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How does the UK state pension compare worldwide?

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Our latest Which? Money investigation looked into state pension systems in 15 different countries. Where do you think the UK sits in relation to its counterparts?

It’s extremely difficult to make a like-for-like comparison between nations’ pension schemes, as each country has different qualifying criteria and ways of calculating your entitlement.

However, despite this, our snapshot survey shows some marked differences.

Pension schemes are worlds apart

While the Swedes enjoy a maximum state pension of just over £25,000 a year, South Africans get a maximum of £1,044. And although Britain’s current basic state pension of around £5,500 a year leaves it near the bottom of the league table, government reforms will see this rise to almost £7,500 (in today’s money) in 2016.

It’s important to remember that you can’t look at a country’s state pension in isolation. How much tax people pay and what they get for their taxes are inextricably linked to the issue of pensions.

Another vital consideration is the average salary for each country. For example, a yearly pension of £1,044 in South Africa might not seem quite so low when you learn their average annual salary is £7,421.

Support for private pension saving is another key issue. Like Sweden and the Netherlands, the UK’s private pension coverage boosts its meagre state pension.

Pension ages on the up

State pension age is also a controversial subject in the UK. For many years it was 65 for men and 60 for women, but it’s increasing to 66 for both genders by 2020, to 67 by 2028 and will rise in line with life expectancy thereafter.

But the UK isn’t alone in increasing state pension age – of the 34 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries, 28 others intend to do the same.

*The state pension age may have changed since the date of publication for this article. For the latest advice and information on the state pension, check out the Which? State Pension calculator and advice guide.

Comments

I’m not sure what criteria you have used to say that the UK State Pension is not earnings related, or that the maximum annual pension is £7,488.

Accrued SERPS and S2P benefits will still be paid if they exceed the new Basic State Pension. Even the Basic State Pensions is earnings related, if you consider that you need to be working at some point in your life to have sufficient NI contributions for a full pension.

Sure, it’s complicated! But isn’t it over-simplifying the position to suggest everyone will automatically get the same £7,488, regardless of earnings?

Europe looks after its pensioners and future generations of pensioners, namely it’s young people. The working populace of Europe pay higher rates of income tax and NI contributions.

Please read the following.

At the Laeken EU summit in 2001 there was a ratified proposal that all member states should endeavour to attain a level of 40% of their median wages as their basic state pension by 2007 and thereafter work towards 60%. This is how we did in 2007:

STATE PENSION AS A PROPORTION OF AVERAGE WAGE 2007
COUNTRY % OF AV EARNINGS
Greece 95.7
Luxemburg 88.3
Netherlands 81.9
Spain 81.2
Denmark 79.8
Italy 67.9
Sweden 62.1
EU AVERAGE 60%
France 51.2
Germany 39.9
Estonia 32.9
Ireland 32.5
UK 30.8
As I’m sure you know, 60% of median wages is the poverty level. Not very good progress, is it? I would be grateful for your comments.

Michael, has there been a follow up to this Laeken EU summit in 2001?

Figgerty, No, it wasnt even reported by the BBC media.

What I can tell you is that when Tony Blair held his turn at presidency of Europe in 2005, Mr Blair secured three red lines for Britain. One red line was that Britain’s pensioners would not receive Europe’s much higher State pension levels.

Also the women’s State Pension age will have risen to 65 by the time the new Basic Pension comes into force, and the rules are (or may be) different for Northern Ireland.

Carole Fraser says:
5 May 2013

It is a disgrace our pension for old people I myself worked for 32years and at the end of working life came out with £76 what a joke if I had not bothered going back to work after my youngest son went to school and had stayed at home would have had more money than the pension. This is why we have such a lot of non earners. Also it makes me angry that all new pensioners in 2016 will get £144 per week but I will stay at the rate I am getting now, where is the fairness. How come other countries get their sums correct and look after their old folk but this country makes a complete pigs ear.

