/ Money

The new state pension – I’m still left with questions

State pension

In April this year the state pension system is changing. It’s designed to be clearer and fairer, yet it has provoked some confusion. Do you know how the new state pension will affect you?

The full new state pension will be £155.65 per week (replacing the current combination of basic state pension and additional state pension) but, in reality, very few people will receive this amount.

The Government has guaranteed that nobody will get less for contributions they’ve already made than they would have done under the old rules. If you retire after 6 April 2016, and your entitlement is more than the new state pension, you’ll still get the higher amount. If you’ve been contracted out at any time during your working life, your pension entitlement will be reduced however, in some cases quite considerably.

If you’ve yet to retire, you can request a pension statement from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) to find out how much you’ve built up so far. This shows how much has been deducted for contracting out, but gives few further details.

In 2016 the DWP will launch a new online service which shows your contributions to date, an estimate of what you can expect at state pension age if you continue to contribute, and personalised information about what you can do to boost your state pension.

My state pension

I applied for my state pension statement last summer, but have to admit it left me with more questions than answers…

I’ve worked for three different companies – Macmillian Publishers for seven years from 1979, the books department of Express Newspapers for 12 years and Which? for nearly 14 years. I’ve also had spells of freelancing.

I was always in final salary pension schemes at work, and was contracted out for some of the time at the Express, but I don’t know exactly when. My statement told me I had 38 qualifying years and gave me an estimate of £144.12 a week. This is less than the full rate of the new state pension but, as the statement said, a deduction had been made because I’d been contracted out at some point.

Reaching state pension age

It’s hard to know what sort of impact contracting in and out across the years will have on my eventual state pension. My statement didn’t tell me the period for which I was contracted out, or how the deduction was calculated. I’ve already clocked up 35 qualifying years but I don’t reach state pension age until I’m 66 (in 2023), so I could be working for seven years under the new system. I honestly don’t know whether my accrued benefits under the old system are higher than under the new one.

Has anyone else requested a statement to see what they might end up with? Will the new system make much difference in the long run, or are the changes less of a big deal than they first appear?

If you’ve already retired, do you feel you’ve missed out? Might you be tempted to pay in extra national insurance (Class 3A) now in order to get more? Does additional state pension give you more than the new pension anyway?

Useful links:

How much will I get under the new state pension?
Use our state pension age calculator

Comments
Guest

Is anybody else furious at having to work longer than age 60? I know I am.

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Guest

It’ll be 68 for me -I guess it’s a good job I enjoy what I do for a living 🙂

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Guest

I think part of the problem, and the cause of much confusion, has been that the new pension scheme has been overlaid on changes that were in hand, as an Equalities policy, to harmonise the qualifying age for a state retirement pension for men and women .

I think this Conversation is most welcome as a lot of existing pensioners also do not know why they will not be getting the new full state pension of £155.65 a week. I just hope the new DWP on-line information service launches – without glitches – in time for the changeover.

Guest
Mike says:
9 January 2016

Will women stop moaning! As a man born in 1949 I didn’t get my state pension until I was 65 .

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Guest

Women have had to face a more sudden increase in pension age than men, which is not good for planning. Pensions for men and women should have been brought in line over a longer period.

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Guest

Many women may also lose out because under the old scheme a spouse or civil partner with an insufficient contribution record could use their partner’s contribution record to claim the state pension. Under the new scheme this will be stopped and eligibility is decided by one’s own contribution record. For wife or widow who has not worked full time it could mean no pension!! The gov’t estimate it will affect over 5% of women. I tried i 2015 to raise this as an issue with Which, the Labour party, the Guardian and the BBC , but no one seems interested. Discrimination or what.

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Guest

grumbler, I believe the state pension that could be claimed was limited as follows :
“If you’re not eligible for a basic State Pension or not getting the full amount, you might be able to qualify or ‘top up’ to £69.50 per week through your spouse’s or civil partner’s National Insurance contributions if:

– you’ve both reached State Pension age
– your spouse or civil partner qualifies for some basic State Pension (even if they haven’t claimed it)
– your spouse or civil partner was born on or after 6 April 1950 (this rule doesn’t apply to you if you’re a woman married to a man, or a woman married to a woman who legally changed their gender after your marriage began)”

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Guest

Malcolm and your point is?
As far as I understand the top up will not be available in future. My impression is that by doing away with it the gov’t can make out the new pension scheme costs less, whereas people who are not eligible for the top up will have to try to claim benefits a different budget.

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Guest

grumbler, I was simply passing on what is said on the govt website in response to your earlier statement.

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Guest

I am absolutely furious about the new State Pension age for women, and the increase in qualifying years. I will retire in 2022 now at age 66 instead of age 60. I had entitlement to a full pension, now I don’t.

There has been wholesale robbery directed totally at women over a very short timescale. I feel cheated by the men and women who represent me in government.

See DWP archive about the 2007 pension act: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121125084459/http:/www.dwp.gov.uk/policy/pensions-reform/the-pensions-act-2007/
Which said roughly that: from 6 April 2010 the number of qualifying years needed to receive a full basic State Pension would be reducing from generally 39 years for women and 44 years for men to 30 years for both men and women.
It’s now 35 years.
If I earned £20,000 a year, I have to work another 5 years, paying about 12% national Insurance, i.e paying out another £12,000.

If I have to work 6 years more, i.e. from age 60 to age 66, I will have lost out on State pension for 6 years. For me, that would have worked out at about £7,000 a year, making a total of about £42,000.

That is a TOTAL LOSS to me in the region of £54,000.

However, this takes no account of the inequality of pay.
The Equal Pay Portal says:
“The gap between men’s and women’s earnings has remained relatively consistent from 1997 to 2015 at around £100…. “
I make that 18 years at £5,200 per year = over £90,000. Over 35 years that amounts to over £180,000.

I introduce the subject of pay inequality, because I for one considered that the lower pension age for women made some small recompense – in my case that would have been 5 years at about £7,000 per year = £35,000.

So as I see it, compared to a man I’ve lost about £215,000 in income due to government failing to tackle pay inequality and at the same time changing women’s pension age.

You can argue that men lost out 5 years worth of pension, the same amount I would have gained by retiring at 60, but the difference in pay still would leave a net gain of £145,000 for men after deducting the £35,000 pension they didn’t get for 5 years.

I started full time work at 15 years old, expected to work 45 years until I was 60. I’ve never claimed state benefits, except if you count using the NHS and other state services.

When are we women going to wake up and do something about the despicable way we are treated by people in power – whether elected or not?

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Guest

The state pension was instigated when life expectancy was probably 15 – 20 years less than it is now. Retirees pensions are paid for by those still in work – a smaller proportion as the years go by. So it is hardly surprising that to manage the finances the pension age has to rise. The only solution – other than taxing more heavily still all those in work – is to make separate provision by saving towards your retirement. Or, of course, joining those privileged employers who offer gold plated final salary pension schemes with early retirement opportunities – mostly in the public services.

In another conversation it has been said that all workers, at whatever level, should be given identical pension opportunities by their employers. That does not mean equal pensions, because your contributions will depend upon your salary. But that tax relief should be at one level and limited to a maximum contribution percentage, employers % contribution should be standardised, and if you require to put more aside you could do that from (taxed) savings invested in any way you wish.

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Most people of my generation started work before they were nineteen so retiring at 60/65 was a full working life. Those in work started paying NI contributions from age eighteen. Longer life-expectancy and the later start-time for full time employment have significantly affected the economics of pension provision so the system could not remain the same – indeed some economists have argued that reform was delayed for political reasons which makes the outcome less acceptable overall.

