State Pension Reform Campaign 

A State Pension Reform Campaign was pursued by many organisations but unfortunately the proposals were approved.

Page updated September 2016

Whilst we all agreed that State Pension Reform was long overdue and that in any reform there will always be winners and losers there does appear to have been blatant discrimination and unfairness in the way the reform has been carried out.


There have been many contributions by visitors  giving their thoughts on the proposals for a flat rate single tier pension read the comments on the state pension reform here. It is quite obvious from the comments that there are a lot of very angry and frustrated baby boomers out there that will miss out on the proposed flat rate pension or have to work more years before qualifying for a pension than they originally planned.

I thought it would be good to give some kind of feedback on what we could do rather than just sit back and let it happen without making our views heard. 

There seemed to be various State Pension Reform campaigns and e-petitions started by individuals who obviously felt very aggrieved for different reasons but none of them were of any significance.

Age UK led a campaign against the increase in age issue.  The Pensions Bill proposed to equalise men's and women's state pension age at 65 in November 2018, and then raise it to 66 by April 2020. This was 6 years earlier than planned, and they thought this didn't leave those affected with enough time to plan for their financial futures.


I din’t believe that any individual could argue our case effectively but rather it should be an organisation like Age UK or the Pensioners
Convention.

I did meet with my local Member of Parliament for South Staffordshire Mr. Gavin Williamson and outlined some of the concerns and frustrations that visitors to babyboomers-retiring  had raised on the new State Pension Reform Proposals.

I expressed my concern at the lack of response to the issues raised by the State Pension Reform Campaign.

He asked me to put in writing what the main issues were. 

The State Pension Reform Campaign Issues:

  • 80,000 women who as result of two separate changes to the State Pension  rules will not only have to wait longer before they can retire but also will now lose out on the new flat rate pension.

Women born between April 6th and July 5th of 1953.  For some women it means they will have to wait a further 18 months before being able to draw their state pension, and now the flat rate proposal  has been pushed back to April 2017 instead of April 2016 means they will be excluded from the new rate.

  • Millions of current pensioners who will be approximately £200 a month worse off when the new rate comes in than new pensioners despite having paid into the system for more years.

Current pensioners had to pay in for 39 years for women and 44 years for men compared to new pensioners now only needing 35 years.  £200 a month is a lot of money to a pensioner.  It can make the difference between struggling and living comfortably.

  • The blatant discrimination against Pensioners who have paid into the system  on the same terms and conditions of everyone else but wish to leave the U.K. to perhaps join family in countries that are deemed by the Government not to require a cost of living increase.

As one visitor to my website commented In real terms this means that a woman retiring 30 years ago on a full pension of £6.20 per week who went to live in Australia with her family is still only receiving £6.20 per week and not the £107.45 she should be getting.

Why should this be? Why should you have an inflation proof pension if you go to live in America but not in Canada, Australia or Thailand. Several visitors to my website have commented this is theft!  It is grossly unfair and needs to be rectified under the new proposals. 

  • On the other hand you have people that have moved within the EU Countries not only receiving the cost of living allowance but they also receive a heating allowance which is totally unnecessary.  Surely only those living in the U.K. should qualify for a heating allowance.

I also sent him a copy of some of the comment links on the website so that he could read for himself to see what people were saying.

I raised concern that there didn't seem to be any organisation acting on our behalf to lobby the Government and asked for his advice as to what we could do and who to address our concerns to.
 


Reply of Gavin Williamson Member of Parliament  for South Staffordshire

...................."These proposals are going to be examined by the Work and Pensions Select Committee and they will look to seek a wide range of evidence from a large group of bodies including organisations such a Age Concern and many others.  Due to the very clear detail of your email I wanted to pass this on to the Pensions Minister, Mr Steve Webb, so that he can be aware of the concerns that many people have.

I know that many people are very concerned about the changes though equally I know there is a lot of misunderstanding as to how the changes will be introduced and the impact.

I feel that by making sure your concerns are heard by the Minister it is the most swift and direct way of lobbying Government and I will certainly make sure we get a full and detailed response to what you have put forward."

I also asked the question that if the Conservatives lost the next Election would the reforms still go forward.

His answer

......"These reforms seem to have been cautiously welcomed by the Labour Party though obviously they have concerns and will be making representations.  I think there seems to be a general consensus that reform does need to happen in the Pension Service and it is my gut feeling that whoever is in power will see changes to the way our pensions are delivered."




The  reply from Steve Webb who was Pensions Minister at the time. addressing the issues raised by the state pension reform campaign. Click on the link to download the pdf document.




The National Pensioners Convention

The National Pensioners Convention Logo

Eventually after intervention from Age UK and the National Pensioners Convention, the Government amended this Bill albeit not all of the issues raised by the state pension reform campaign were addressed satisfactorily but it is now law.

This is evidence that mounting a state pension reform campaign did help somewhat.

Meanwhile the National Pensioners Convention continue to fight against any unfair state pension reform proposals and do everything they can to protect Pensioners rights and current benefits.

There are still different ways that you can get involved here http://npcuk.org/get-involved-2 and on their Campaign Page.



On the issue of Frozen Pensions

There is still the issue that I personally think is the most unfair.  It doesn't affect me personally but it could and it could affect you. 

We still need to press on the with the state pension reform campaign for the 'frozen pensioners' in other countries.

If you or I decided we wanted to go and live in Austrailia or Canada or many more countries our pension would be frozen.  This puts a restriction on where we choose to go.  It takes away our freedom of choice.  

With families split and living in other parts of the globe why should someone be stopped from going to live near their family in another Country when they retire?

Click on the Video below to understand more what this means to the people it affects.




Join the State Pension Reform Campaign now.

The more noise we make the more chance there is that they will have to listen.


Take Action now http://pensionjustice.org/

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