PierrePierpont says:
9 June 2013

Em says: Also the women’s State Pension age will have risen to 65 by the time the new Basic Pension comes into force, and the rules are (or may be) different for Northern Ireland.

Actually not true. The women’s state pension age reaches 65 in November 2018. The new flat rate state pension comes in from April 2016.

Carol, I will reach state pension age in 2019, have 34 years NI contribs and my pension will be £107 not £144. Reduction because I was contracted out out SERPS and in a contributional occupational pension. Govn’t not giving the full picture, just the headlines.

>>> Em says: Also the women’s State Pension age will have risen to 65 by the time the new Basic Pension comes into force, and the rules are (or may be) different for Northern Ireland. <<<

OK, not technically correct, but unless you happen to be born on or after 6th April 1953 – the first date you can be eligible for the new flat rate pension (age 63 years and 3 months), and before 6th November 1953 (an age span of just 7 months) you ARE going to wait until you are 65 or older before you get the new flat rate pension in November 2018.

My generalisation is correct for the vast majority of future pensioners.

Very interesting although I am not sure what I have learned because (as is stated) there are other factors to be taken into consideration when making comparisons.

I do not understand why the UK pension refers to 2016 when the other figures are presumably current.

I agree. What are they playing at? 2013 level would look even worse.

As Em makes clear, the UK state retirement pension is certainly contributions-related. Over the decades that employed people contribute before becoming eligible for a full pension the relationship to earnings fluctuates considerably and the percentage of earnings paid in each year changes according to the contribution rates set and the periods spent in employed or self-employed status [far more people nowadays do some of both during their working lives, and increasingly a bit of both at the same time]. Likewise, a lot of people get credits because they are not in a position to make contributuions. Given the scale of the compulsory employer contributions, the UK state pension does not appear to be particularly generous, but I suppose we knew that already. What is remarkable for some countries is the relationship of the maximum potential state retirement pension before tax to average earnings. On the face of it the pension levels at the top of the table seem to be unsustainable. I hadn’t appreciated that the average earnings level in the UK had reached £31,413; I expect there are some important qualifications that other contributors to this Conversation might be able to shed light on.

Amazing figures and they put the UK in a really poor light in respect of pensioners worth.

Why not use current state pension figures for all countries?
If you use the current pension figure, the UK are third from the bottom, just above defaulting Greece, a great feat for a world economic power and member of G8.
If you use the 2016 figure for the UK, then the pension age for women will be 65.
In the countries with a pension of over £20k, do they also have occupational pensions and what about healthcare costs, are they paid at point of delivery, through insurance or taxes?
Brazilian average earnings are about a third of their state pension – bet they can’t wait to retire!
Japan – I’m surprised their state pension is so low; same with Canada compared to the US.
France – that great trade unionist country still allow their pensioners to retire at 60, both men and women and at a decent pension.
Spain – their average earnings are lower than the state pension, how can they afford to pay this – they can’t of course. Ireland – they should reduce their big salaries and pay off their European bail out loan more quickly.

I’m feeling very depressed after seeing how little British pensioners are valued in comparison to their European counterparts. Has there always been such a huge gap?

Careful! You can’t really compare MAXIMUM State Pension with AVERAGE earnings and draw any general conclusions from this. Spain may or may not be able to afford this, and the average Brazilian is probably not going to be payed the maximum State Pension when they retire.

Looking at the maximum state pension in isolation, does not tell us anything, but contrasting it to average earnings is certainly interesting. The table makes me rethink some of my ideas as to which country values it’s seniors. I expected Germany to be at or near the top of the table but Spain was a massive surprise.

Beckenham1 says:
25 April 2013

The Germans are paying for it!

Figgerty, I got involved in the pensioners cause when in my 40’s. I was appauled when Thatcher cut the State pensions link to earnings in 1980, I am still appauled that the British largely are apathetic up to their arm pits.

“”””””Amazing figures and they put the UK in a really poor light in respect of pensioners worth.

