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Altmann: we did enough to warn women

The government did do enough to inform women of the increases in the state pension age, says pensions minister Ros Altmann.

 
Altmann: we did enough to warn women

The government did do enough to inform women of state pension age rises, according to the pensions minister who is set to launch a major review of the future state pension age rises in the next few weeks.

Speaking to Citywire pensions minister Ros Altmann (pictured) revealed she will launch a review into how future state pension age rises should progress in the next few weeks. It could decide the pace of any future changes. 

She said: 'I am really excited about the review of state pension age I am setting upon the next few weeks. We have got the reviewer lined up, which I haven’t finalised yet, but I think he will be brilliant and it will be looking all the issues: the inter-generational aspects, the regional aspects, the social aspects,  the industrial aspects, there are lots of aspects that will feed in.

‘It is a good time now because there are so many changes going on in pensions. It will report early 2017, mid-2017 and will be a major piece of work.'

Since 2010 women’s state pension age had been rising from 60 to 65 to equalise with men. However, many women say they were not properly informed of the changes by the government and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Altmann has faced calls from Lords and MPs to put in place transitional measures or compensation to help women worst affected.

However, she said she asked DWP officials to look into how the changes were communicated and whether her department did enough to inform women their pension age was rising.

She said: 'I have asked the officials to look really carefully at what the DWP] actually did do and what was the situation. In 2004 about three quarters of the women affected did know their state pension age had gone up.  In 2012 only 6% of women didn’t know their pension age wasn’t 60.  So the vast majority of women did know.

‘The government did quite a lot to try and inform them. The government doesn’t go around knocking on everybody’s door or identifying each person saying "I need to tell you about your state pension age”. You write someone a letter about state pensions and we know very often it goes in the bin. That’s not to say I don’t feel sorry for people who didn’t know. I do sympathise with those people who are fighting to retain what they thought they were going to get and I sympathise with how they feel.’

Altmann said the state pension age rises were vital to the funding of the flat-rate state pension, due to start from April 2016 at £155.65 per week. 

'I need to say, the costing of the changes to state pension age were a fundamental part of bringing in the new state pension, and the new state pension will benefit people. Between 70% and 75% of women between when it starts and 2030 will get more under the new state pension than under the old system. Its a carefully put together package where the funding of one bit funds the other bit.'

She said any attempt to compensate those who feel aggrieved by state pension age rises would be incredibly costly to the government.

'You can’t just do a little bit to help. Anything you do even the tiniest thing is hundreds of millions if not billions of pounds we do not have, it is money I do not have.  And on what basis do I argue for it? It is about correcting an inequality [between men and women] that should have been done a long time ago. Anytime you do it someone will be the wrong side of the line.'

Altmann said she was ‘saddened’ by the attitude of campaigners who she says have ‘turned on’ her over the issue of women’s state pension age rises.

Before the bill passed in 2011 the coalition made a last minute amendment, costing an extra £1 billion, delaying rises by six months, with state pension age for men and women reaching 66 by October 2020.

'I feel quite saddened by the attitude of many of those who turn on me when I was the one who stood up for them and helped then and got a major concession.’ she said. 

‘If I had a few billion pounds knocking around would I like to help them? Of course I would there are lots of groups I would like to help.'  

35 comments so far. Why not have your say?

Private Investor

Dec 03, 2015 at 10:17

Women in their 50s who had already had their state pension age raised once, then had it raised again when it was too late to make up the difference by other means. So, after decades of working life, supposedly paying for a pension at age 60, that age is raised by about 4 years and then by a further 2 years. The fact that there is not money available to pay for the original contract is not the fault of the women but because the government runs the state pension as a Ponzi scheme. Any company that did the same thing would see its directors imprisoned for fraud.

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J Thomas

Dec 03, 2015 at 12:13

Splendid news that women now have full equality and can retire and receive their pension at exactly the same age as men.

It was absolutely disgraceful women did not have this equality in the past and a great wrong has been put right.

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Suzie B

Dec 03, 2015 at 16:37

@j Thomas, just a pity we still don't have equality in other areas like pay... and women still form a much higher proportion of low income pensioners.