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Guest

John and Malcolm. I agree with much of what you have both written but I cannot stop myself from feeling a bit out of joint having been of perhaps a naive opinion that part of my NIC was for my pension and back when earning related was introduced it was brought to us that it was to make up for the shortfall
So even back in the middle late 70s our Gov obviously knew about a shortfall so why was more not done and in the following years
It is a bit much though for those of us just coming up to 60 that we are now made to wait a few more years especially for someone who like me worked away and made sure they kept their card up to date in order to have enough contributions to get a proper state pension
My wife if she can make it the whole way will have worked an additional 8 years and paid an additional 8 years that not so long ago was not mentioned in any Gov info
Yes I know that some things are not affordable and we have been over budget for several years and just like a house or business this is not sustainable but it seems a bit of a kick in the teeth for those of us who expected to retire at 60 and 65 respectively and for some of we’ll never make it to the line anyhow so why did I pay toward something I could lay good odds on I’ll never see
Maybe sell the whole show and go give the remainder of my estate to some foreign sunny shore but i like this little wet place to well

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Guest

Deekay – it is not always appreciated that, so far as the basic state pension is concerned, the only thing that makes any difference is the number of contributing years, not the amount paid in. The money paid in each year pays for the pensions of those who are already in retirement; when we become eligible for our pensions the cost is met by those in work at the time. The earnings-related scheme only counted for a small part of the pension payment and is always shown separately on DWP documents even though it is consolidated for payment purposes. That scheme, small and limited in duration though it was, has made a useful difference to many people’s pensions but the small amounts attract derision. It is certainly the case that the earnings-related pension scheme was promoted as a pension booster but few would describe it as such. Another point often overlooked is that National Insurance contributions pay for a lot more than retirement pensions – unemployment, redundancy, sickness and maternity benefits to name a few.

The major difficulty in making sense of pensions at an individual level is that none of us know how long we will live. It can only ever be an insurance scheme under which you will be paid something for so long as you live but you cannot commute it into a larger pension over a shorter period. Some people might have a good idea that their existing medical condition means they might not live long in retirement, so they would be interested in ceasing employment in order to make their remaining lifespan more satisfactory. But it is not possible to bring forward the age of pension commencement and most people do not have the means to stop work prematurely, while they are still reasonably able to enjoy life, and support themselves for a number of years until a [reduced] pension becomes payable. If they are one half of a couple with the other half in a well-paid job it might be possible but this rarely applies.

As the years have gone by state pensions are meeting a diminishing proportion of the costs of living so it is highly recommended for everyone who can afford to do so to build up occupational or private pension provision, or accumulate considerable savings that can be invested for income. Whether it will ever be possible for someone with an average income to reduce their working hours progressively as they approach retirement, stop working a few years before their retirement date in the hope of prolonging their life, use early draw-down of their pension pot or their savings to cover the intervening period before the state pension arrives, and have an acceptable standard of living thereafter is an interesting conjecture, but that’s all it can be because the state is never going to take the risk that people will live longer than their entitlement lasts and then require complete [but unsatisfactory] subsistence at public expense.

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Guest

Thanks John, My story is a long one as most of my stories are. That helped a little. Maybe a case of doing a Maggie and sell the family silver to enable us to have a time together while I can
Don’t get me wrong I’m not about or at least I hope I’m not about to pop my clogs tomorrow but I’m worldly wise enough to know where my problems lead and I always looked forward to a tour
I have the camper and all for it but I’m tied with sickness benefit
I’d like to yell but rules are rules and there would be those who would say that people should not be paid to tour around in a camper
It’s very easy making rules. Its not so easy fitting into the rules sometimes

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Guest

John , surely any gov’t should want pensioners to have enough money to live a reasonable life and certainly cover all basic necessities. As it is pensioners often have to claim benefits just to cover necessities. State pension could be increased until there was no need for benefits for pensioners and that would be a saving on the benefits budget. No political party has been will to properly tackle state pension since 1948, so they all leave to the other lot .

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It is wrong to believe there is less people to contribute to the working force that is why we need a older retirement age, this is what the government and others would like us to believe, in fact the gap is filled by the many foreign workers in the workforce,,, they pay tax.

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Yes Gus-while more people are living longer -government -boo! (we like them to die before reaching pension age ) and so save paying out what they gave into via your pay deductions . What isnt shouted out (well only by one party negatively ) is that the UK population is increasing due in no small part to YOUNG immigrants . IN my day the UK population was approx 55 million -has anybody checked it for 2015 ?? and seen the large increase . These young people contribute to government pensions etc . even the most anti- immigrant politicians are forced to agree including NF . And dont get me wrong I am a strong British supporter .

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Guest

The ONS figures show the following.
The number of people over 65 as a proportion of those of working age has increased:
1984 = 23%
1994 = 25%
2004 = 25%
2014 = 28%
2024 = 33% (projected).
Projections indicate this is likely to increase to 43% by 2044. The pension funding problem will not go away. UK prosperity and thus higher tax revenues would help, of course.

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Guest

Now there,s a strange thing malcolm at= http://www.ons.gov.uk– Fig#2 -Proportion of people at older ages ,UK population mid-1974 onwards the chart shows = 65 years olds up to 85+ = just UNDER -18 % . AS you must know payouts for OAP apply to retiral age not 30/40/50 so that is the actual number of UK population getting OAP,s.= 18 %

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The link doesn’t work For me anyway), duncan, so I don’t know what the figures are based on. I simply quoted ONS figures that show the proportion of those currently of state pension age compared to those who are of working age, many of whom will be supporting them. That seems a valid comparison to me. Not the proportion of the whole population. If you look at those figures they are:
% over 65’s of total population:
1984 = 15%
1994 = 16%
2004 = 16%
2014 = 18%
2024 = 20% (projected).
Possibly where your “just under 18%” came from?

Ideally I’d like to find the comparison with working age people who are not only in employment but also paying tax; that will make the proportion even higher. If our economy improves that will, of course, help. Against that people are likely to continue to have longer life spans.

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Guest

Malcolm -Your right the link doesnt work, but it works when I punched it in on my browser window although I should have added the addition ONS info for the correct page. . If Which had the facilities to allow full reproduction of the large coloured graph then I would have uploaded it as I have it archived and screenshot on my PC. As far as the economy improving thats not the latest info straight from our Chancellor,s mouth ,he say we should be prepared for more “austerity ” -aka – Depression/taking more money from the poor , this coming year , as he takes his cue from the IMF and world Banksters— not it seems the population who voted him in

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duncan, the economy is in better shape than 5 years ago, though, I believe. We are not immune to economies in the rest of the world. I reckon we would be much more likely to meet with doom if we had simply got greater into debt.

I would like to see more effort to build real wealth creators in this country – specifically manufacturing. Over-reliance on the service sector is not healthy. just like an investment portfolio you need a spread of risk. I’d like to buy a UK designed and built car, washing machine, fridge, LED lamp , clothing. I don’t want to ban imports at all, but I would like us to be in a better place than we are now.