Why not use current state pension figures for all countries?
If you use the current pension figure, the UK are third from the bottom, just above defaulting Greece, a great feat for a world economic power and member of G8.
If you use the 2016 figure for the UK, then the pension age for women will be 65.
In the countries with a pension of over £20k, do they also have occupational pensions and what about healthcare costs, are they paid at point of delivery, through insurance or taxes?
Brazilian average earnings are about a third of their state pension – bet they can’t wait to retire!
Japan – I’m surprised their state pension is so low; same with Canada compared to the US.
France – that great trade unionist country still allow their pensioners to retire at 60, both men and women and at a decent pension.
Spain – their average earnings are lower than the state pension, how can they afford to pay this – they can’t of course. Ireland – they should reduce their big salaries and pay off their European bail out loan more quickly.

I’m feeling very depressed after seeing how little British pensioners are valued in comparison to their European counterparts. Has there always been such a huge gap?””””””””””””

The State pension has been linked to inflation since Thatcher broke the earnings link over 30 years ago in 1980.

“”The Germans are paying for it!””.

The German’s pay much higher income tax and NI contributions than we do.

Britain’s taxes and contributions were cut by the Thatcher government in 1980.

It would be interesting to know what proportion of UK pensioners are not eligible for any other forms of financial supplement [eg council tax benefit] and are having to subsist on the state retirement pension only. It would also be interesting to know whether pensioners in Germany [say] have any entitlements to free prescriptions, winter fuel allowances, free TV Licences, concessionary bus passes, and so on. [By the way, I’m not suggesting that these meagre disbursements make a substantial difference to the standard of living of our older people, merely pointing out that it is almost impossible to make proper comparisons and draw meaningful conclusions without a very complex model exemplifying the cost of living and the available support country by country].

A major factor to be taken into account when making comparisons is differences in the cost of heating. That will depend on both fuel cost and the amount of heating typically needed in different countries. Rachael has mentioned heating allowances for the elderly, which offsets some of the cost in the UK.

Thanks Rachael for that update. Even if the 23% [of consumers] statistic requires further analysis that is still a heck of lot of elderly people trying to manage on a pittance. Scandinavia has longer colder winters and get a lot of UK television – they need all the help they can get.

Beckenham1 says:
25 April 2013

It depends on what you mean by these sorts of benefits.
Spain for example pays most of the cost of a week’s holiday on full board, plus of course wine/beer for pensioners. The rep in Benidorm who was English said – well you get Winter Fuel Allowance. When we said that the Spanish State Pension was nearly three time that of the UK one, she didn’t believe it.
It seems like the pensions paid to southern European pensioners will, in future be paid by German workers. I give it a couple of years before there’s a big bang when Germany refuses to subsidise the feckless South.

MaryImelda says:
25 April 2013

I believe that in Ireland Senior Citizens go free on all transport – state buses, trains and private coaches. They also have free TV licences, allowances for energy and telephones.

Beckenham1, I am sick of this word feckless. It smacks of Tory demonization of the most vulnerable in our society.

Doug Carr says:
19 April 2013

The real problem with U.K. state and public service pensions is that they are “Ponzi Schemes” – promising to pay future pensions without the funds to pay for them (other than future tax payers and current contributors). Those of us in the welfare rights field tried to point this out when a group of us lobbied Parliament, prior to the 1986 Social Security Act.
The problem is now much harder to remedy as the number of tax-payers has reduced and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. No current politician has the intestinal fortitude to even raise the subject; so we’ll potter along until we are forced to find a reactionary solution. Ah well “Which?” could save us all yet.

@ Doug Carr – Agreed, a “Ponzi Scheme” it is but, it is future tax payers and *future* contributors who will pay future pensions.

For instance, the Teachers’ Pension scheme is contributory (the public assume it is not for some reason). Deductions of around 7% are taken from the empoyee’s salary and a further 14% is paid by the employer – usually a Local Authority. However, this money is not building up a fund for teachers in employment , but is is being used to pay the pensions of teachers already in retirement!