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winchman

Dec 03, 2015 at 16:44

Quite right Private investor. It wasn't the first age rise that infuriated my wife, it was the second which was too late to mitigate. Looks like Ros Altmann has been captured by the government 'machine'. Better to have your enemies close to you......

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Nick Warren

Dec 03, 2015 at 16:55

Women need to watch this "excited" minster very carefully. The underhand manner in which the Commons vote was pushed through on this formerly doesn't fit with how a parliamentary democracy should operate. There is some serious guilt baggage associated with this. It has been anodynely glossed over in the article. I urge women to do the calculation on the cost of the deferment to them personally. My wife lost £23k. The numbers for women in their mid to late 60's must be horrifying.

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Nick Warren

Dec 03, 2015 at 16:59

Sorry.... I meant mid to late 50's in the last sentence.

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Pat Strong

Dec 03, 2015 at 17:02

What Ros Altmann won't be able to say is that anyone was told about the withdrawal of GMP indexation increase and withdrawal of inherited SERPS. That's because I have masses of documentation including from Ros Altmann that the state never paid GMP increases. And if anyone cares to ask the DWPright now, they will tell you you'll get your inherited SERPS after April, that's because the operating staff haven't even been told. I wonder how they will get out of these? Probably deceit, lies, and whitewash. I urge any reader to check what SERPS you/your partner have accrued, the SERPS will be 'hidden' in the new forecast and the DWP are going to bury your right. And... If you have a defined benefit (final salary scheme) occupational pension, be warned the state promise to share the increases with your scheme on the GMP portion of your pension, WILL NOT be paid if you reach state pension age after April 2016. It's imperative you act to stop the injustice. The DWP won't tell you, but an ordinary retired teacher, a housewife, a grandma will do their job for them.

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David Wright via mobile

Dec 03, 2015 at 17:44

Where had Nick Warren's wife put the £23k that she apparently 'lost'?

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Nobby Jones

Dec 03, 2015 at 18:08

Private investor- Why should women get a state pension five years before men; they would only deserve it if they paid higher national insurance contributions than men, which they never have done. Regarding being notified, they should read their mail, watch tv, or read the papers; it's their responsibility. As for anomalies, a bigger anomaly concerns the new pension which is not being paid to those who've already retired; I've paid 10 years+ more than the 35 years contributions new retirees will now need, yet I and many others will receive less pension. Before anyone tells me to apply for pension credit as I am having to continue working I can't get it.

Suzie B- I'm fed up hearing about women being paid less than men; the millions working in the public sector, in retail, in public transport, in factories etc etc, and I could go on and on, all earn the same; it's only those in highly paid professionals jobs where this is usually the issue. The reason why? check out the latest US figures for the 'Top 40 under 40'; out of all those top entrepreneurs, there is only one woman in that list-nuff said!

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Keith Cobby

Dec 03, 2015 at 18:43

She seems rather pleased that there are so many changes going on in pensions. I think that's the problem.

It is OK for those who are financially aware to absorb these changes but to assume that everyone else has enough information is very complacent.

The fact is it's a mess and the so called 'flat rate' pension will only complicate matters.

As I have posted on numerous occasions why not move to a flat rate pension based only on length of residency and not continually moving goalposts for NI.

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Tony Drew

Dec 03, 2015 at 20:53

Unfortunately, as Altman says, pensions can never be even handed and some people can lose out; I have not had a pension rise for 12 years, effectively reducing my pension by 40%,so I should know!

TonyDrew

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Michael via mobile

Dec 03, 2015 at 21:18

This article further highlights peoples lack of financial awareness. I knew about the pension changes 10 years ago. A friend was written to. How can people be so short sighted as to not think that equality in state pensions would not happen and that state pension ages would not increase still further.

I truly find this staggering. Awful for people genuinely not aware but really more of too many heads in the sand as is usual when it comes to Pensions

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RobtheFox

Dec 03, 2015 at 21:25

Tony Drew - are you a frozen pensioner, someone who found that their pension is denied the annual index linked uprate each year simply because of where you live?

It seems that Keith Cobby is promoting some sort of residency qualification but it is not clear if he means while accruing the qualifying years or simply to receive it. Obviously the latter would be discrimination, consider the furore if a private pension provider thought along those lines!

