Tag Archives: pensioners

Pensioners, You never had it so good…

…or so some people in this government want you to think

Everyone needs to ensure they get a good pension at the end of the day. So join Lib Dems Overseas Fringe Event: Frozen Pensions to Lost Pensions at the autumn conference 1pm  on Sunday 27 September to update yourselves on the politics of pensions and campaign to safeguard your future!

For decades the UK state pension lagged seriously behind the growth in average earnings. In 2011 the coalition government introduced a formula to protect pensions against the vagaries of inflation. It introduced a mechanism to guaranteeing that the state pension would rise every year by the highest of the following:

–  The rise in average earnings

–  The rise in the Consumer Price Index

–   Or 2.5%

It was called the Triple Lock and was hailed with great fanfare.

But no-one foresaw the coronavirus and the need to spend billions of pounds to shore up the economy and protect jobs.  Where would money to pay for it come from? One soft target identified is – you guessed it – the Triple Lock. The rationale is that earnings and prices this year could fall, yet pensioners would still get the 2.5%. Then, the following year pensions could surge in line with fast-rising earnings.

But those who think that our pensioners are spoilt are probably unaware of the fact that in 2019 the OECD provided data showing that the UK state pension was the worst in the developed world, paying only 29% of average earnings. By comparison, the Netherlands led the table at 100%. Mexico was closest to the UK at 29.6% while the average across the OECD was 62.9%.

What about occupational pensions?

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 6 Comments

Pensioners and the impact of Covid-19

The global impact of Covid-19 is massive, and even more so for pensioners as the elderly have been singled out as the primary victims of the pandemic, with death rates rising dramatically with age.

There was some bright news for state pension holders in April as the ‘triple lock’ delivered them an increase of 3.9%. But this has been dampened by a ‘think tank’ recommendation for the scrapping of the ‘triple lock’ so that all generations can share in the cost of tackling the pandemic. What it did not acknowledge was that in relation to average wages the British state pension is among the lowest of the 20 developed countries in the OECD.

But there is a sizeable group of over half a million British pensioners living in certain countries abroad whose pensions have been frozen at the level of when they left the UK, whether it was last year, 20 or even 30 years ago. A huge injustice which is now magnified for those living under the threat of Covid-19 and many of whom do not even have access to free medical or care facilities.

I thank Ed Davey for raising this issue with Therese Coffey, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, and asking for an immediate Covid-19 related intervention regarding the 500,000+ British citizens living overseas with frozen state pensions.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

Clegg threat to block any further welfare cuts unless Cameron agrees to tax wealthy pensioners’ benefits

It’s 18 months since Nick Clegg first publicly aired the idea that some universal benefits given to better-off pensioners should be means-tested — an idea that’s found favour with two-thirds of Lib Dem members.

There have always been three problems with the idea.

The first problem is that means-testing is bureaucratic and potentially expensive. However, there is an easy way around that: treat their cash value as income, and tax this income at the appropriate marginal rate, as proposed by CentreForum last year. Pensioners with annual incomes below the personal tax threshold would be wholly unaffected; those …

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 44 Comments

What Lib Dem members think about means-testing pensioner benefits & a freeze on benefits payments

Lib Dem Voice polled our members-only forum before conference to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. More than 550 party members have responded, and we’re publishing the full results.

Two-thirds back means-testing of some wealthy pensioner benefits

LDV asked: Nick Clegg has suggested introducing means-testing so that better-off pensioners would no longer be entitled to receive benefits such as winter fuel payments, free bus passes and television licences. Supporters argue that at a time of financial austerity such benefits for the wealthiest paid by general taxation are unfair. Opponents

Posted in LDV Members poll | Also tagged | 13 Comments

IFS: Pensioners have been sheltered from the brunt of the deficit changes

Speaking on Radio Four’s PM programme yesterday, Carl Emmerson, Deputy Director of the Institute of Fiscal Studies said:

If you look just at yesterday’s announcements, it is clear that pensioners as a group will lose from yesterday’s announcements while other groups will win from what the Chancellor announced…But if you step back and say well actually let’s look at the overall plan to get the deficit down…overall pensioners as a group are suffering less on average than other groups. They’ve been sheltered from the

Posted in News | 15 Comments
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