Category Archives: retirement

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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Half price tickets for Gardeners World Live !

Entry to this event at NEC, Birmingham 16, 17 and 19th June is £25 per adult including pensioners at the gate, but you can get an afternoon ticket useable 1pm to 6pm for only £10 via Groupon For more info:

Click here

£10 for one afternoon ticket to BBC Gardeners’ World Live
When: Thursday 16, Friday 17 and Sunday 19 June, 1pm – 6pm
Where: NEC, Birmingham
Door time: 1pm
Children under five go free
Ticket values include all fees

Feelings mount on the Pension age controversy.

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.

Record number of pensioners using homes as ‘cash machines’ to fund retirement

More pensioners than ever are treating their homes like “cash machines” by releasing equity to bolster income because retirement savings are failing to cover living costs, according to figures published today.

More than 5,400 over-55s used “equity release” to borrow a record £384m against their homes between April and June. This is up 18pc on the preceding three months and 11pc on last year.

Equity release is a loan that is repaid, capital plus interest, when the borrower sells their property, typically upon death or if they move to a care home.

• Creeping threat of ‘silver’ inflation masked by falling living costs

The most common type is a “lifetime mortgage” which allows homeowners to take a portion of their property’s value either as a lump sum or in smaller, regular amounts.

The loans can be hugely expensive because the longer you live, the more interest accumulates, and there are no repayments being made along the way to reduce the outstanding debt. Interest rates are also higher than for traditional home loans, at around 5pc to 7pc.
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£440 penalty for not paying online

Millions of Britons paying more because they choose to buy goods and services on the high street

  • Buying on the high street instead of online is more expensive
  • For some Brits the penalty of buying offline can be £2,040 a year
  • Food has ‘highest penalty’ with an extra £175-a-year for ‘offliners’

Millions of Britons are paying an average of £440 extra a year because they do not use the internet to buy goods and services, a report reveals today.

And for some the ‘offline penalty’ can be as much as £2,040 a year.

The report lays bare the extra cost that companies impose on customers who choose to pay bills by cheque, shop on the high street rather than online, or fail to take advantage of ‘online-only’ tariffs.

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Sign the petition on State Pension issues

Women’s Pension 60. Against Tax Allowance Loss 65 / Pension Loss Widows, Housewives, Poor Workers
During the election campaign politicians acknowledged again that the phasing back of the state pension age was making massive savings in public expenditure


To: Lord Freud Minister for Welfare Reform House of Lords, Lib Dem MP Steve Webb Minister of State for Pensions.
Women’s Pension 60. Against Tax Allowance Loss 65 / Pension Loss Widows, Housewives, Poor Workers

Dear Lord Freud and Mr Steve Webb MP

– Men and women reaching 65 from April 2013 lost higher age related tax allowance.

Immediately bring back state pension age at 60 to women, as permitted by the EU to France, so that women lose not one more pound of money rightfully theirs, lost in UK since 2013.


– All women born on or after 6 April 1953 and
every man born on or after 6 April 1951
as new claimants will be within The Flat Rate (Single Tier) Pension introduced from 6 April 2016.
– Men and Women reaching 80 years of age from April 2016,
– Women no state pension from 2016 – housewives / widows / divorcees,
– men and women less 10 years NI credits / low waged nil NI credits getting nil state pension for life.


Pensioners face a lifetime of paying off debts

One in five are in the red on the day they retire, with debts averaging £31,000. Many still owe hundreds of thousands of pounds on interest-only mortgages, caught between endowments that failed to deliver and lenders demanding repayment. We look at the options for Britain’s indebted pensioners.

Those approaching retirement are hitting the milestone in poor financial shape, with nearly one in five expecting to be in debt on the day they receive their gold carriage clock.

Figures from Prudential released this week show that the average owed by people retiring is more than £31,000, spread over a mixture of credit cards, bank loans, overdrafts and mortgages. Twelve per cent of them do not expect that they will ever clear the debt, while it will eat into the income of others for several years before they pay it off.

The charity StepChange, formerly known as the Consumer Credit Counselling Service, said it had seen a 44pc increase since 2009 in the number of over-sixties contacting it with problems paying their mortgages. “With many older people taking higher levels of debt with them into retirement, this could be the start of a long-term trend,” warned Delroy Corinaldi, a director of StepChange.

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Our comment: What cheering information – life wouldn’t seem the same without a bit of debt to care for !

£144 per week pension – most women and low earners deemed better off

A radical reform of the state pension has been unveiled, under which women, the self-employed and low earners will have their weekly income from the public purse in retirement boosted in a new flat-rate payment worth £144 in today’s money.

The plan to consolidate a plethora of different state pensions and tax credits into the new single rate will be paid for by higher-income earners.

However, by the time today’s schoolchildren retire, more than half will be worse off than they would be on today’s schemes. The plan is also likely to trigger a tussle between public services and the Treasury because the new system will bar public sector workers from opting out of part of their state pension contributions in return for a lower state pension – a system which currently delivers a national insurance rebate from the chancellor to schools, hospitals and other employers worth more than £6bn a year.

