundits Ted & Fred discuss some major issues on using the value of your property to pay.
Fred and Ted’s take on the proposed funding change for care of the Elderly.
Theresa May has repeatedly refused to commit to keeping the state pension’s “triple lock” in the Conservatives’ general election manifesto.
The lock, which Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, confirmed would be retained by his party guarantees that the state pension increases by at least 2.5 per cent annually.
But when asked by Angus Robertson, the SNP leader in Westminster, whether the triple lock would survive post-election, Ms May replied: “I’ve been very clear that under this Government we have seen pensioners benefit as a result of what we’ve done to the basic state pension to the tune of £1,250 a year.
Speaking during the final Prime Minister’s Questions of this Parliament before the general election, Ms May continued: “I am clear under Conservative Government incomes would continue to increase”.
Mr Roberston continued: “I asked the Prime Minister a pretty simple question – it’s a yes or a no and the Prime Minister failed to answer. Pensioners right across this land are right to conclude that this Tory Prime Minister plans to ditch the triple lock on state pensions.
The Scottish National Party (SNP) has accused the Conservatives of doing the ‘bare minimum’ for older people and of ‘shameful’ treatment of pensioners.
In the run up to the general election in June a key battleground is over the state pension, with Labour pledging to keep the triple lock on the state pension but the Tories yet to make a commitment to this.
SNP MP for Ross Skye and Lochaber Ian Blackford has today claimed the Tory Party is u-turning on the triple lock and depriving pensioners of support.
‘The Tories have turned their back on our older people,’ he said.
‘As well as potentially u-turning on the triple lock on the state pension, they have done absolutely nothing to encourage older people to claim the vital financial support they are entitled to. Instead, the Tories are happy to let almost £300 million sit in the Treasury’s coffers rather than try and get extra support to those who need it.’
Our comment: We try to be non political, but will bring you news affecting pensioners from all political parties.
General elction campaign starts with a question about Tory commitment to the pensions triple lock
Theresa May is coming under pressure to spell out her plans for pensions, after failing to commit the Conservatives to preserving the “triple lock” guarantee after the general election.
The Prime Minister dodged a question on pensions at a campaign event where she committed the party to maintaining its controversial promise to spend 0.7% of national income on international aid.
Meanwhile, Chancellor Philip Hammond signalled that he wants the upcoming Tory manifesto to drop the party’s pledge from the 2015 election not to raise income tax, national insurance or VAT over the life of the next Parliament.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-4433242/May-urged-reveal-pensions-plan-dodging-triple-lock-question.html#ixzz4ey9Yb100
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The state pension age could increase to 68 by 2039 – seven years earlier than planned, according to former CBI director general John Cridland, the Government’s independent reviewer of state pension age.
And the triple lock guarantee which sees the State Pension rise by at least 2.5 per cent should be scrapped during the next Parliament.
If the recommendations are taken up, people now in their 40s face their state pension age being pushed back a year meaning more than five million people – around 750,000 people a year for seven years – would be forced to wait longer for the state pension.
Those workers currently in their 30s and younger may eventually face the possibility of drawing their pension at 70.
The state pension age is already due to go up in stages, with a rise to 67 by 2028. The next increase to 68 is not due to happen until between 2044 and 2046.
Pensioners with “defined benefit” pension arrangements could lose up to 30 per cent of their retirement income under controversial new plans being considered by the Government.
A green paper published today by the Department for Work and Pensions suggests that struggling companies could soon be allowed to remove the so-called “gold plating” which protects the value of former workers’ benefits by ensuring their pension incomes rise with inflation.
It is the first time the Department for Work and Pensions has suggested it might allow firms to break the pension promises they have made to staff, without first going through the courts.
More than 11 million workers have final salary pensions and could be affected by the possible overhaul, as pressure mounts on the Government to make them more sustainable.
It comes as the total funding “black hole” in UK final salary pension schemes has for the first time topped £1 trillion, prompting experts to conclude they are too costly to keep going in their current form.
he Government’s flagship triple lock that protects pensioners’ incomes could be scrapped after the next General Election because people are living longer, Phillip Hammond has revealed.
The lock was introduced in 2012 and guarantees that the state pension rises each year by whichever of price inflation, average earnings growth or 2.5 per cent is highest.
The Chancellor yesterday said that the state pension will continue to rise until at least 2020 but suggested that changes may be needed after that to “tackle the challenge of rising longevity”.
It comes after growing fears over “intergenerational fairness” as pensioners have been sheltered from the impact of austerity cuts while working age poverty increases.