If I tried to operate a company pension scheme on that basis I’d probably get put in jail.

Beckenham1 says:
25 April 2013

There appears to be no other way than the current unfunded pay-as-you go system.

When the main changes were made after WW11 the pensioners hadn’t contributed because there wasn’t any such system in force. Even if there had been it is difficult to see how they could have paid in by direct contributions, most had lived though the Depression & two world wars & only had very low earnings.

In a way they had paid in other ways, by existing on very low pay, fighting in wars & suffering in the Depression. If these indirect contributions hadn’t have counted then a generation of old people wouldn’t have received any pension, it would only have started in say 1985, ie 40 years after statutory contributions starting in 1945.

Well, I have to disagree.

If the first generation of unfunded pensioners deserved something they had not contributed to – and I’m not saying they didn’t – then it should have been paid for out of general taxation, allowing second and subsequent generations to accumulate a proper occupational pension fund. At least we wouldn’t be perpetuating the myth that teachers and some other public sector pensions are paid for by the tax payer ad nauseum.

Deducting “pension” contributions from the salaries of working teachers today and handing it straight onto retired teachers is little more than theft. At the very least, the current scheme should be non-contributory. And then the proportionate reduction in salaries of 7% would cause a stink and do even more to highlight the whole issue of underpaid teachers vis-a-vis other professions.

At some point in the future there may be insufficient money coming in from working teachers to pay the retired ones – that is a very essence of a Ponzi scheme. It may run for years, decades or centuries, but at some point it will collapse, at which point the taxpayer will finally be obligated to step in and pick up the bill – as they should have done from the outset.

P.S. There is no vested interest here. I left my short “career” as a teacher in the mid-1970s, when I realised the prospects were somewhat limited – and I didn’t teach Latin either.

PierrePierpont says:
9 June 2013

The Local Government Pension Scheme covering over 1.7 million public sector workers, is a funded pension scheme with billions of pounds of real assets backing them.

DMS says:
4 July 2013

But it is not funded by contributions. 25% of council tax goes to fund local government pensions.

Fionna says:
19 April 2013

This is interesting and useful so thank you Which for drawing this to our attention.

Others have pointed out that if you are relying on the 2016 figures then the female retirement age should be 65/66years depending where in the year the woman is entitled to a state pension then.

However given that all the other countries figures are based upon now it would be helpful to have the current position AND point out that those of us retiring before 2016 (around now) will NOT be getting the higher proposed pension even when they get to 65/66 and nor will they be eligible for the age related increase as we grow older…so it will continue us to be £107 pw (plus inflation increase) for us which cannot be fair.

It is too late for us to adjust our pension arrangements to take account of this gap and this unfairness should be reflected in tables. On today’s figures there will be a £33 per week between the 2016 group of retires and the current group. That represents over 30% more for the 2016 group than the current group.

Fionna, I have been campaigning on behalf of UK pensioners for over 30 years, but you needed to have it drawn to your attention. Amazing !!!!!!

Fionna says:
9 June 2013

????Michael??? Whatever have I said to warrant that remark of yours. I think my last comment was in April and doesn’t seem to have any relationship to your response!

Alan says:
19 April 2013

As with other media reporting of pensions, this report ignores the millions of people who will already be receiving a state pension before the new rules come in. Many of whom I am sure do not realise they will be losing out and will not be paid the new flat rate pension. As with other measures this government are implementing, current pensioners are losing out, low interest rates on savings, the change from RPI to CPI for the calculation of the annual increase, the freezing of pensioners tax allowances to name but three.Does this government not realise that many pensioners have worked hard to earn a decent income in retirement and this government is gradualy eroding it. Does the government not realise that when they have robbed pensioners of their savings it is impossible to rebuild that income so reducing their standard of living.