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Justin Forawurd

Dec 03, 2015 at 22:02

If the DWP communicated as much as what they did in the past to inform people moving abroad that their UK pension might be frozen, then NO they did nowhere near enough!

How on earth are people supposed to manage their lives - and their future pension income, when the holder of their pension fund (the government) keeps moving the goalposts??

Being one who was NEVER told that my pension would be frozen (no raises) for life if I moved to country X, Y, or Z, and whose pension now is frozen, I sympathize entirely with the 50s born women who have not received notifications of changes.

A frozen pension is no joke, and information about it - that in some cases may deter a wrong move - should NEVER be withheld. Unbelievably at one point, printing of government leaflets about the non-uprating of state pensions, was stopped because of printing costs.

It seems the cost of government distributing that vital information, takes precedence over the financial well being of the future pensioner - whether they be a 50s born woman or a frozen pensioner.

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magic beans

Dec 03, 2015 at 22:12

'It will report early 2017, mid-2017 and will be a major piece of work.'

As far as I can see it already is a major piece of work.

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winchman

Dec 03, 2015 at 22:55

Quite right Private investor. It wasn't the first age rise that infuriated my wife, it was the second which was too late to mitigate. Looks like Ros Altmann has been captured by the government 'machine'. Better to have your enemies close to you......

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Justin Forawurd

Dec 04, 2015 at 00:04

@magic beans. Another "Chilcott" you mean????

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George Morley

Dec 04, 2015 at 00:57

As I have said elsewhere, the women do have a complaint and tied in with the Frozen Pension policy they can find themselves hit again but for life.

The differences that occur through trying to make the playing field level is the result of too much tinkering with the pension due to the past governments not being aware of the obvious increasing number of pensioners with an increase in their life expectancy.

Question : Why decrease the number of qualifying years from 44 to 30 then to 35 if financing is the problem ?

With this kind of stupidity there are bound to be problems in my view.

And those that have paid in for the longest time are those being punished most by the Frozen Pension policy which is the one serious issue that should be addressed immediately and not just conveniently overlooked when the annual Benefits (which should read pensions) uprating is passed by the government for the next year for the Dept of Work & Pensions !

Meanwhile the DWP ignore the other obvious fact that a pensioner abroad is cheaper than the one at home and each one saves the UK a lot of money by not receiving the 'benefits' that they would if still resident in the UK, sufficient to pay the frozen pensioner their entitlement.

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Tony Drew

Dec 04, 2015 at 08:03

Robin Fox

My pension is frozen because I retired before 1997. Later retirees in the same scheme get upgraded each year from the same pension pot.

Tony Drew

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magic beans

Dec 04, 2015 at 08:09

Has anyone managed to get a consistent and repeated quote yet on how much they will get under the new pension system?

I dont mean just the level at which it will be paid.

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Pat Strong

Dec 04, 2015 at 08:20

Magic Beans, even if you get a consistent quite, it will not say what is being removed. Like inherited SERPS, the new figure subsumes this, a clever way of avoiding questions about how my husband can now receive it (and vice versa). If you ask DWP ops at Newcastle, they haven't been told otherwise, so check on their sysyem and tell you it will continue. The other thing they won't tell you, is that the GMP increases currently paid with state pension will not be after April 2016. Up to now the DWP have been totally inconsistent about this, with the DWP communication team saying it was never paid. At the work and pensions committee meeting for the public inquiry steve Webb admitted it is currently paid. The comms team gave gone silent! Good luck trying to get an accurate forecast, they don't tell even tell you the truth about losses and withdrawals. Pat

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RobtheFox

Dec 04, 2015 at 08:24

Tony Drew - thank you for that information and from which I deduce it does not relate to the State Retirement Pension which has been frozen in some countries since they became payable world wide in 1956.

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horshamtim

Dec 04, 2015 at 08:41

It always saddens me a bit when people use any article to try and run their particular hobby horses, even where they have nothing to do with the subject in question. The key question here is whether succeeding Governments did enough to advertise and communicate changes they were making to the state pension system in respect of women's retirement ages and the new flat rate from next year.