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There seems to be a fairly large rise from 84 to recently
I wonder what it was like before 84
Despite the census and our Gov having us on every database in the land there does not appear to be an easy way to get the info one would really need which sends me down the route of asking the question. Are we being fooled
Not so long ago Gov decided it was a good idea to cut the benefits of what many thought or at least with careful wording were supposed to be spongers
Not long after someone had to start a campaign and petition as people were committing suicide due to their benefits being cut. Some indeed were put out of the very small accommodation they had and were homeless
This was worse than sad and every time IDS was ask anything about he waffled
It took a serious amount of pressure to get any forward motion and I’m nt sure the figurers ever were made available
Certainly every time IDS opened his mouth the numbers were loaded and coem hell or high water the answers were not coming out
Now people were genuinely committing suicide and the minister was playing hide and seek and that alarmed me
Eventually sanity kinda won the day although Ozzy near bust a blood vessel unless my eyes deceived me we got our services saved for another day.
Now seeing as this is our pension. As in UK citizen. Worked all our lives or a much as is humanly possible and seeing as we were led to believe we would be getting our pension at 60/65 why can we not have it
Because there is not enough money to pay it
Our NHS is stumbling from pillar to post and unless I’m very wrong it’s being lined up as being too big a burden and will be sold off
Now we have had so many documentaries about the Amazons of our world paying no tax in the UK and equally we have had as much about non Doms not paying tax and even more we have had loads of info about high earners in general not paying tax
Now if it was a case of paying less than they should or cheating and being caught up with but no its about paying zero tax and doing so perfectly legally within the system
Why can we not claw some or better still all of what should be paid and then we can keep our pensions and our NHS
At present I just see multi millionaires accumulating wealth and once our NHS comes up for sale some of that money that you and I should have seen going into our NHS will be used to buy the lot
I love our little land. I even love the rain or torrent as it has became. I live up on the hills so I’m luckier than some and for the most part I want to remain here
At least I can get a drink here. I worked some very arid places and a drink is very useful.
But and there are getting to be too many buts
If I have to wait until I’m 68 as does my wife and she 10 years younger than myself would we be better up sticks and go elsewhere because personally and I am sure I am not alone I am looking at a form of home arrest for the next 20 years until my wife retires.
I really have not much choice do I
I am not well enough to go work much as l liked work. There no greater an example of a workaholic for many miles around but I am no longer fit
I can go abroad, I could put on a stamp as being abroad as best I know if that was any help which I’m beginning to doubt. I did before in my early working life for some reason although the logic of that is beginning to fail me as I was investing in a bucket with no bottom
Even the authorities involved kept hammering at one. If you put on a stamp you’ll not get a pension. Now hows that for leading me on
Pensions should have been better organised than that and I really do believe they originally were meant to be but each and every consecutive Gov simple used up everything they get their hands on
Now I’d be of Tory persuasion. If that’s the right term and we tend to think that we get into power and pay off the debts that the previous Labour Gov accumulated
Thats the rhetoric anyhow a bit like the rhetoric on pensions
But I cannot help but wonder if we had true democracy where we went every few days to our computer and like our bank and pins numbers we voted on the major issues of our country would we perhaps show different type or style of decisions to real time accepted Gov methods
Why I’m thinking this is because Gov get in on promises the quite simply do not keep. Both lots or all three if it please
All sort of promises are made. Items were promised to be ring fenced was a big term for a while to they took the fences away to Calais or somewhere
Our democracy or democracy in general is probably is good as its gets but should we not be seeking better
We really have no choice as our leaders have manipulated the system to the extent that we are not really voting for someone or a policy but we are often voting against the other lot
We or most of us watch the news. Most of us are pretty good at giving off about decisions so we are interested in whats going on but the turn out at the poles is not so good so we are a little apathetic when it comes to that so I’m thinking that many think, there no point. Both lots promise. Both lots break their promises, so what’s the point and I genuinely understand that point of view although personally I vote without fail
Now if we genuinely had more say in that every decision that gov makes we could go in every eve and see tomorrows debates or what would have been tomorrows debates and press a button for yes or no
This latest round of devolution is but another layer of hangers on’s. Whether put councillors or MP into the decision arena matters not what matters is that neither will do what we want. They will tell us what we need
Now i have a fair idea what I need
I have three children all working as is their partners as is my wife as yet
So inn my lifetime I have contributed as has my wife and now my family and the contributions are continuing so you know what my decision would be
Of course the experts will say that it is not possible to have so many campaigns but why would we need a campaign. They are all single item votes. They woud be taking place daily of weekly whatever suited
Surely we do not need what I see as a bunch of ill mannered over paid and often pompous if Ozzy is used as the prime example politicians telling us what we need
Some will say that we are not capable
I would dispute that. We have never been better educated. Indeed if Ozzy’s counting is anything to go by we would have no trouble getting our shopping list a little bitter organised than his
I dont really understand why he hasn’t resigned. Autumn to Xmas and the man has mislaid how many billion is it??????
One has to have contingencies at all times and he has shown that a little problem in the gulf. A terrorist attach in Paris. A few more migrants and a bit of rain has him all a flush. Our police force should not have needed extra money if it were not on its knees and the same for our army. navy and air forces
Anyhow
We have never had nor been so connected to our every day lives in any better way
We have never had so much information available to us
So why do we need told someone else’s version of what we need
We dont need these dudes
These dudes are the ones that make the rules that let so many companies and rich kids off without pays tax
Yes these very politicians we voted for. You’d think to hear them God done it. No they done it
No we dont need them or at the very least not in their current form
There is way too much manipulation of Gov by business for business
It should be gov for the people by the people
I don’t want to sound like a socialist and I don’t want socialism because it is just another bunch of quacks at the top
What I want is democracy
Given a chance many many others might start listening if they had just their little single vote of their choice
The politicians are not going to go for that not a chance but I’m just floating the idea
I’m often out on a limb and this is no change
I have no doubt there will be those who will say we are incapable and running a country is not our remit. Just stop a second. Who’s country is it. Cameron’s Blair’s because he’s still around like a bad smell. IDSs. No its our country

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Guest

Democracy – I believe we, as individuals, should all have a vote on issues of major importance. Not perfect, because some will not have access, but better than nothing is to use internet-based referenda where the views of most of the country could be judged. We will have one on EU membership; other matters are just as important. The Scots had one.

One problem is a nearly equal vote – indecisive. The usual advice to committees is not to have the chairman use his casting vote, but to retain the current situation.

Another problem is ensuring all those who wish to vote are given fair, balanced and objective information on which to base their decision.

Yet another is when the vote goes against those who want a change, they seek to overturn it.

But all these can be overcome. At least we will feel better having had the opportunity to make our voice heard – and know what others think.

Party politics are antiquated in this respect. Manifestos and a mandate are quoted at us. Well I, and I suspect some others, will not support all of the policies of a particular party whether in their manifesto or not. I may support the current economic efforts that seem to be gradually getting our country away form the precipice, but I also am against nuclear “deterrents” and wasting money on updating trident. I’d rather see money spent on positive help for people than a catastrophic insurance policy.

Perhaps the state pension – or more importantly the distribution of benefits – could be subject to such attention.

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Malcolm , as regards the Scots – if cameron or his followers take us out of the EU (which seems likely in an all England vote ) the Scots have said that this is a “red line ” over which (because the Scots want to stay in the EU ) . Their leader -Nicola Sturgeon has said ,many times ,and recently backed up her commitment in that in the event of a Brexit by England Scotland would hold another referendum on full independence -REGARDLESS of what Westminster says and has rubbished a statement in the Glasgow Herald that the policy in the run up to the Scottish government elections will not include a future vote on independence , but even they say ,if England votes for a Brexit then there will be “a cause ” for another vote . At present ,in 2 recent polls the yes have it at around 55 % due to camerons “austerity ” hitting hard there . So big events in the future for all of us maybe the breakup of the UK over the EU .

