Have you voted for government to keep its hands-off your pensioner benefits?

Senior Couple Watching TV At Home

The Conservative party has pledged to consign the possible granting of state pension increases so small as to be meaningless ,to the political dustbin by confirming the retention of the ‘triple lock’ guarantee for state pension increases post-2015 ,if re-elected. No sooner had this political football been punctured than murmurings were to be heard from other political quarters threatening to remove the following pensioners’ non-means tested benefits :

– free tv licence fee for the over-75s

-winter fuel allowances

-bus passes

-free prescriptions and eye tests

It is true that there are some wealthy pensioners in the UK who could well fund these benefits for themselves. According to the Hands Off ! campaign, however,the high figures for usage point to a clear need for these benefits to be retained.It also says that the high level of unclaimed means tested benefits, for over 65s, clearly shows that means testing does not work.

“We have,for the first time,placed a value on the economic and social contribution that older people make to our society. In 2010,over 65s made an astonishing net contribution of £40 billion to the UK economy through,amongst other contributions,taxes, spending power,…” Lynne Berry, WRVS

Hands Off! also says,the recent period of austerity is seen as having hit hard the older as well as the younger generations in the nation.The risk of poverty in older people is said to be higher than for most other EU countries.

There have been a number of recent changes affecting pensioner benefits:

-the date for women’s pension retirement age brought forward

-state pensions linked to the lower measure of inflation (CPI)

-raised qualifying age for Winter fuel payments

-the freezing of personal allowances for over 4 million pensioners, expected to save the government £1bn by 2015.

“There are over 10 million people aged 65+ living in the UK. Two out of three believe that politicians see older people as a low priority. The ‘Hands Off’ campaign plans to change that.” Hands Off!”

An e-petition entitled ‘Hands off universal pensioner benefits’ has been created in order to influence government and parliament in the UK.

Sign-up today! The opportunity  to do so ends 10th May 2014

Are you ready to live so much longer?

Source: Office of National Statistics

Live longer,live life given a longer life expectancy

This page usually tries, if anything, to be encouraging.For many people life at a certain age is an attitude of mind and not a number. We can live on hope and expectation, that we will be blessed with reasonable good health and the level of wealth to enjoy the later years. Occasionally , we have to look at the numbers so that things are left not completely to happenstance. Financial and other planning can help to provide a little more comfort.So there is a message for us in official statistics. According to the official ONS data for 2006-08, males at age 65 can expect to live an additional 17.4 years, the corresponding number for females at age 65 is 20 years. For more information behind these headline figures you can go to http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=168

The new UK government has decided that the previous government’s plans to raise the retirement age were not ambitious enough given the rising life expectancy and the huge current level of Government debt and future pension liability.So 10 years earlier than planned, it is now proposed from 2016 to raise the retirement age for receipt of state pension from age 65  to 66 (for females this is likely to be from 2020).For more on this…http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/10375740.stm and according to a report in the Times website the plan is for the retirement will rise eventually to age 70.http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/ So with the encouraging news of possible longer life comes the challenge of having enough money to see out this extra time. The future aim of these pages, in addition to exploring areas for continuing life improvement generally, is to bring out information on how this challenge of financial security might be achieved.