Mike says:
19 April 2013

Whatever the nuances between the different schemes it is safe to say the British pension is not generous to say the least. Our treatment of pensioners in terms of pension and social health care in later life (e.g. selling homes to pay for social care) is a national disgrace!

It is interesting to see where the UK comes in the list of how generous schemes are. You left of some very important information about what they cost as a percentage of GDP.

The figures I have are as follows,

France 362%

Austria 360%

Germany 330%

Italy 323%

Portugal 298%

Greece 231%

Spain 204%

Czech Republic 201%

Latvia 125%

UK 91 %

How long do you think it will be for some of these countries pension schemes to collapse so that they will have to reduce pensions in payment like Greece and also reduce pensions to be paid in future.

If our own state pension is causing the Government problems with only a funding level of 91% of GDP imagine the problems it is causing or will cause a country that has a funding rate of 200% or more.

Beckenham1 says:
25 April 2013

You are right, Germany won’t be able to pay for all the other countries’ pensions.

So an end to the Euro, & then the EU?

Michael Knight says:
25 April 2013

Where on earth does Kenneth get his figures from. In 2011 the UK GDP was $2.4 Trillion. In the same year our total state pension cost was just under £70 billion. Now unless mathematics has changed since my school days over 55 years ago I make that about 3 % of GDP.

The Norwegian pension is even higher than the max pension in Spain and Sweden at around £30,000+. My dad retired a couple of years ago at 67 and he gets £30,000 annually. Most Norwegians expects to retire comfortably on their state pension and it is disappointing to see how far down the list UK is. I don’t think anyone could survive on that low amount!

Perhaps you would not mind sharing other information on you Dad’s financial position to help us understand the true financial position of pensioners in different countries.

# Does he also have an occupational pension, and if so, approximately how much.
# What other benefits does he receive (free travel, prescriptions, dental, eye test, spectacles, heating allowance, Tv licence, meals on wheels).
# Does he pay for healthcare and if so, is it at the point of delivery or as health insurance.
# How much of his pension is spent on energy.
# How much is spent on local council taxes.
# How much does he pay in housing costs (rent, mortgage). and is their social housing in Norway
# What percentage income tax does he pay on his state pension.

Sorry, I got carried away, but I’m really pleased at the thought of finding out more about another country and their pensioners financial position, especially one that seem to value them so highly.

Hi Figgerty,

Thanks for all the questions! 🙂 I can only give an overview of what my dad gets and you have to bear in mind that the pension you get in Norway is calculated on how much taxes you have been paying, so if you had a high salary, then you will get a high pension etc. You also have to work 40 years to qualify for the max pension.

1. He does not have a separate occupational pension, just the state pension which your employer contributes to.
2. On travel, he gets a 50% discount, prescriptions are free for vital medication such as blood pressure pills etc., eye tests and spectacles are not free unless you have a medical condition, no heating allowance, no free TV licence and meals on wheels you have to pay for.
3. Healthcare is free, but dentist you have to pay for although it is less when you are retired.
4. My dads house is heated from solar panels, so his energy bill is mainly some electricity usage, which is around £150 per quarter.
5. Council tax is part of the main tax, so altogether 20%.
6. Mortgage paid off, so just communal fees at around £100 per month. There are social housing in Norway, but he has never had the need to use it.
7. He pays 20% on his state pension in tax.

Hope that covers it?

Hello Ros

Thank you for providing some more information on your dad’s financial position as a Norwegian pensioner. I believe his details may explain the apparent huge difference in the level of state pension in the UK and Norway – and possibly other countries.

He receives £30k state pension which is partly funded by his employer but does not receive a separate occupational pension. This is a similar level of pension to a retired friend. Her state pension added to her occupational pension is a total of £27k – this is after 36 years work. Taking into account the higher cost of living in Norway, their standard of living is likely to be similar, i,e. they are both comfortably off.