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“if Cameron or his followers take us out of the EU”. This is a whole UK and NI referendum, isn’t it? The politicians will make cases for and against, but a majority of citizens will decide, won’t they?

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Very tricky ground this Malcolm otherwise I would not have written my previous post that you wont have read before you posted your above
Scotland may have looked like it went all out to stay in the UK
NI may as it always appears wish to stay in the UK
As I said I have not a clue about Wales as I have not connection to the place
But several, indeed many promises were made to Scotland and there are already many provisions written into Scottish laws about self governance
NI had the Good Friday agreement which very few if the truth be told actually read but there are quite a bit of flexibility rules in it also
In both the Scots and NI cases it is not as straight forward as agreeing with the majority as in agreeing with a mass OUT vote in England
Both Scotland and NI can at not much more than the drop of a hat
I dont quite know what way to write the views of many of the again lets call us Caledonia because I am sure I speak for many but it is not as simple as the English thinking they can carry all with them
This as I wrote a few minutes ago is one h*** of a can of worms. I am a Tory and a Unionist and always have been but I can see a problem here.
Many of the northern Tories are feeling disaffected by many things for some time but we stuck to our guns and try to remain committed but it may be a step too far for some to leave Europe
How many the “some” really is no one knows but its a real threat to the Union and maybe way bigger than anything the SNP could dream up
If I had the choice I’d scrap the vote but the promise has been made and we’ll have to live with the results

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Legally ,as you say ,if a majority in the UK vote for a Brexit then the UK is out . If only it were that simple malcolm , Scotland still sees itself as a separate country with its own laws /traditions /and most pertinent – its social beliefs – which are well left of Cameron- vis a vis -only one Tory MP in Scotland and Labour in the same boat . To the Scots that is non-democratic as they feel disenfranchised ,it doesnt matter how they vote a majority in England will decide . That is why the SNP is doing so well , and the lies told to the Scots during the referendum will no longer hold water in Scotland as they think every word that Westminster promises never comes true . Just look at the vow thats been rubbished and removed by cameron ,only a small part of it is being implemented this has angered the Scots they dont like being conned . As farc as NI is concerned ,behind the scenes Westminster would rather lose it due to all the IRA has done with US approval AND supplying it with weapons (secretly -via Eire ) its only the NI Unionists that are the “fly in the ointment ” to a “Nexit” and the North becoming part of Eire . Westminster even agreed that a majority vote in NI for joining Eire wouldnt be opposed by Westminster (secretly ) Eire knows that .

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“a majority in England will decide”. This is the problem – many parts of England may well decide they want to stay. many exit. Whilst the General Election gave a majority government, most did not vote for the Tories. So I do not think it would pan out quite as you suggest. Most of us can only give our individual view, but not impose that on others. A majority view has to be respected.

I confess that I do not want to see the UK broken up – I hope Scotland will always be a part. I worry that people who desire power will drive this, rather than what is, in the long term, best for all. That is because I am deeply cynical about the motivation of all politicians. I’d feel happier, perhaps, if their backgrounds were truly representative of the people they represent – scientists, engineers, medical, teachers, and so on – rather than career politicians, lawyers, financial, etc.

Having deviated from the topic, I would add that most politicians seem to end up with a good deal more than the state pension.

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You most likely wrote above post during my writing but you are right on the money but I am not happy by Cameron and his out in vote
You are right on about power also
maybe we should have electronic no campaign voting sooner rather than later
I think we are perfectly able to make informed decisions and lets say something is to close to call set a requirement for majority if that is not leave well alone or dont do Whatever it is is in question

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I know we are going right off topic here but we seem to be having a little insight that may benefit readers across the UK so if we could be permitted just a little diversion since we got started to it I would be most thankful

No secret about the option for NEXIT. It’s in big document the folk voted for. Ireland, NI and Westminster signed up to.
Scotland and NI actually have a very similar options.
Wales not quite but open the can of worms????

NEXIT just now?? Not a cats in h***** chance because despite the close show of religious divide in the census all poles repeatedly show the majority wish to remain as is otherwise a certain nationalist party would be calling for a referendum in NI. That is their prime objective.

The same or pretty similar arrangement was made with Scotland and is in law, written and accepted same as NI

The problems as I am seeing them are a little different to your vision. Either or Duncans or Malcolms
The bigger problems will come from rural votes and views

The EU suits the rural communities and the rural communities reach right into the likes of Belfast, Derry, Aberdeen, Inverness and so on
Aberdeen despite it being the supposed oil capital was and is a market town. The people there still hold those values
May of these places may be Unionist but dip your hand in their pocket much further and you see the sparks

If England is seen to by virtue of the BREXIT result in removal of EU subsidies of which these communities have always needed and they looked at the the huge chunks the wealthy Shires/southern farms have taken of the EU agri grant for low land, walk in the park farming.
Rightly or wrongly that’s the perception. Thats what I hear. I’m not taking sides here
They see themselves as being marginalised if nothing else by their northernness if that’s a word or proper description at all
As I write the Dairy industry is on its knees.
I’m not a farmer but I’ll vouch they are not crying wolf. I live right in the middle of high Dairy.
To remove the almost as is zero EU help to dairy farmers is enough to make make many jump ship
Indeed some have done more drastic so its beyond the orange and green, the unionism or the nationalism.
This may not be about loyalties or feeling British/Scottish?irish for generations this is so big that the loyal or unionist feeling of the Scots and NI could be such that they feel abandoned by Westminster period.

If and I hope not that day never arrives this will be a vote carried through not like an election where we sway to labour next time around or vote ourselves back in next time this will if it comes its crunch time on as I said earlier
Nationhood and there wont be any debate for generations. It will be that final That significant

I know there has always been a friction between these various nations but the friction was controlled and compromise was made over the generations but a bad turn holds firm in folklore for a long time,
Indeed too long but the problem is manyfold and jumping ship has happened before despite those who jumped swearing allegiance just weeks before there comes a time when the deals are too thin and the tempers fray.

England is a much more multicultural mixed race place than Caledonia lets call it and I’ll refer it in that manner because perhaps more so than any other part of the UK the nations are as one in that we have history a long way back.
Have a look at the census for Scotland. The best laid out census in the UK
Pick anything you like. Colour, religion, creed, background, absolutely everything about Scotland is on show and it is nothing like England
Do you consider yourself British or Scots first. No surprise
But just look at the other things each and every one of them.
This place is unique
Back to Caledonia
There is kinship between NI and Scotland something that is very complicated and please never ask anyone to explain it to you because you have to be born to it
Rambling rubbish. Now if you said that to yourself just now, stop and say to your self “I have not a clue because quite simply I do not know”
During the referendum it was strong enough to see us through religious divides included.
Now that kinship and i am near sure Duncan will agree is an unexplainable thing
There are countless Hebridean songs about the movements, trade and 1000s of marriages that traversed the Irish sea and long long before any plantation took place. Put any romantic idea about plantations out of your head. Most of those folk got themselves off to the US or Canada a few years after they arrived form Scotland
The advent of steam more of less put a stop to that connection as previously sailing up the Clyde was harder than heading for Co Antrim or Down
The family names are all so common its stunning
My Grandmother was a Maud Coulter and both those are Scots Villages
I have no family names, none that are not instantly recognisable as Scots going back many generations. Even my surname is seen in near every corner the map of Scotland.