Despite what Ros Altmann now says (and spot the change since she became a Minister) there have been failings on both counts. The first is more serious as significant numbers were going to lose out. The second has been badly handled in the sense that lots thought they were going to get more (without paying any extra) and now find that they are going to get what they would have got anyway.

The frozen pensions issue is completely different - the loss has not been due to Government action to change the system but that of the pensioners themselves. The information has been there for a long time, but from those I have talked to its usually been the case that they haven't checked before they emigrated and simply made a wrong assumption.

On the basis that the state pension is a benefit paid for out of current taxation (by UK taxpayers) it is difficult to persuade all of us still here that at a time when UK services are being cut that another £500m should be sent overseas every year. Personally I'd give priority to things like stopping old people in the UK dying of hypothermia, but again that's also another story.

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RobtheFox

Dec 04, 2015 at 09:27

horshamtım

There is a marked similarity between the lack of information given to some married women about their pensıons and the plight of the frozen pensioner. Members of the ICBP bitterly complain about the lack of information made available on the issue and I speak from fifteen years experience in dealing with DWP, HMRC and the International Pensions Service both before and after retiring and both before and after emigrating about my NI contributions and fututre pension position. No mention of freezing was made by any government department and, when asked why, the response was "You might change your mind and return to the UK and that would be confusing"! At one time the DWP even stopped producıng informatıon leaflets on the subject.

Of course it is not the pensioners fault it is the ruling that is wrong and whether one knew or not is totally irrelevant; discrimination remains discrimination.

The State Retirement Pension is not a benefit but an earned entitlement by virtue of accruing qualifyıng years during one's working life through making NI contributions.

The pensıon is not paid from current taxation but is paid from the ring fenced NI Fund. It has always been PAYGO system whereby the contributions of the current working generation fund the pensions of the previous one....there is nothing new in that since 1946!

While one appreciates that the UK has economic diffıculty I believe it is unjustifiable to place an additıonal burden on one section of the pensioner community (some 4%) but not the others

As Judge Advocate General, Juliane Kokott has said "It must be realised that budgetary constraints are not justificaiıon for objective discrimination" - an argument upheld in the UK Supreme Court in relation to the entitlement of part time judges to pensions payments on the same terms as their full tıme colleagues.

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horshamtim

Dec 04, 2015 at 09:47

Oh dear - I suspected I might annoy the overseas pension trolls like the RobtheFox.

Of course the SRP is a benefit - the NI fund is no more than an accounting device (and it is not ring fenced), and for much of the time since 1946 the receipts from NI were anyway insufficient and had to be topped up from other general taxation. On current projections we will be back there again soon.

It is also a benefit as what people get back is not related to the amount they have paid in their time - even at the current levels of NI (and they used to be a lot lower) most pensioners would not pay in sufficient to fund the index linked pension they receive.

There is no unlawful discrimination involved - the courts have already confirmed this.

Personally as a better off pensioner I am happy that my taxes (including NI)over the years have helped support the SRP and believe that a decent basic pension for all is an important part of a civilised society. However when I am watching services close and others struggle to cope in the UK sending another £500m+ a year overseas - where it will not benefit the UK and its economy - comes a long way down my list of priorities. In the present climate it would mean yet further cuts in services to people in need in the UK.

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Private Investor

Dec 04, 2015 at 10:08

To RobTheFox

You make some good points but you are wrong about the NI fund. There is no such fund, ring-fenced or otherwise. NI contributions go into the general fund which is used for all government expenditure. Hence NI is a Ponzi scheme. The government promotes the fiction that you are paying for your own pension but then feels free to change the rules frequently and at short notice and the excuse is that the money is not there, which is literally true, but not what contributors had been led to believe.

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RobtheFox

Dec 04, 2015 at 10:55

horshamtim and Private Investor

The NI Fund has a surplus as at 30 November 2015 of £20.65 billion. It is ring fenced and deposited with the DMO. The government can borrow and use it only finance new projects and connected to infrastructure; interest is payable as the surplus remains the "property" of the NI Fund. The Fund has not required support from General taxation for decades.

