/ Money

Are there any real benefits out there for pensioners?

Two pensioners enjoying retirement

Pensioners and retirees have had it pretty tough over the last few years. With poor annuity rates and paltry returns on savings, many have seen their retirement income diminish…

However, there are supposedly a whole raft of benefits and discounts out there to help pensioners financially, but do they really add up to much?

While the Government is looking to further cut spending, it has so far maintained the core benefits that are available to older people.

The state pension is due to rise in line with inflation, wages or 2.5% (whichever’s highest) over the next few years.

Pensioner entitlements

Pensioners also have some tax advantages over their younger counterparts, reflecting the large contribution they’ve made to the economy over the years.

Then there are things like free bus passes, senior railcards, winter fuel payments and cold weather payments available to people of a pensionable age. Free prescriptions and a free TV license also help older people save a few pounds.

Local and leisurely

There are plenty of discounts around when it comes to your leisure time. Museums, art galleries and theme parks will provide discounted entrance fees if that’s your thing. The likes of English Heritage and the National Trust will also provide annual memberships at a discounted rate. And cinemas have lower prices for pensioners who want to keep up with the latest releases.

One of my local pubs, with a good reputation for food, offers decently-priced meals for pensioners with a free dessert if you visit at lunchtime on a weekday. It’s a ‘win-win’ situation as the pub gets people through the door at relatively quiet times.

Have you benefited?

I’m sure you also know of local companies that are prepared to provide pensioners with discounts and offers to get their business. So I’d like to hear about the pensioner benefits or discounts you’ve taken advantage of.

They can be as big or small as you like – sometimes the local and somewhat quirky offers are the most useful and generous. Have you benefited from being a pensioner recently?

Comments
Member

Sorry to start on a negative tone, but complaining about the poor income prospects of pensioners and then asking what discounts you might get on many “discretionary” spends – cinema, theme parks, pubs etc.- rather confuses two issues. The main issue surely is, with a poor income, how can pensioners in need be helped with the basics – food, heating, housing. The income tax benefit is small and diminishing, and will not help many poor pensioners (no tax paid); winter fuel allowance of £200 is a welcome but small contribution. I’m sure many of these pensioners would love to have the spare money available to go out and enjoy themselves at venues and activities that offer them discounts.

I contrast the meagre, and taxable, state pension with what benefit claimants of working age can achieve – being REDUCED to a £25 000 cap and, as far as I can see, untaxed. Is this a fair way to treat those people who have contributed to the economy for their working life? It’s time we made the pension a sensible amount for those who have contributed and are genuinely deserving. If this means diverting resources from those who don’t need the pension, winter fuel allowance, free prescriptions, bus passes and so on – those already on pension incomes that are more than adequate – then I believe we should. We argue, quite rightly, that all have contributed and should be entitled to their dues, but we are in exceptional times now with insufficient money to go round. Time to exercise some common sense and humanity.

Member

I go along with that. I would scrap the Winter fuel allowance and free bus passes in favour applyimg the savings [including massive admin costs] to those who need the money.

Member

To scrap the Winter Fuel Allowance and free bus passes would be the death of me. I wouldn’t be able to pay my energy bills, and wouldn’t be able to afford to leave my home, if I had to pay bus fares. I might as well curl up in bed and give up, and I’m a bit too young to do that yet. I live in continuous pain, but still try to get out for some fresh air every day – what point would there be in life if I couldn’t get out past my front door ? It would be utterly dreadful.

Member
Isabel says:
23 January 2014

I would suggest to cancel ALL OAP benefits to Members of Parliament, (Common, Lords, Ministers, high level staff) who are already receiving good pensions and payment from all tax payers. They should set an example of solidarity with the low income pensioners.
Good night.

Member
Jane says:
23 January 2014

and who would receive the money saved by depriving OAPs – Immigrants and 3rd or 4th generation Benefit claimants?

Member
Richard Ford says:
23 January 2014

Added to that, the practice of those in The House of Lords who sign in just to collect their unwarranted £300 should be stopped….most of them are too old with muddled thinking to contribute anything worth while…some attend just to sleep as is often shown on the TV coverage

Member
Mary says:
23 January 2014

Scrapping our bus passes would hurt the economy as pensioners also shop when they go out into town. The high street is already facing hard times this would make it worse.

Going out also improves your health therefore, pensioners are more likely to be ill and depressed. If they cannot afford to get on a bus and go out. Isolation is a terrible thing. More pensioners would be lonely. This would also cost the government more money in extra medical costs.

Member
Ian Cox says:
24 January 2014

This is spot on
Governments from Thatcher onwards ( and maybe before) have bled the pensionable sector by cutting links to the real inflation for the pension , raping the pension fund tax breaks for those who saved and invested ( thank you Brown) , introducing ” granny taxation” by killing the over 65 tax breaks , removal of the 10% tax rate and of course , enforcing a rate of returns of 0.5% ( some 2.2% below RPI) on our investments and then Cameron has the gall to suggest we are better off.
No , I will not give up my £200 winter fuel allowance or my bus pass , the new pension rules benefit those born after 1950 (1?) and we are being screwed at every turn.
Unlike most of the benefit scroungers we have paid for our meagre benefits with sweat and blood ( rivers of it)
Time the MP’s and members of the house of Lords were put on the same basis as the pensioners – no inflation plus payment and expenses and golden pensions.
Time for the grey revolution – how do we hit this government hardest without re employing Guy Falkes or equivalent? Is the so called opposition any more credible in its so called policies?
These governments ( to quote Goldfinger) don’t want us to talk , they want us to die!