My accent however is even more unique than Scots. Yes I’m one one of those Blokes who speak funny. Not a bit worse than parts of England
I dont write like I speak do I!!!!!!!!! No text speak here my man. English and loads better than the rubbish I read on ebay
Here we go for the older people.
When soaps started they had sub titles because everyone in England let alone us lot could not understand them. Seems a million years away now doesnt it
However not long since a certain Alex Salmond said that Ulster Scots was as near the original early English as we are likely to find. Fact that was buoyed up by endless research into bygone writings and poems in particular which show words and terms quite well from across the UK.
So it may seem broad accent but according to the experts we Ulster Scots speak proper English
Thats a laugh??? Your welcome to your opinion
Back on line and to more factual things
The facts are that Caledonia and that encompasses NI for the benefit of some further south in particular but today I’ll include Scotland as a whole as it is not as divided as once was
And perhaps another surprise.
Now I have no ties and no family knowledge but Wales can come into the fray and why? Because Wales was and has never stopped being Celtic and if I were a bookie I would not lay odds on which way Wales would go either once and should the rumpus start.
One may not be an ardand football fan but when push comes to shove even the ones like me who never watch the game will take sides
Its preprogrammed in us
Long suffering peoples with memories just as long its like we inherited out forefathers thoughts

In the US research shows that there two nations that came from these shores. One that looses the temper very easy has a fistycuff and go to wrok together the next morning. Burglary, Divorce and GBH are high among one lot. But not murder. This lot dot do murder in the same way.

The other lot. Well they’re a much more patient lot, up to a point.
Then all hell breaks loose and they will not lay down or maybe doon would be appropriate
They honour a handshake like it was signed in the high court
There is no going back once you rile them
Murder is much higher in this lot
Cattle men. Sheep men
Unfortunately there is a down side to not laying down. You die. They dont surrender. They stand to the last man.
Does that sound like a story or two from history.
Send bigger and bigger armies until there is no one left.

Before that there was a little diversion called the “clearances” I deliberately did not use a capital letter
The clearances were far and away one of the most racial and indefensible actions ever put on one nation by another
The Lairds were leasing boats every which way to gets the peasants out of Scotland. Instructions. As far away as they’ll ner come home

Like Catalonia it is very difficult to git rid of a nation. They might be happy to lay back and stay quiet but problems can and do occur

I went to the trouble to write this in order that the less well informed may know that the idea that Scotland decided in a referendum to stay in the union is no indication that Scotland will remain in the union. Scotland can go to a referendum tomorrow if it desires. The referendum set nothing in stone

England can go for an BREXIT but even before the votes are cast let alone counted it could be an EEXIT. I dont know. I dont have a crystal ball.
Its not time. When it s time I’ll tell ya.

I hope that this has helped some. i am not a political analyst but I have insider knowledge that many of those experts do not possess.
I inherited the understanding of these situations.
I have made an attempt to tell it the way it is. Not the way I wish it to be but the way it is.
There are no back doors in this boy
Black and White

So better think before where you put the X It may be that the majority say Bye to their neighbours

I also hope that Which lets these stay even if they take it and set these few posts on their own but keep it if you would

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Dee -well said again and moved by your words , its almost poetical.

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It surely cannot be that the last post I made has stunned to the point where the only post since has been Duncan 2 1/2 hours ago.
I hope I have not offended because that is the last thing I wish to do
Lets get reved up again and have a go at pensions or VW or whatever

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At this very moment posters are sitting round a virtual digital table , a page has been torn from a bible and marked with black ink in a spot . Names are being placed in a box with a slot and each poster puts in his section of the page with a name written in ink . It reaches the chairman who empties the names onto the table , picking up one at a time he counts the names and puts them into piles . He then picks the name from the biggest pile and stands up and speaks out loud with a solemn voice – gentlemen you have chosen ******* ******* to give the “Black Spot ” re- Treasure Island to . This is emailed to Which board who lift the name and in a similar solemn voice declare -******* ****** is banned from our group , or Dee there might be a good film on the box and they are all watching it – as Doris Day sung -what will be will be.

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Personally I have very confused vision about the whole EU thing
Closer ties, getting together for business and so on but we went a little far for such a disagreeable lot
I’m pretty into the idea that I am a Celt.
Not red haired Viking wielding a shield type but a darker much less common but much less mythical version
We have 4 bits to this UK of ours and not so long ago we nearly had 3.
My daughter had a different take on it
She said the referendum should have been, should England leave the UK
I dont wish to start WW3 because I dont want such a referendum but where her thinking came from is this up an coming IN OUT EU vote
The press shows us that England is very likely to opt out
Now that is about as divisive as we’re going to see for some time if it doesnt break the Camels back as such because my daughter always followed her cheeky remark with in her eyes the fact that that is exactly what a EU vote may bring

If England votes OUT as they may do and the other 4 wish to stay within the EU that unless managed very carefully could do something the SNP did not manage
Our English politicians realised they were in trouble near the tail end of the referendum and all came scurrying up to Scotland which actually felt like they acknowledged there was somewhere north of Watford.
Even I fell like I’m not a UK citizen at times.
All’s grand while an englishman is winning but if a Celt overtakes him all is not lost because we now have Brit in front
It has its moments of annoyance I assure you.
Loads of promises back then of a United Kingdom being a better place for all, but will they acknowledge the will of all of the people of the UK as in if Scotland, NI and Wales votes were to stay in the EU.
This one is about more than just numbers. This is maybe even more about statehood than the Scottish referendum. The people of Scotland got told by their Irish and Welsh cousins that whatever the outcome they would be behind them. Now the Unionist population of NI had at least in their minds eye more to loose than anyone if Scotland opted out but they stood back and said its yours get on with it
However back to the scenario of only England Voting yes
That will be some can of worms should that happen and I’m not sure that a lot of Westminster Politicians scurrying around will not do the job this time
This even goes beyond party lines
I hear chat from both lots and its is far very far from being a Tory Labour Unionist Nationalist split
It may be more to do with City V Rural and in many places the rural economy rules
It’ll be interesting
I’m not saying what I think as i do not want to bring a debate on this to Which but it has implications on everything including pensions if I can use that excuse for a rant
Perhaps even more so is the persona that this in out referendum gives off
This was a Cameron promise to the English people. Its not often such an item has been allowed into the ring
Could this be a mistake by both a Prime Minister and his Nation or part of his nation
Perhaps Cameron only see’s London. He doesnt see Europe. He doesnt see Scotland. He might have had a look at Wales. I’m not not close to Wales, no relations there. No blood lines there. I am close to Caledonia though which is indeed the first time that name might suit me to use it. That use of the name is actually startling for me.
I once sat beside a certain song writer as he sung the song of the same name and its moved me. That feeling just came back
Its wonderful what the decisions of others can stir in the heart

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I think we have some things spiritually in common Dee . I too was moved by that song.

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Dee I like your reply , your right its not us the voters that Cameron +co listen too , its BB ,the same applies in spades to the US government , they are both run by BB , this is the truth . I have years of facts and figures , and this conjured up word “terrorist ” is solely here and in the US to conjure up fear in both countries so that the population accepts more and more restrictions on their personal freedom and being spied upon ,many false flags ,if only you knew . Its to stop the people rising up in protest due to millions being made poor . You dont need to be a socialist ,only have a brain in your head and the ability to realise the truth . I dont want to say any more,although I would like to as it might not be approved.