It is not a benefit but an earned entitlement as I said. This was confirmed by the previous Pensions Minister, Steve Webb, on 28th October 2014. While there is no financial correlation between the amount of the contribution and the amount of the pension the link is the qualifying years; with an ınsufficient number of years there is a reduced entitlement or no entitlement at all. It does, therefore, have to be "paıd" for at the rate imposed by the government of the day..

Somethng does not have to be unlawful to constitute discrimination. The ECHR ruled that freezıng did not breach Uk law but the question of index linking was a matter for parliamentary decısıon and not one for the law courts.

The contribution that retirees living overseas make to the UK economy is around £3,800 net per pensioner per year (not including the income tax that many are liable for) even if over half of those living abroad, some 660,000 are index linked as they are now but the remainder (550,000) also living abroad are not....and remember, too, there is nothing anywhere that says that the pensioner's money - and it belongs to the pensioner not the government or UK taxpayer - has to be spent to the benefit of the UK economy.

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George Morley

Dec 04, 2015 at 15:42

It would seem that some of those commenting here need to do their homework especially if they are advising others.

RobtheFox is right about the state pension and it's financing and the lack of information from the government.

Just ask the many Brits that went to Australia when emigration was promoted years ago with no mention of the effect of doing so on the state pension and the many who continued to pay their contributions while working abroad in what are the frozen countries, many of them doing so for the benefit of UK companies and ultimately the UK Treasury remembering that they were assessable for paying tax to the UK and still are.

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horshamtim

Dec 04, 2015 at 19:20

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

RobtheFox - The only reason I made the initial point I did was because you and others have a habit of fixing on seemingly any financial blog to push the case for uprating certain overseas pensions - even where as in this case it was at best tangential to the actual article being commented on.

As I said for the majority of the 65+ years the NI fund has been rolling in its current format it was topped up with other taxes - its true that it hasn't been recently but it is likely to swing back that way due to the increasing number of pensioners and their increasing life expectancy and the reduction in the ratio of contributing workers.

The NI fund is not legally ring-fenced - the Government of the day can quickly change the policy. Surpluses have been used for lots of other things and the total NI fund does not include all the past surpluses. Apart from other benefits like JSA and ESA, NI funds are also used to part fund the revenue budgets of the NHS. NI is a form of income tax which is only paid by those in work. Many believe it would be fairer and simpler to merge it with Income Tax, - how is it fair that I as a pensioner pay less tax than someone in work earning less than me? Using your language they are also being discriminated against! That this is unlikely to happen is about the politics involved.

SRP is a benefit and forms the single largest element of the Government's Welfare expenditure programmes. With associated other pensioner benefits I am afraid that it consumes the significant majority of all welfare spending in the UK. For political reasons - the old people's vote - this point gets glossed over.

For most pensioners their SRP is subsidised by others. Do the maths - the cash value of an index linked triple locked basic SRP is now over £200k. The triple lock was introduced without being properly costed and without any of the recipients having to pay any extra. Great politics, poor economics. It is not sustainable.

The SRP entitlement is no more and no less than what the current version of the regulations say it is, and as we have seen in recent years these can and do change. So we have gone down from 35 to 30 years contributions and now back up to 35. For many it is also fair to point out that their contribution record contains credited years - e.g. unemployment, illness, bringing up children and certain education in the past - all of which are paid for by others.

I am surprised that anyone bases an argument on the line that a politician has said something so it must be true! So do you believe what Ros Altmann is now saying must also be true?

Your use of the word discrimination suggests you don't understand either the law or English. Discrimination is a neutral word - every time we choose one thing over another we have discriminated for good reasons or for bad - what clothes or food to buy, who to invite to the Xmas party. Yes certain pensioners have been discriminated against, as is every applicant for other benefits who is turned down. It is only a legal issue if the discrimination is based on one of the protected characteristics, such as race or gender. This isn't. It may not be completely fair, but nor are a lot of other things.

The point you have not addressed - because you can't - is exactly why those in the UK should pay extra taxes or have further services cut to pay a certain group of ex pat pensioners more. As I have already said this is hardly likely to be a priority for all of us here given the other pressures on public expenditure, and it certainly isn't one of mine. That this is a source of grievance to you and others is undoubted, but that really is beside the point.

