This week we have a blog from Caroline Abrahams, Age UK’s Charity Director.
It’s not every day that three Government Ministers come to our offices but that’s what happened earlier this week.
On Tuesday we were delighted to be able to offer around sixty older people the opportunity to talk to the Prime Minister, David Cameron, the Secretary of State for Work & Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith and the Pensions Minister, Steve Webb.
The event coincided with the publication of the Government’s Taxation of Pensions Bill, which will put into law the huge shake up of the pension system announced by the Chancellor in the Budget earlier this year.
A round table of ‘older’ Age UK staff also had the opportunity to discuss the pension reforms and other big issues for them with the Prime Minister before he joined the larger group of older people, Iain Duncan Smith and Steve Webb, where he briefly outlined the pension changes to come.
Among other things, the Prime Minister said “I think if you’ve worked hard and saved during your life you deserve responsibility in retirement about how you spend the money that you’ve worked so hard for and saved so hard for.” Continue reading
Posted in Government, Income, Money Matters, Public Policy
Tagged Age UK, Age UK blog, Ageing, ageing population, ageing society, David Cameron, David Cameron pensions, general election 2015, older people, pensions
In this guest blog post, Sally Brett, Senior Policy Officer (Equality and Employment Rights) at the TUC, examines the inequality of survivor pensions.
Margaret (not her real name) has been married for over 30 years. She worked part-time for many years but this work was low paid, and only during teaching terms, so she never built up her record of NI contributions.
During periods of unemployment Margaret did not claim benefits (and therefore credits which would have counted towards her NI record) because her husband was working. Margaret gave up work to look after her husband when he became chronically ill to help him remain working for as long as possible.
They felt they could manage without claiming carer’s benefits (which again would have protected her NI record), but when he did eventually have to give up work as his condition worsened they made sure that he claimed incapacity benefit, purely so that his NI contributions—and therefore, they thought, Margaret’s pension—would be protected.
Margaret’s husband will reach pension age under the present system, with a full contribution record, which they were always promised would also cover Margaret. However at 59 Margaret finds that the pension she had relied upon will no longer exist.