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Earlier this month, campaigners presented their case for the UK State Pension to be increased to £175 per week, at the Pensioners’ Parliament in Blackpool.
The three-day event gave campaigners a chance to voice their concerns over the current quality of life for older people living in Great Britain. The proposal that the State Pension be raised to £175 per week was just one of the key issues raised by the campaign group, the National Pensioners Convention.
At the moment, the basic State Pension rests at just £113.10 per week, which the Convention says is not enough to support individuals in later life.
They claim that £175 per week is the minimum income needed to live above the poverty line.[quote]“The UK is not an easy place to be for many older people right now.
“Despite what some people say, pensioners have not escaped the Government’s austerity programme.”[/quote]
They went on to point out that cuts to the winter fuel allowance; rationing of care services; changes to the way pensions are uprated annually and the government’s freeze on tax allowances are all beginning to “take their toll” on the retired and the elderly.
This is all happening as the cost of living rapidly rises, creating a hazardous environment for retirees to enjoy later life. The Convention summed up the UK state pension system as “one of the worst in Europe”.
In light of the current chokeholds on pensions, new research revealed that more than 70 percent of people are likely to continue working past the State Pension age in order to boost their pensions. The study was carried out by Metlife and included an analysis from former pensions adviser Ros Altmann. Altmann surmised that working one full extra year, plus two more years part-time, could boost one’s pension fund by 11 percent.
However, the study also showed that only 20 percent of workers believe they are saving enough for retirement, whilst 41 percent do not understand retirement savings following George Osbourne’s decision to scrap the need to buy an annuity.
On a better note, it was revealed that 24 percent of workers (7.3 million) plan to start saving or increase their pension contributions in light of the new changes.
Ros Altmann stated that a ‘national wealth service’ should be established in order to help savers understand the new pension system and make adequate plans for their retirement. She is also urging the government to put new rules in place that compel ‘non-advice’ services to disclose their charges upfront.