And be careful what you wish for - the "discrimination" would be ended by not uprating the other categories of ex pat pensions - which if we leave the EU could happen! Indeed if push came to shove a future Government could legally decide not to pay any SRP to those not domiciled in the UK.

George Morley - I am not trying to advise anyone. I realise that this is an emotive issue for some but that is not really an excuse for trying to bend an article round to make a different point. There is in my view a world of difference between the Government not properly communicating changes it has implemented as against being expected to advise people of the consequences of their own actions many years down the road - particularly if they were not even asked! It is always sensible to check the facts yourself rather than simply rely on things which other people say that you want to believe are true.

I suspect we are not going to agree on this issue so it is probably time to call a halt to this exchange.

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RobtheFox

Dec 05, 2015 at 11:31

horshamtim

I think if you look back on this thread you find that I initially asked two questions, one of Tony Drew and the other of Keith Cobby. George Morley and Justin Forawurd then pointed out the similarity between not only the publicity shortcomings but also the unfairness of both the married women's pension problem and the frozen pension scandal.

You chose to respond.

I agree we are probably not going to agree on this ıssue but feel you should be aware of some serious errors in your comment.

1. The NI Fund has only needed topping up from general taxation three times in the last 25 years and according to GAD, allowıng for the triple lock and other changes in corporated in the 2014 Pension Act will remain in surplus until at least 2028.

2. The NI Fund is ring fenced and can only be used to meet claims made that fall within its remit.

3. Any surplus is deposited with the DMO. The government may borrow and pay interest on it in order to only finance new projects connected with infrastructure.

4. Unlike other departmental budgets any surplus balance is carried forward from year to year.

5. It is not a tax as it is contributory and although mandatory when working contributions can be made by those, for example, not in work or abroad who wish to protect their pension rights. Unlike outstanding tax it is not obigatory in such cases to do so. You are assessed as a pensioner for Income Tax in the same way as a someone who is in work; you do not pay less as a result of there being no NI obligation.

6 The SRP entitlement is no more or less than what the current version of regulations say it is. Precisely, and it is the contention of frozen pensioners that the regulations need to be changed to produce fairness and equality for all pensioners. Whether the length of qualifying from 44 years to 30 to 35 or that indivdual's contribution record may include credits is immaterial because the same applies across the board to all potential pensioners irrespective of where they may eventually settle.

7. The argument is not based on the utterances of Ros Altmann or any politician but on the unfairness and injustıce of denying index linking to 4% of all pensioners based solely on the country in which they live.

8 I fully understand the definition of discrimination; it does not necessarily have to be a legal issue to comply but, as with the frozen pension can be a moral one.

9. The frozen pensioner is not asking for more but for parity with all other pensioners. The surplus, currently £20.6 billion, could certainly cover the cost of index linking which the DWP place at £580 million and bear in mind that the taxpayer of today will be the pensioner of tomorrow and, no doubt , makıng equally justifiable claims.

10. What is beside the point is not the sense of grievance nor is it the economic situation in the UK because "Budgetary considerations are no justification for objective discrimination" - EJC Judge Advocate General Juliane Kokott and confirmed in the UK Supreme Court rulinig in respect of the upheld pension claim by part time judges to be treated equally with their full time colleagues.

11. Yes, the UK government can stop paying pensions overseas. Even if withdrawal from the EU was on the cards there are several agreements that would have to be scrapped which probably wouldn't go down too well wıth the lıkes of the USA. Wıth the DWP expressing concern at the number of UK ex-pat pensioners returning to the UK, around 2,500 a year and citing the frozen pension policy as the major factor and the fact, too, as shown by the DWP on EDM 767 that the savings to the UK economy are in excess of £2,800 per pensioner per year I think we can safely dismiss that argument.

12. The pension is not a benefıt as was confirmed by former Pensions Miınister, Steve Webb, on 28th October 2014 and who rightly pointed out that it was an earned entitlement, not a welfare payment..

13. The SRP has always been a PAYGO system - the current working generation funding the previous, and now pensioner, generation; nothing new, it has been thus since 1946.

14. I will not speak for George Morley but simply say that whether one knew about freezing or not before emigrating is irrelevant to the argument that the frozen pension policy is unfaır, unjust and does not treat people equally should be abolıshed.