# Her council tax is £1400 per year, your father pays £1200 per year communal fees
# She has heating costs of £900 – heating allowance of £200 , your father pays £600
# Healthcare is free for both and they both pay for dental work.
# All prescriptions are free in the UK from age 60, but free for serious conditions only in Norway.
# She has a free local area travel pass but does not use it, your dad gets 50% off travel costs, in theory the UK wins on this but your dad probably uses his car rather than public transport or his 50% discount may apply throughout the country.
# Income tax is 20% in both countries, in the UK, after a personal allowance of £9440 on which we do not pay tax.

The huge difference may be explained by the fact that in some countries, employers contribute towards a state pension, instead of contributing to an occupational pension, as they do in the UK. So, we do not seem to be comparing like with like.

Lets take the selfish self interest out of this for one moment folks, its a typical British attitude.

Since Margaret Thatcher broke the State pensions link with earnings in 1980, the UK’s State pension has plummeted in value. Means testing was brought in and millions of pensioners refuse to be means tested for degrading state handouts after paying taxes and NI contributions through a working life.

over 30 years millions of elderly people in Britain today are having to choose between eating, and heating their homes because the UK’s State pension is so low, and what’s more the media are sweeping this issue under the carpet.

The basic state pension for single pensioners is just £107 . 45 a week, and this is following a 30, 40, and 50 year working life contributing to the system both taxes and NI contribution which were mandatory

The State pension used to increase with British male average earnings, or inflation whichever the higher to protect its value, prior to 1979, but when Thatcher took office in 1980 she broke to state pensions link with male average earnings, and the state pension has decreased in value ever since, being linked to inflation, and New Labour under Blair and Brown continued Thatcher’s pension policy.

All pensioners have been denied a decent state pension for over 30 years.

Means testing pensioners is not just an evil, it is a crime, to quote Gordon Brown prior to the 1997 general election of New Labour.

The facts are means testing pensioners is costing 15 to 20 times more of tax payers money than the restoration of the earnings link, and as more and more people reach retirement age means testing costs will spiral, and state pension costs will dwindle.

The low state pension in this country has nothing to do with cost, it is ideologically right wing dogma that began in the 80’s.

Pension Credit is a means test, and pensioners should not have to endure means testing for more money.

The basic state pension should be increased universally. And the rich should pay higher income tax to balance out what they receive in a higher State pension. This is about re-distribution of wealth, and fairness.

Suffice to say that Margaret Thatcher broke the link that kept the state pensions increasing with male average earnings in 1980, almost 30 years ago, and linked the state pension to inflation, that’s when the state pension level began to dwindle in value, and means testing became the norm.

1 in 5 from 12 million pensioners live in poverty in this country, having to choose between heating their homes and buying food, there are also millions of pensioners who suffer untimely deaths each winter because of hypothermia related illness, due to the above reasons. Winter deaths claim 200 pensioners every day.

Means testing pensioners is not the answer to providing our elderly people with decent living standards without means testing, particularly as they have spent a 30, 40, and 50 year working life on lower wages than today, paying into the system both taxes and NI contributions.

A decent state pension is their “right”.

In future years, today’s young people who will not have been able to save for a private pension due to long term unemployment,/ and/or low wages, and there for will be in the same, if not worse destitution as their parents and grandparents are in today.

What is needed to reverse Government policy since the 80’s, is a a mass consolidation of 60 million British people to stand and be counted on behalf of 12 million pensioners for a decent increase in the basic State pension.

I wish there was a way of responding directly to people, and to those who thumb down ?

Ros Mari Grindheim, if you read this, would/could you contact me please at the following.

[Email removed by mods. Sorry, we don’t allow personal contact info on Which? Conversation. Thanks, mods.]

Ta!!

Dave says:
25 April 2013

The state pensipn will only rise in 2016 to the new level for NEW claiments.Those already receiving the state pension will stay at their current level.