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Did I say something right today
Perhaps I am not alone not even in tory lifetime
Thank to you both Malcolm and Duncan
Firstly I would not dare write what is in my head. I have little faith left in the WWW of deceit and that I have to agree with Duncan about
I once signed a piece of paper which says shut your mouth to get the job more or less and I was/am not alone but I can still give off a bit as that is some years ago

The Trident thing is not something I make mention of or at least I dont remember making mention here anyhow but as Malcolm has came out in support of not funding what I see as a really mind warped policy I will and always have agreed with you both
Where I come from Gov policy has had its “little hiccups” and many if not all Prime Ministers have been caught out telling lies or worse but we are told that it was for our greater good
I dont agree. I cannot see many instances of the lies being of benefit
As best I see the lies once out of the bag P***d off one side or other and served to keep them at others throats
What did help though was a vote.
Hell I’ll be the first to say its not perfect but I d bet if we removed the argueing tyrants from the top and that would not be too difficult we could make decisions better than the polarised P******s we have in the big house

I wonder perhaps seeing as this little submersible or two is so divisive and its is billions to have this little button that all our Prime Ministers want to have would it ever be possible to unite to at least have the pleasure of saying yes or no. even if we should be told to shush
This surely would be one of the issues that near all have a view on even if their view is simply that Gov knows best
I would like to hear a genuine argument at the very least not a 5 minute squabble about mother knows best

Thanks

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Sincerely said Dee , I too signed the official secrecy act but more than 50 % of what I know is now common knowledge on the web . If you only knew how we would be treated after a nuke war it would make your hair stand on end -democracy – nope -shot on sight -yup.

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We keep hearing that foreign workers pay taxes but as many of them are in low paid jobs and getting government top-ups, you have to ask how much tax this country really gets from foreign workers.

I saw a TV programme last year where a Romanian was employing 2 builders back in Romania thanks to his top-ups and the extra money a Polish man was getting enabled his wife to set up a restaurant back in Poland. The Romanian was bringing his builders over to the UK to take advantage of our generosity when they had finished the building work.

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Many are
When I started out from school we had just embarked down a road of earnings related contributions and were told or at least my understanding at the time was that that it was to make up for a shortfall in the pensions in particular
40 odd years on and we, those very people who considered themselves to be doing their bit now have to wait to they are near 70 to get a pension
I am 57 nearing 58
My wife is 47 comin 48 and she works in the NHS which is turning into little more than a cattle mart. She already has the beginnings of arthritis and she will never see her working career through another 20 years
The managers etc all have the options of taking early retirement but it doesnt come free and is being paid for from the Gov budget
So why should managers get pensioned off only to be re-employed on a near full time part time basis as many are
All this costs money
Some years ago we hoped we would head into retirement still alive and kicking and with a little time left
We worked hard and saved and wanted to spend some of our later years touring
I have not been well now since 2011 and its an up hill struggle
My wife cannot stop work as we simply do not have the funds to survive without her working
It will be a case of when not if that wifey stops work in the near years
That will be both of us off sick and neither will be eligible for anything else other than sickness benefit
What p****s us off even more than anything I think is that we have a camper/motorhome but we will not really be allowed to leave and have some attempt to enjoy ourselves with freedom as it seems we will have to be available at all times
Surely this cannot be the end for a man who worked 6 and often 7 days. Paid his taxes. Raised his family who all work full time.
Why if I can barely get a breath and my wife who was only off minimal time during maternity can we not be allowed to enjoy our last years
I’ll never see 70. People in my condition dont really get to see that age except very rarely
Today I keep an eye as best I can on my 87 year old father
Because I’m here all the time he gets no carers and its all up to me 7 days
I am fed up with being told that we have to cut cut cut and then see zillions of squids heading for the middle east day and daily
I am near to changing my elegences because I now see that since Maggie started selling off the family silver we have been on a slippery slope ever since
Bring our d***d pensions back or at least some form of at least minimal funding for those who are genuinely no longer fit to finish off our days to near 70 and let us have a little freedom not sit around waiting on postie bringing us another esa50 to fill in
The Gov keeps going on about the great place GB is and how well its doing in comparison to elsewhere. we get told that we are the 6th I think largest economy so why should we be having all these cutbacks
The US and others seem to go blindly along accumulating ever growing debt without a thought
I would not really go with that but why do we have to pay the whole lot back in such a short period or are we now paying for our children’s pensions at our cost
It really feels like I’m damned every which way but I’ll keep my chin up as long as I can

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I have not given the state pension much thought because I’m not old enough yet. 🙂 What I don’t understand is why a couple receive twice the pension of a single person, since many costs of living are the same for one or two people.

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That is a good point, Wavechange. I think I can grasp the reason why the state pension scheme was changed in that way several years ago, but it has given rise to much dissatisfaction and frequent hardship when one half of a couple dies and all the expenses of maintaining the home and other essential outgoings fall on the survivor who cannot possibly reduce their commitments pro rata – even over time. Survivors’ benefits under occupational pension schemes often fall away quite sharply in real terms, or cease, adding to the difficulties.

It is good that Pension Credit is being supplanted by and wrapped up in the new scheme so will not need a separate claim, but I am not sure everybody will get all their entitlements automatically, will fully understand what they are getting and why, and appreciate why they can’t have more.

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As far as I know the wife has to have sufficient earning or exemption years to qualify for a pension in her own right which may well not be the maximum state pension. It is not the case. as far as I know, that they automatically get twice the pension.

If they were not married they would be regarded as two independent people anyway with independent state pensions – they should not be discriminated against surely just because they are wed? Two eat more than one, use more clothes, going out or holidaying costs more and so on.

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From the Which? website: “If you’re married, and both you and your partner have built up state pension, you’ll get double this amount – so £231.90 a week. But if your partner has not built up their own state pension, they’ll still be able to claim a state pension based on your record. ” I don’t understand the last sentence.

I appreciate that there are some costs that will double for two people but others such as the costs of maintaining and heating a home are the same for one or two. It’s a bit tough on single people who are dependent on the state pension.

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This document seems to explain the pension quite well:
gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/480248/Your_State_Pension_explained_autumn_15.pdf
9a Can I get some State Pension based on the National Insurance record from my husband,
wife, civil partner?
If you reach State Pension age on or after 6 April 2016, your State Pension will be based on your
National Insurance record only. See Q4 to see how you can increase your NI record.
There is one exception to this: married women or widows who have opted to pay reduced-rate
National Insurance contributions. This is called a Reduced Rate Election (previously known as ‘Married Woman’s Stamp’).

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The usual reason for people having been contracted out of the full National Insurance contributions was that they were contracted in to a qualifying employer’s pension scheme and, as well as paying reduced contributions to the state scheme, enjoyed a measure of tax relief on their occupational pension contributions. Theoretically, therefore, there is a degree of fairness in abating the full state pension in those circumstances. However, there have been so many twists and turns in pension provision and contributions, and the taxation thereof, that most people are totally confused and while a new rationalised pension scheme is a good thing it will take some time to bed in and be comprehensible, especially for people who were with different employers, had spells of part-time or self-employment, paid earnings-related pension contributions [SERPS], or other special circumstances. Much of the retired population also seems to be confused about the ability to cash in their pension pots and annuities, and whether that would be beneficial in view of the tax treatment. The government has put in place an advice service through the CAB for the latter group; I don’t know how competent it is, or how comprehensive it is, but it seems to me there also ought to be an advisory service for those most affected or confused by the upcoming changes to retirement ages and pension entitlements. An on-line facility might not be adequate.