Hope this gives you a better understanding of the issue but as, you say, perhaps it is better to end here.

.

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RobtheFox

Dec 05, 2015 at 16:01

Slight correction to my previous comment. The DWP assess the net savings to the UK economy by retirees emigrating to be £3,800 per pensioner per year and not £2,800. Sorry for any confusion.

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George Morley

Dec 05, 2015 at 16:40

horshamtim

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

And yes we do and will continue to press the case of the Frozen Pensioner.

You obviously have a total misunderstanding of many aspects of it and hopefully will benefit from your new found truths that RobtheFox has kindly inked in.

You are now better informed if dealing with a customer who raises this issue.

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dd

Dec 06, 2015 at 10:12

@Magicbeans, re "a consistent and repeated quote yet on how much they will get under the new pension system?"

I can't get one until NICEO have corrected their record in relation to my NI contributions. Communications are on-going though I must say that in my dealings with this department so far, they have been helpful. I still need the correct conclusion though. Then I can request new forecast.

The point here, is that I would recommend that people obtain and check their own NI record. For example: How could I have been contracted out of SERPS during the years I spent caring for young children between jobs? They say I was!

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Heather Johnson via mobile

Dec 06, 2015 at 11:33

Please tell me where my letter of notification was. Do you really think I would of invested into my husband's business which folded in the recession, if I had known my SPA was going to be delayed 6 years? Having worked for the NHS as a nurse since

1970 I now find when I do get my SPA it will be less because we were opted out!!!!! Having paid NI contributions for 45 years and another 6 years to go I am still paying NI contributions of £74 a month WHY WHY WHY?

ANGER WILL NOT BEGIN TO EXPLAIN WHAT

EMOTIONS . I AM FEELING........

Have you any idea what this generation have been through?

this generation who began working at16 no benefits NO family allowance for first child no student loans no tax credits JUST WORK WORK WORK and

Caring for families just to be shafted at the end. This injustice has to be

addressed .yes have pension age equal for men and women but for goodness make it fair and humane not leaving these women in dire straits.

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Hornet's Nest

Dec 06, 2015 at 12:09

It is without question now that some 1950s women were let down quite badly by the DWPs communication process. A 2004 report expressed a 'cause for concern' and that 'information about the increase in SPA is not reaching the group of individuals who need to be informed the most'. add to this polling by AgeUK as late as 2011 which indicated that 1/5th of women who didn't know about the rises in SP age. - so how Ros Altmann can claim that the Govt did enough I really do not know.

But we are where we are and moving forward you simply cannot take 1950s women in isolation - other age groups and genders need to be considered. It is interesting to read that 'on 5 December 2013, as part of the Autumn Statement, the Chancellor announced that the government believes that future changes should be based on the principle that people should expect to spend up to one third of their adult life receiving State Pension.' on current life expectancy in the UK this should mean that both Men & Women receive at State Pension considerably earlier than they do currently - with a life expectancy of 81.5 years this would equate to 60.33 for a 18+ adult though the get out word 'up to' are used.

So what about WASPI who want 'fair transition state pension arrangements' well I suppose your definition of fair is how objective you are and sometimes being too close to the coal face makes this difficult. There are many women (and men) who are struggling to do manual jobs well into their 60s (this issue has recently been highlighted by a OECD report) and as admitted by Ros Altmann herself there still exists widespread age discrimination from employers - this makes it very difficult for any unemployed person to gain an interview let alone be successful in securing a position. As a result you often find well qualified and experienced man & women with decent CVs doing jobs for which they are overqualified on low wages - is this the right way to treat them ?, absolutely not. But then the more affluent women, who are more likely to have known about the changes to state pension ages, is it right to pay them a state pension at 60 when a man of the same age who lives on average 3 years will have to wait a further 6 years. Without wanting to marginalise groups within WASPI they need to sort out their priorities and be clearer about what their objectives are. I doubt many people would disagree with the provision of a much needed safety net for WASPI women currently suffering financial hardship as they haven't been given adequate time to plan for the future - those who simply want to add another couple of weeks to their trip to the Maldives should in my opinion wait.

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