Category Archives: pensions

Protest rally plan over free bus passes as state pension age changes

A campaign group made up of women adversely affected by changes in the state pension age is set to hold a protest rally this month.

Members of The Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) group will have to wait several years for their pension following the Government’s decision to raise their retirement age to 66 by 2020.

The previous age had been 60, meaning as many as 220,000 women from across the West Midlands have been forced to change their retirement plans as a result of the decision.

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Greater Manchester Women affected by pension changes could benefit from free off peak travel

The move comes after Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, made a commitment in his manifesto to support the women most affected.

The group experiencing the longest delays to their pension are those who were born between December 1953 and November 1954, who will have to wait an extra 18 months before they receive their pension – and were not properly notified of the change following the 2011 Pensions Act.

This accounts for up to 14,000 women across Greater Manchester. In addition women born in both October and November 1953 were amongst the group who received the least notice of the changes and have yet to qualify for their State Pension and so are also being included in the proposals.

Based on research conducted by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), leaders are now set to discuss the introduction of free off peak concessionary travel in Greater Manchester for these women at the next meeting of Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) on 27 October.

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State pension age to go to age 68

Teenagers and those in their twenties can expect to work to age 70 as the state pension age rises to cope with an ageing population and longer lifespans.

There are already a number of age increases planned, but that process is beginning to accelerate.

The Government has just announced that a planned increase to 68, due to happen between 2044 and 2046, will now take place between 2037 and 2039.

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Fred and Ted’s take on the proposed funding change for care of the Elderly.

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.

Fred and Ted’s take on the proposed funding change for care of the Elderly.

Theresa May repeatedly refuses to commit to triple lock for pensioners

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.
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Labour pledging to keep the triple lock on the state pension but the Tories yet to make a commitment

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.’

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Our comment: We try to be non political, but will bring you news affecting pensioners from all political parties.

State pension triple lock to become a key general election issue?

General elction campaign starts with a question about Tory commitment to the pensions triple lock

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.

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Millions may have to wait until age 68 to claim

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.

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Pensioners could lose 30pc of ‘gold plated’ income under plans being considered by Government

30% Pension Loss fear

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.
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Tories could axe flagship pensions triple lock after 2020, Philip Hammond suggests

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.

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30,000 have been UNDERPAID state pension cash

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

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Government drops plans to allow pension annuities to be sold for cash

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.
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