State pension: Expert discusses possible 'significant increase'
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State pension payments are vital, but what a person actually receives can vary – and there is a marked difference between schemes. The two-tier system means the full basic ‘old’ state pension currently stands at £137.60 per week, while the new state pension is at £179.60 per week. The National Pensioners Convention has argued there is an inherent unfairness in this system, and called for change when speaking to Express.co.uk.
Jan Shortt, General Secretary of the NPC, expressed the group’s frustration with the system as it currently stands.
She said: “It seems ridiculous that the UK, which already has one of the lowest state pensions in the developed world, should discriminate between our oldest pensioners and those who retired more recently.
“Surely all pensioners ought to be treated equally?”
As a result, the NPC is calling upon a new system to be implemented when it comes to the state pension.
A ‘universal state pension’ as posited by the group would apply to all retirees, set at 70 percent of the National Living Wage.
The group has also demanded one single index be used for uprating pensions and all other retail services.
This seems especially relevant given the recent temporary suspension of the Triple Lock mechanism due to fears of inaffordability.
The full new state pension is set to rise from £179.60 to £185.15 per week, while the basic state pension will go from £137.60 to £141.85 per week.
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But for the NPC the rise appears to be galling as the Triple Lock itself has been frozen.
Other issues also present themselves for older people which the Government has been urged to address.
Ms Shortt continued: “It seems the Government is set on targeting our oldest and most vulnerable.
“They are suspending the Triple Lock next April, thus reducing the small annual increase in pensions at a time when inflation and prices are rocketing.
“They have forced the BBC to axe the free TV licence for over 75s.
“The cap on care changes nothing with around 300 pensioners per week having to sell their homes to pay for care.
“The NPC is calling for a change in attitude, thinking and policy on older people.
“Otherwise millions will face misery and hard choices at a time when they are at their most vulnerable.”
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Income for pensioners may be hard hit in the months to come, following data which shows inflation reached 5.1 percent.
This could directly hit the pockets of older people, many of whom are already struggling financially.
A potentially major state pension update was also shared this week, as the Government is set to review the state pension age.
It is to look at the point at which many people become eligible for the state pension, and consider whether the transition to 68 should be brought forward.
Under the review, this could be moved to 2037 to 2039, rather than 2044 to 2046 where it is currently.
Express.co.uk has contacted the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for comment.
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