General Election Series: We want a world where everyone in later life has enough money

Photo credit: Philip Taylor (Flickr Creative Commons)

Photo credit: Philip Taylor (Flickr Creative Commons)

This week’s blog from our General Election Series looks at why ensuring that everyone in later life has enough money is a key part of our ambition for the next Parliament.

While Age UK celebrates the fact that being older is no longer synonymous with being poor, sadly this is still the reality for too many. That is why ensuring that people have enough money is a key part of Age UK’s ambition for the next Parliament and the first of our blogs looking at our five priorities.

There are still 1.6 million older people living in poverty and many others living just above the poverty line. We know this can’t be changed overnight but we believe all politicians should commit to at least halving the numbers in poverty by the end of the next Parliament.

We have highlighted two ways to help achieve this. Firstly let’s ensure there is a decent State Pension that recognises years of work and caring. The full amount of the new State Pension being introduced on 6 April 2016 will be more than £150 a week and will provide a boost for many low earners and women who have spent many years caring or in part-time low paid work.

But those who reach State Pension before then cannot benefit. We want the new Government to look at how those reaching State Pension age before April 2016 could be brought into the new system if it would improve their pension. Secondly we need to have an ambitious programme to encourage the take-up of benefit entitlements. There are still far too many older people missing out on benefits such as Pension Credit because the systems are too complicated or because they do not have the support they need to claim their rights.

We also want to ensure that those retiring in the future can look forward to a decent income in later life. The new State Pension will provide a clearer foundation for saving, and automatic enrolment is increasing the numbers who are saving into a private pension. But many people are still not saving enough for a decent income in retirement. We would like to see the Government look at how to reform tax relief to provide better incentives to save for those with modest incomes.

And while changes to private pensions in April 2015 will give people more options and flexibility about how they draw on their pension savings, making good choices may not be easy. Age UK believes it is essential that there are good value products for all savers and joined up information and advice at all stages. Wouldn’t it be good if everyone had the offer or a mid-life career review and then access to information and guidance throughout later life to help them make decisions around money, work, care and housing as they age?

On 7 May 2015, we will all vote to choose our future MPs and the next UK Government. It’s vital that once elected our politicians act on the issues that affect older people, today and tomorrow. Ask your Prospective Parliamentary Candidates to become Age Champions

8 responses to “General Election Series: We want a world where everyone in later life has enough money

  1. We want a country where promises made by politicians are kept, where people are able to retire at the age promised to them when they started work, where they will get back some of the contributions they paid in, where they won’t have to work until they drop to get that! A country where those who have earned their rest, get that rest and their rightful state pension to live on. But we have a country where some are cheated of that because they will die before reaching state pension age, because their state pension age has accelerated unfairly and discriminatorily targeting the same women twice, most of who have no choice but to work longer and longer or beg for benefits. This is so very wrong but who cares? Age UK don’t! Is it alright fighting for better state pensions but not fighting for the people whose state pensions are being stolen from them? I don’t think it is! The last pre election promise was that there would be no further state pension age rise before 2016 for men and 2020 for women, the coalition broke that promise, they didn’t give the 10 years required notice either and have ruined thousands of peoples financial plans……Only Labour cared enough to try to stop this injustice. The coalition may have forgotten what misery and worry they have caused these people but they haven’t forgotten and all the parties need to speak out about what they intend to do to right this wrong……please ask them that question Age UK…..we are sick of being ignored, we haven’t gone away defeated and we won’t! We want to know which party will right this wrong!

  2. I agree with Ruth, I have been cheated twice out of my state pension, yes cheated. I have worked since I was 15 all but 2 years when bringing up my children. I am 61 now and tired and weary from having to work because I need to financially. The promise was indeed broken by the Coalition and done very quietly too. I also lost out on my Freedom Pass as that was also moved to pensionable age (64.5 months for me) without a mention. I am just worried I will work until I drop. My grandmother died at 63 having spent all her life working and cleaning. We need a party to be elected that will look at us that have been unfairly treated and do something about it!

  3. What has happened to my comment that I sent last week? Have you rejected it?

  4. I tried to submit my comment again as you hadn’t posted it and it told me that I’d posted a duplicate message. Well in that case, you have had it, so where is it? Are you cherrry picking?

  5. labs and cons between them made this mess.selling every thing that had made in England in the 80’s.debt that followed,we are now over populated queues for hospitals,housing,jobs,schools,doctors,plus all ive for gotten.the problem we have is who is going to get our little sinking island back on float….

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