The plans – detailed in a white paper announced to parliament by the pensions minister, Steve Webb – were widely welcomed by pensions experts, who said they would encourage more people to save for retirement and boost the success of the government’s recent introduction of auto-enrolment for company pension schemes, under which employees now have to opt out rather than choose to opt in.

Currently the complexity of the system, lack of clarity over how much people will get from the state, and the risk of the state pension being reduced by means-testing are all blamed for deterring half of the workforce from paying into their company pension schemes to top up their income when they retire.

“The message is now very simple: if you want more than £7,500 a year to live on in retirement, you need to start saving,” said Tom McPhail, head of pensions research for investment advisers Hargreaves Lansdown.
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State pension reform: winners and losers as the biggest Ponzi scheme ever unravels

implification of state pensions is good news for low earners and people with interrupted work histories – such as women who gave up work to care for others – but bad news for 6m workers who will pay more National Insurance Contributions (NICs), with higher earners likely to lose the most.

Most workers will find they have to pay more NICs and for longer before receving any benefit under changes long trumpeted by the government as the greatest reform of state pensions in a century but which others will see as a Ponzi scheme unravelling under the strain of politicians’ promises which were never properly funded.

Meanwhile, more than 11m people who have already retired will see no benefit from the change at all – despite many pensioners having paid NICs all their lives. No wonder the government is delaying the introduction of its long-promised plans until after the next General Election.

More than 6m members of pension schemes which are contracted out of the State Second Pension (S2P) – formerly the State Earnings Related Pension Scheme (SERPS) – will see their pay packets shrink by hundreds of pounds a year from 2017. That’s when the government will raise the rate for employees’ NICs by nearly a tenth from 10.6pc of earnings to 12pc.

At the same time, employers’ NICs will jump by nearly a third – from the current rate of 10.4pc to 13.8pc. This will probably prove to be the final nail in the coffin of traditional final salary or defined benefit pensions in the private sector.

However, the government claims that simplification will make it easier for everyone to save for old age and more than 750,000 women in their fifties will receive an extra £468 annually when they retire. When these plans were first floated more than two years ago, the Pensions Policy Institute (PPI) calculated that millions of men will be worse off when pensions are made fairer for women.

According to the PPI, about 5.2m people would be an average of £18 a week worse off because they paid sufficient NICs to have built up bigger benefits under the existing pension system than they are likely to receive under the new flat rate scheme. The PPI’s analysis – commissioned by the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) – suggests that the winners will mostly be women and people who have interrupted work histories; perhaps to care for others or simply through unemployment.

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Number of working pensioners doubles in Devon & Cornwall in a decade.

THE number of working pensioners in Plymouth has doubled in recent years fuelling fears people cannot afford to retire.

Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that there were 2,800 people in the city working after starting to collect their pensions at the end of 2011 – 6.2 per cent of the total elderly population.

This represents a significant hike on the 1,400 recorded in 2004, and the 1,600 (4.1 per cent of the over 65s) in 2010.

Devon has also seen a marked increase in the number of working pensioners over the last decade rising from 9,000 to more than 20,000 (13.4 per cent) last year.

Cornwall recorded a hike over the period 2004-2011, from 6,700 (6.6 per cent) to 12,000 (10.4 per cent last year), although this is down from a high of 14,400 (12.6 per cent) in 2010.

The increases come against a background of economic turmoil, and rising living costs such as food and energy bills. Pensioners have also seen any additional income they receive from their savings plummet due to rock-bottom interest rates.

Financial pressures are among the factors cited by the ONS to account for a rise nationally in more people working past retirement included financial pressures, as well as people living longer and wanting to remain active.

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Number of pensioners doubles over Queen’s reign

The 60 glorious years of the Queen’s reign have seen a dramatic change in the number of pensioners – and how well off they were.

Today there are 13,120 centenarians, compared with just 300 when the Queen came to the throne in 1952. The Queen has sent around 110,000 telegrams and messages to those celebrating their 100th birthdays – including her own mother, presumably.

A baby boy born in 1952 could expect to live to 78 and a girl to 83. A boy born today could expect to live to 91 and a girl to 94.

There are now 5.6 million more pensioners than in 1952, rising from 6.8 million to 12.4 million. The percentage of pensioners in the population has increased by 6% from 14% in 1952, according to figures from the Department for Work and Pensions.

Although the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh continue working, the numbers now working past 65 is 350,000 for women and 540,000 for men. In 1952 there were around 1.5% of women aged 65 or over in the workforce. Today it is 6.5%.
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Only one in three pensioners stop work at retirement age

Fewer than a third of pensioners stopped working when they reached retirement age last year because they could not afford to give up their jobs, new figures show.
The number of people delaying their retirement rose significantly compared to the previous year, when around half of all people stopped working when they reached the state pension age.

Experts said that the sharp increase in the number of people working beyond their retirement age demonstrates how little money people are putting aside for their later years. The increase also show how ongoing economic turmoil is reducing the value of people’s pension pots.

Figures from Mintel, the research company, found that only three in ten pensioners retired when they reached state pension age over the year to February 2012. This is down from 48 per cent of people the previous year.

One in eight people said that they had retired because they could afford to last year, Mintel found.

Joanne Segars, the chief executive of the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF), which represents pension companies, said that many people reach retirement age and realise that they simply can not afford to stop working.
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