THOUSANDS of pensioners are being underpaid their state pensions due to a problem with National Insurance records, the government has admitted.
Flawed IT systems have left 30,000 people with chunks of their pension pot missing.
The Department for Work and Pensions is urging individuals to check their own National Insurance records for mistakes as soon as possible.
Records of National Insurance contributions are stored by HMRC but come from employer’s figures and heavily affect the amount of state pension a person is owed.
Computer errors leaving gaps in the amount of NI paid in a worker’s lifetime means they will receive far less than they are rightfully owed.
A Government spokesman told the Daily Mail: “To give people more control over their NI record, we set up the ‘Check your State Pension’ online service, which allows people to review gaps in their records and provides a forecast of the amount of pension they get.”
Anyone worried about their NI records should sign up for a personal tax account at gov.uk/personal-tax-account.
The Treasury has ripped up plans to let millions of pensioners sell their annuities for cash lump sums, over fears it could lead to them being ripped-off twice by insurers.
The scheme was announced last year as a lifeline to rescue elderly savers from being locked into lifetime annuity deals which pay them derisory annual incomes.
Doubts had been cast over the scheme in recent months following revelations by this newspaper that a number of pension firms had refused to take part.
Regulators had also warned that pensioners could face “rip-off” charges of up to 20 per cent when they tried to cash in their pension.
Last night experts said that although pensioners locked into poor annuity deals would be disappointed by the about-turn, the policy was flawed from the start and the Government was therefore right to scrap it.
A “one-size-fits-all” approach to the state pension with a “universal” age at which all UK workers can retire could be scrapped, says Sky News.
Will you have to work until you’re 75 or older to claim state pension?
It’s one of the options submitted to a review of pension age policy that has been put up for public consultation.
The proposal would mean “those who start work at 16 or who work in manual jobs” could get earlier access to their pension, says the BBC. Varying pension ages could also be set in different parts of the country to reflect significant disparities in life.
John Cridland CBE, the State Pension age independent reviewer, has called on the public and representative bodies to have their say as he publishes an interim report on ensuring the State Pension age remains affordable and fair for all beyond 2028.
Mr Cridland was appointed as the government’s independent reviewer of State Pension age in March and will deliver his final recommendations next year.
John Cridland said:
The future of the State Pension age is a hugely important issue for this country. It must be fair and sustainable, and reflect changes in society. My interim report provides an insight into my developing thinking and poses a number of questions.
Whatever recommendations I decide to make in my final report, they will be underpinned by the importance of effective communications about the State Pension age. People need to be able to plan effectively for their own retirement.
The review continues to gather evidence to inform its recommendations and the views of the public will form a key part of that data. I want to encourage as many people as possible to respond to the consultation and really hope to stimulate wider discussion.
The triple-lock protection for state pensions should be dropped to save billions of pounds for better causes, according to the outgoing pensions minister. The Department for Work and Pensions declined to rule out a review of the “totemic” policy in the coming months.
Under the triple-lock guarantee, pensions have risen every year since 2010 by whichever is the higher figure – the rate of inflation, average earnings or a minimum of 2.5%. This has lifted many pensioners out of poverty, but Baroness Altmann, who left her post as pensions minister this month, said the cost beyond 2020 would be “enormous”.
In an interview with the Observer, she said the billions of pounds of spending it entailed could be better used, following a period in which pensioners have enjoyed swiftly rising living standards relative to the rest of society.
Altmann also revealed that she had privately lobbied David Cameron a year ago to drop the commitment of hiking pensions year-on-year by 2.5% when earnings and price inflation are low, but that the then prime minister had blocked the change on political grounds.
Most of the national newspapers carry stories of the unhappiness of many people with the way in which the pension age is being raised to age 67.
The Daily Telegraph says Women are being “shafted and short-changed” by a decision to accelerate the rate at which the state pension age.
The Sunday Times mentions the case of 2 sisters aged 19 months apart where the elder of the 2 has to wait 4 1/2 years longer than he elder sister.
The Guardian says :
Ministers accused of ‘mis-selling’ during debate over women’s pensions
MPs queued up to criticise government at Westminster Hall meeting to discuss pension-age increases that were described as ‘cruel and heartless’
The independant says Campaigners have claimed a major victory after MPs unanimously voted by 158 to 0 to help women hit by state pension age rises.
Our readers have been expressing their dissatisfaction with the raising the state pension age for a long time. It is no wonder George Osborne likes the changes as it is saving the government a fortune
How much will these changes save?
The proposals in the Pensions Bill are estimated to save £30bn in benefit payments and make a further £8.1bn in tax and National Insurance receipts under the proposed timetable.