When the new flat rate state pension starts in 2016 only about 30% of people will receive an increase as most people seem to think that it is going up from the Basic state pension, currently about £107. Most people have some state second pension/SERPS which when added to the Basic state pension gives them a pension greater than the new flat rate second pension so will not receive anymore pension from the state than they would have under the existing stat pensions. If they have ever been contracted out of state second pension or SERPS this will reduce the single state pension.so they could have the pension reduced back to the original state pension. The other thing people must remember is that if they don’t have 35 years of NI or credits the flat rate pension will be reduced.

The people who will gain most are the people who have been self employed all their working lives.

Under the new flat rate scheme most people starting work after 5 April 2016 will receive less pension than they would under the current state pension, even if they earn only £10,000 per year.

The Government and most journalists are not explaining the changs very well an seem to indicate to people that the pension is going u p from £107 to the new flat rate pension which is not correct for many people.

Beckenham1 says:
25 April 2013

If this is true, I foresee that the losers will appeal & eventually go to Europe.

That should be fun……?

Dave, That’s right. Todays pensioners will continue to be means tested for State handouts and receive a low state pension.

Fionna says:
25 April 2013

The last few posts looking at competitive pension figures begins to identify some of the issues in comparing national pension schemes in that we are not comparing like with like.

Everyone is making interesting points and I see a number have picked up that many of us are in an interim group who get delayed pensions but will not be eligible for the future enhanced pensions so getting a double whammy (well triple, in fact as neither will we be eligible for the higher age related state pension when we get older so at that stage we fall further behind).

One of the difficulties of the present comparison table is that if the state pension is high there is little need for an individual to have private pensions, but the larger the state pension (particularly when it relies on future taxpayers to fund the payments) the greater the burden on the taxpayer.

In Norway, too the cost of living is v high indeed and I am not sure how far £30,000 pa will stretch (having had something of a shock when holidaying in Norway last year and seeing the eye watering costs of a cup of coffee, food and other such items).

In other words we are not comparing like with like…although by any standard we are not doing well on the league tables…whether Which’s or the interesting one produced by Ken.

I am not sure how to set about a better way of comparing to enable a more like for like comparison and wonder whether anyone has a better idea?

When The Chancellor announced plans for the new state pension he and all the media called it the Universal state pension. The rate would be £144 (at today’s rates), and it would be payable to all pensioners from April 2016. Now, that is what I understood Universal to mean. There was no caveat stating that it would only apply to new pensioners, and more importantly, that the amount payable would still be based on your national insurance contributions – needing 35 years contributions to get the full payment. I’m sure that a lot of older people still believe they will be getting this full Universal pension come April 2016. It is a sad affair if you can’t believe important Government announcements and have to go looking for the actual facts.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/28/germany-pensioners-living-care-world
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/26/german-elderly-foreign-care-homes

The above article is about Germans sending their old people abroad because of the cost of care homes at home and the lack of care home staff. It’s not surprising their care homes are so expensive, considering their state pension. My thoughts are, we do better on our meagre pensions and I hope George Osborne does not get any ideas about our old people. Perhaps this is our future!

SA Person says:
25 April 2013

Well if you know anything about SA then you would relise that the average is calculated with thousands of SA people not earning the basic state pension obtainable here in the UK ! Exchange rates and cost of living for the average household when electricity and water, rates & other utility bills are taken into account ?

This article does not “compare apples with apples” !!

The information came from an article in the Wall Street Journal by a Hester Plumridge dated 7 June 2012. The article name was Europe’s Pension Crisis Yet to Come of Age.

Richard CONNOLLY says:
25 April 2013

please explain who gets the average wage of £31.413?, if I was still working my wages would be below that figure as are many people I know.

If you Google the ‘Rich List’ you will find the names of some people who earn a bit more than the average wage. 🙁

Gordon S says:
25 April 2013

I THINK they have missed out the very important fact that in the UK once you reach the age of 80 they give you 25p YES 25 PENCE a week extra on your pension such generosity should not go un-noted !!!