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When I retired I was notified by the DWP that if I filed out a form they would check my previous employers for any pension due to my time with them . I filled out several ,seemed I never took up their pension plans . Just got notified my Pension Credit, savings only, goes up from 51P from 2 weeks back to the amazing 61 P ,thats the good news -Bad news =April 11 th I dont get any ,my small private pension will be a few ££ over the limit in April .

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I hope you will be no worse off as a result, though. This is what happens with state benefits of all descriptions – just as your income starts to improve the claw-backs are applied. Some people were actually out of pocket and caught in a “benefit trap”. I am hoping this should now be a thing of the past as the interlockings between the different mechanisms in our complex social security system become more sophisticated but I expect someone will soon disabuse me of that notion. It seems right to me that as people’s independent sources of income increase the amount of state support should decrease but I realise that is not a popular view.

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I meant to go on to say that I expect there are still a lot of flaws in the system that affect particular circumstances. There are also a number of policy anomalies such as the difference between the amount of tax credit allowed in respect of a child and the amount of the state retirement pension for a person who has to keep a roof over their head.

Guest

My wife should have drawn hers over 2 years ago but has to wait for almost 2 years before she gets the new one which even though its a little higher per a projection ordered in Dec 2015 than it would have been she has still lost out on thousands.

I have to wait an extra year till end of 2020 and although I have well over the required years and get the full basic they have reduced the SERPS/2P element as I was contracted out for some of that period and paid into a personal pension which may if I am lucky = the reduction. I have ordered a record to check the period I was contracted out.

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I shall be 81 in february. At present I receive £498.08 Monthly pension and £6.23 weekly pension credit. How will the new rules affect people like me?. Will I be better off or worse off?

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Laurie, as far as I know nothing changes for existing pensioners, only for people who are first entitled to receive the state pension after April 2016.

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Laurie-I asked the same question on the help line I was told the new rules dont apply to me as an existing pensioner .I will get a few £ rise in April but it wont bring it up to £155 the new “standard” pension but not all will even get that.

Guest
Alan says:
9 January 2016

My wife is 60 this year (December) and I am 65 (October) we planned to retire together this year, only to find that my wife will not get her old age pension until she is 66, what a swizzle. We are still going to retire, but poor.

Guest

I started work at 15 and will have worked and payed into the system for over 50 years. I have always put a roof over my head and payed my way through life. I know women who have never worked and so never paid into the system, who are only a few months/years younger than me and are now getting their pension. I think this is very very unfair. I also feel that those born in the mid 50s were not given enough time to adjust. As such I will now have to work even longer.

Guest
Sandy Henderson says:
9 January 2016

State pension (pennies compared to other so called poorer countries) is not taxed. However, I understand this amount is deducted from anuity pensions for tax purposes. Grand theft, that along with Gordon Brown’s greedy hands whilst chancellor, I feel that the whole situation is unfar. Those who had the timerity to plan for the future are being taken for a ride. I suggest that pensions should only be taxed on amounts of over £20,000 per annum.

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State pension is, and always has been, taxable income. If it is your only income then it falls below the tax threshold. You get the benefit of tax relief on your contributions to pension schemes not when you draw it.

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Our pension system based on current taxes paying for current pensions has pluses and minuses. It benefits the low paid and those who haven’t been foresighted enough to make proper provision for themselves but doesn’t pay back those who contribute the most into the system. This reflects the tax system as a whole. The system in the USA is called the 401K this I understand is a contributory system that is personal. Individuals and companies contribute to the system; it is protected from company raiding and you as an individual choose how you use the accumulated funds. You can use them for unemployment or sickness benefit, within some limits, and then use what you have left as your pension. It puts you in charge but you are also responsible for how you use it. While there are some state poverty protections, mostly you are responsible for your own well being; less nanny state interference. The downside is more poverty and more crime. I have happily paid in much more than I will ever take out but live in a relatively crime free country where I can, and do, enjoy my retirement in good health.

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It benefits the low paid and those who haven’t been foresighted enough

I hope that was not meant literally
Many had little or no choice in the matter and foresight had absolutely nothing to do with whether they made other/private provision for their retirement

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Quite right. Not everyone has had the means to make additional personal provision. That is why the pension credit scheme was provided to supplement people’s income if all they had was the basic state pension. Nevertheless, people who can afford to do so are recommended to enter a pension plan from the earliest opportunity.

A further point is that some people have paid into pension schemes that were mismanaged or have subsequently collapsed.

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This is a conundrum. It seems contradictory to me that a pensioner is given, under the new scheme, around £8100 whilst a family of working age on benefits can get nearly three times that – £23000 if I remember correctly. The former has no means to improve their financial situation through work; many of the latter group can have a financially better future.

Maybe we should “rebalance” the way benefits are distributed. All have the same basic financial needs – housing, food, energy. You must take account of course of children but does a difference of £15000 not suggest inequity?

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The welfare benefits and tax credits systems have left pensioners poorly off by comparison. As the Chancellor has found, it is extremely difficult to rebalance the welfare budget. The ‘triple lock’ mechanism does mean that state pensions are actually increasing in real terms but the amounts involved at the weekly level are so low they are not taken seriously and the contrast persists.

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Malcolm r I completely agree with your post. I have never understood why the average amount to live on is quoted as £23,00.00 but the state pension is so low. In respect of heating which is a major expense pensioners are home a lot more than working people. I feel people have become used to the various tax credits, but is it right the Companies pay such low wages because they know the Government will top this up?

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Today’s Which? news says:
“Millions of people may be saving for their retirement on wrong information after ‘bungling’ by the government, MPs have warned.”
and later
“the committee feels the statements could be improved, with information on a single page and key messages highlighted in boxes to ensure they stand out clearly.”

I’m not sure that the headline “bungling” is quite justified here. That suggests wrong or badly misleading information has been given, which I do not think is the case. It does seem there is some confusion, perhaps because it is not straightforward, perhaps because people have not read information, but I’d prefer it if Which? restricted its use of tabloid headlines to those issues that warrant them.

Oh dear, another grumpy day. But I see tabloid style sensationalist headlines as a bit like swearing – the effect becomes blunted if overused.

If I am wrong and there has been incorrect information disseminated I will accept that this post has been bungled.

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Pension tax rules may be changed in the March budget. It is reported that tax relief on contributions may be “standardised” so that high earners lose their 45% and 40% clawback from the government (i.e. from the rest of us) and maybe everyone just gets 20%. Well, I’m all in favour. i do not see why the higher earners should not only be earning more money, but should also have their pension funds subsidised by lower earners.

There are also squeals that pension funds may be capped at £1 million. Well, I wonder how many of us would love to accumulate that size of pension pot? And it is not really a pension cap, is it? People with the money can still save it for their retirement; they just won’t get their tax relief (provided by other less well off taxpayers).

Finally it is reported that so called “gold plated” final salary pension schemes will soon be a thing of the past – except in the public sector.

It really is time that pensions were all put on the same basis – private and public. Maybe this is something that Which? could campaign for?

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Hear! Hear! Three times over.

Those burdened with excess wealth usually pile into property and enter into CGT and IHT defeating schemes to protect their assets.

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Yes guys,,,,,,,,,One million pension pot tax free……..We’re just after watching how the natives of the Caymans are suffering at the hands of big business and now I read I can accumulate a one million pot tax free

Let’s assume a couple of things
Most people in this position are likely to be in education until around 22 years of age
Most I speak to aspire to retire at 60 if not before
£1000,000 div 38 = 26k odd per year

Why should my contributions or my childrens go toward a state pension that this lot will also get because its a pension for all

I know people in their 60s and 70s who are getting 2k per month,,,,often each for a couple,,,,,, of a pension from Gov on top of their state pension
So we are told that we are paying for todays pensioners and that there will not be enough young workers to pay for my generations pensions so we have had our pensions ages especially woman raised to levels many will never see

Why should be be contributing toward a state pension for those who are getting 1000s per month before their state pension
This was not the case when our state pension first appeared nor was it the intention of the state pension to bolster up people who can live well already

Why should we be paying toward those who can afford to put over 20k per past for a pension or for those who are already getting several times the state pension from our current systems at our expensive right now.
No doubt these people will have worked to BB that has paid nothing toward our country either

I’m getting to the stage that when someone mentions the spin off’s of Big Money they might get an earful

My wife works in the NHS
Ward managers are retiring in their 50s and being paid to get out plus their NHS pension.
They have barely digested their leaving dinner to they are back in the door doing bank shifts
They didnt retire at all,,,,,,,,,,,they are getting an NHS pension paid for by us plus continuing to work and can look forward to a state pension funded by my children

Not so long ago a local GP retired…….Not one of ours but I knew the man………The local community funded a big send off for him only to find that within days he was consulting in the area hospital
In his 50s……….GPs pension…………followed by state pension later and whatever a consultant can command
I’ll tell you that community wont be having any more send off’s in the near future

Dont talk to me about state pensions
The whole thing is a con on the lessor humans

This lot,,,,,,,businessmen……..Doc’s etc have it all pretty well figured out have they not
Pensions at every turn and guess what we’re paying for them

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Guest

DeeKay, “No doubt these people will have worked to BB that has paid nothing toward our country either”. Careful! 😉 I think you should consider the huge pension funds people in higher positions in government, local authorities, NHS management, trusts, and other public bodies can build up – particularly when they get an additional large contribution if they are asked to leave office! You and I fund these pots, with no say.

Perhaps we should have a “Misuse of Public Funds” topic?

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Guest

Now Malcolm,,,,,,,,,,You and I are on the one and same Hymn sheet………….Thanks

But and there are always a row of those with DeeKay

I will be hard to convince that when I started work that I didnt watch the news of the day primarily on the BBC as I dislike adverts and I will be hard to convince that then Gov Rep’s didnt come on and say that because of the average age shift that was going to happen in our lifetime there was going to be a shortfall in our pensions and that to overcome that shortfall those earning whatever it was at the time would have to contribute according to their earnings more to secure our pensions
Unless I have completely lost the plot I hadn’t worked many years to my payslip was showing the little extra contributions.
I have heard all the “its todays tax payers that are paying todays pensions” and that surely is the truth,there is no doubt about that but if the billions of funds were used correctly we would not be in this situation of rising pension ages

Has anyone any real numbers on just how many woman are going to die between the ages of 60 and 68 as in my wife’s case
Similarly are there any real numbers on how many men will die between 65 and 68 in my case

We all knew there was off shore banking,,,,,,,,,some of us including me know people who have availed of it……Whether we approved whole heartedly or not is another question but for the Governor of Cayman to defend the policy is beyond anything of logic……………It’s legal,,,,,,,,,It’s legal,,,,,,,,,,,,,It’s legal but who makes the laws……….Who made it legal……….The UK Gov made it legal…………The UK Gov can about turn
Who are we the people of this GB/UK to stand and take this S**t week after week
If we continue on route as we are just now we’ll just continue down the route of fattening the already fatties

Pension funds…………What about the lessor

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I think it’s disgusting that the pension age has changed especially those that are either unable to work through disability or can’t find a job I’m most annoyed as I can’t even get a bus pass until I get to the government so called pension age

Guest
Jane says:
9 February 2016

Born in 1945, I drew the State Pension at 60 (Lucky me !) However, with an incomplete contribution record I only got 70% of the full pension. then the rules were changed which meant that my contribution record would have entitled me to a full pension. Except that the change did not apply to those already retired.

So talk of £155 per week leaves me cold as a struggle along on £75 evermore.

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Guest

Jane, you may be eligible for more money:
“Pension Credit is an income-related benefit made up of 2 parts – Guarantee Credit and Savings Credit.

Guarantee Credit tops up your weekly income if it’s below £151.20 (for single people) or £230.85 (for couples).”

Details can be found at http://www.gov.uk/pension-credit/overview

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I am absolutely furious about the new State Pension age for women, and the increase in qualifying years. I will retire in 2022 now at age 66 instead of age 60. I had entitlement to a full pension, now I don’t.

There has been wholesale robbery directed totally at women over a very short timescale. I feel cheated by the men and women who represent me in government.

See DWP archive about the 2007 pension act: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20121125084459/http:/www.dwp.gov.uk/policy/pensions-reform/the-pensions-act-2007/
Which said roughly that: from 6 April 2010 the number of qualifying years needed to receive a full basic State Pension would be reducing from generally 39 years for women and 44 years for men to 30 years for both men and women.
It’s now 35 years.
If I earned £20,000 a year, I have to work another 5 years, paying about 12% national Insurance, i.e paying out another £12,000.

If I have to work 6 years more, i.e. from age 60 to age 66, I will have lost out on State pension for 6 years. For me, that would have worked out at about £7,000 a year, making a total of about £42,000.

That is a TOTAL LOSS to me in the region of £54,000.

However, this takes no account of the inequality of pay.
The Equal Pay Portal says:
“The gap between men’s and women’s earnings has remained relatively consistent from 1997 to 2015 at around £100…. “
I make that 18 years at £5,200 per year = over £90,000. Over 35 years that amounts to over £180,000.

I introduce the subject of pay inequality, because I for one considered that the lower pension age for women made some small recompense – in my case that would have been 5 years at about £7,000 per year = £35,000.

So as I see it, compared to a man I’ve lost about £215,000 in income due to government failing to tackle pay inequality and at the same time changing women’s pension age.

You can argue that men lost out 5 years worth of pension, the same amount I would have gained by retiring at 60, but the difference in pay still would leave a net gain of £145,000 for men after deducting the £35,000 pension they didn’t get for 5 years.

I started full time work at 15 years old, expected to work 45 years until I was 60. I’ve never claimed state benefits, except if you count using the NHS and other state services.

When are we women going to wake up and do something about the despicable way we are treated by people in power – whether elected or not?

Guest
Ray says:
8 March 2016

It is often forgotten that many people face Employment Age Discrimination in employment which is no fault of their own. This means that they are not able to top up their last three years before they draw a pension. Whenever you watch the news you see comfortable paternalistic middle-class people making decisions and expressing views about others lifestyles they have no idea about. When you are sitting at home living on a poor diet with your coat on because of cold it is another matter. If they want to be lord or lady bountiful and help others then let them pay more tax than exploiting the poor in this country.

There is a total disconnect in the UK. It is no wonder the suicide and mental health rates are rising.

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Ray -you bring life down to earth your views are exactly my own views but just in the interests of even-handedness I would like to hear some replies to your post. Ageism is rife in the UK ,they wanted rid of me because I was too old to be manipulated and was on better contract conditions to younger people (pension etc ) . They got a young person in who knew zero about engineering but had degrees in “with it ” non practical pursuits .