Pension Payment Dates Christmas 2019

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If you are receiving the State Pension, your payment dates will probably be affected by the Christmas bank holidays. The Pension Credit payment dates are also likely to be amended due to this. Please bear in mind that if your payment is due on a day that is not a bank holiday, then you will still receive the money on this date and should not receive the payment early. The affected Christmas 2019 pension payment dates are as follows.

Early Pension Payment Dates 2019

Payment Due Payment Sent
Wednesday 25th December
(Christmas Day)
Tuesday 24th December
(Christmas Eve)
Thursday 26th December
(Boxing Day)
Tuesday 24th December
(Christmas Eve)
Wednesday 1st January
(New Year’s Day)
Tuesday 31st December
(New Year’s Eve)

If your payment date falls on a bank holiday then you should be paid on the working day before this date instead. Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve are not bank holidays and both fall on working days directly before bank holidays this year. This means that even if you do receive an early payment, it will only be 1 day early. It should not disrupt your regular outgoings. Contact the DWP if you do not receive your pension payment.

Pension Winter Fuel Payment

If you are claiming the State Pension and you were born on or before 5th April 1954, then you are eligible for the Winter Fuel Payment. This is a bonus payment from the government to help vulnerable elderly people to pay for heating their homes during the winter. Eligible people should automatically receive a payment of £100 – £300 (depending on their age and circumstances). The payment should arrive in your account from November – December 2019, or by 13th January 2020 at the very latest.

If you do not receive a Winter Fuel Payment you are eligible for, you may have to make a Winter Fuel Payment claim or contact the Pensions Office.

Is the State Pension age rising to 75?

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If you are already making plans for your retirement, the recent stories in the news may be worrying. However, you need to know that the idea of increasing the State Pension age to 75 was only a proposal. The UK government is not actually taking this action. This article will tell you everything you need to know about the current plan for State Pensions.

Continue reading Is the State Pension age rising to 75?

A Guide to National Insurance

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A Guide to National Insurance

What is National Insurance?

National Insurance is a form of tax which applies to your earnings for every pay period. This could be weekly or monthly according to your employer’s payment arrangements. It will be deducted from your wages along with Income Tax. If you are self-employed, you have to complete a Self Assessment tax return before paying both Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions. You must pay NIC if you are over 16 years old and in employment earning over £162 a week, or self-employment with a profit above £6,205 a year. You stop paying when you reach the State Pension age. If you don’t pay National Insurance contributions, you will not qualify to receive certain benefits. These include the State Pension, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, Maternity Allowance, and Bereavement Support. You need an NI number to pay.

Continue reading A Guide to National Insurance

State Pension Age to Rise Again

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Just when you thought it couldn’t get any higher, a new report released for the government has revealed that state pension age could rise again, leaving many people without a pension until the age of 70, meaning we will have to remain in work for longer than ever in order to qualify. The new rules are likely to affect those in work at the moment, under the age of 30. A second report, also released to the Government has stated that those under the age of 45 may also have to work a little extra. Those expecting to receive their state pension at the age of 67 will now have to wait an extra year until they are 68. Both repoperson of state pension agerts are a little up in the air at the moment and it is thought that it will be properly decided later on in May when the government is due to make a decision.

It seems there are a number of factors that are contributing to the rise in cost of state pensions and it is something that ministers are now being forced to address seriously. Pension costs are rising due to things such as longer life expectancy, and the growing ratio of pensioners to people in work. The rise in cost may leave ministers with no choice but to push back the state pension age so that pensions remain affordable to fund. It is thought that at least six million people will be faced with the prospect of having to work longer. The news will be most distressing to those in their early forties who have perhaps planned ahead for retirement, only to find they will need to add another year onto this. Those that are 30 or younger will have the expectation of retiring at seventy reinforced, an extra two years later than the current age. It is thought that the state pension age could rise as soon as 2054 (although this is an extreme scenario). The current rise is the state pension age rising to 68 for those born after 1978. This rise is due to be put into effect by 2046 but could be brought forward to 2039, which will, of course, affect a wider range of people.

The Current Figures

State Pension Age, much to the annoyance of workers, has experienced significant raises in the past couple of years and it looks like it isn’t going to stop anytime soon. Between 2018 and 2020 the state pension age (currently 65) is set to rise to 66, closely followed by 67 between 2026 and 2028 and then to 68 by 2046. According to ministers, the reason for the gradual raises is to smooth out the process as well as trying to make the future both fair and sustainable for the younger generation. Whilst this may seem maintainable, the calls for the 2046 date to be pulled forward are getting harder and harder to ignore as state pensions become increasingly expensive (as mentioned above). New calls have called for the state pension age to rise over a two-year period – beginning in 2037 and ending in 2039.

At the moment, the State Pension Age is under ‘triple lock’ but there are fears that this protection could soon come to an end. The triple lock protects pension payments for rising in line with whatever the national average wage is at the time as well as inflation and 2.5%.

 

Theresa May’s Benefit Challenge

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Monday marked yet another historical day for Britain, as Angela Leadsom stepped down, leaving a proud Theresa may as current PM David Cameron’s successor. Today, David Cameron moves out, and Theresa May moves into the infamous Number 10, as she attempts to pick up where he left off, guiding Britain slowly but surely out of the EU, whether we like it or not. Becoming Prime minister at such a tumultuous time for Britain will certainly be no easy feat, and Theresa May already has a to-do list from hell as she gets her feet snugly under the Downing Street table. With a new Prime minister in our midst, how will the change of hands affect the day to day lives of those living off pension and benefit payments? Will the change be for the better? Or will harsh cuts continue to leave people financially unstable? www.hmrctalk.co.uk

Universal Credit

Unfortunately for low-paid  working families, there are plans for the cuts to tax credits that had seemingly been abandoned by Iain Duncan Smith, to be re-started. The re-introduction of the controversial cuts is said to hit those that need financial support most, with a loss of £3000 a year by 2020. Furthermore, it could be said that the Universal Credit programme has been nothing but hassle since it was initially introduced. The transition from other benefits included Job Seeker’s Allowance to Universal Credit has been complicated and not exactly greeted with open arms as a positive change. As a result, the procedure has been massively delayed and is thought to become one of the biggest challenged for Theresa May to put straight. Parliament have in the past, attempted to discover why there have been delays with Universal Credit and have even accused the DWP of being evasive with their responses. It has been announced that Universal Credit will not be implemented fully until 2021, 4 years after its starting date. The lack of transparency the DWP has provided into the progress of Universal Credit has been seen as unacceptable by many MP’s.

Admittedly, the new system is a lengthy process, with all six existing benefits received by claimants being rolled into one. This calls for complicated IT system and change in the financial routine of 500, 000 people. The Universal Credit system does ultimately account for lower in-work benefits for working families and so when Theresa May attempts to get the enforcement in order, she is likely to be met with backlash, particularly from less than happy claimants. There has been much concern over the sudden and steep withdrawal of benefits, that no doubt May will have to address.

Pension Cuts

Theresa May, will also face an extremely tough decision with her new position of power, dealing with votes for pension cuts after years of annual rises for pensioners. Now she is leading Britain out of the EU, it is likely Theresa may will have the backing of Britain’s older generation. However, with a decision to cut pensions looming, will the support remain amicable? Reports have shown that rates from annuity firms fell by 2% after Brexit was announced, showing a possible glimpse into the future negative effects Brexit may have on pensions and those saving for retirement. With Priti Patel, a female work and pensions minister, set to be appointed by May into the cabinet, could things be about to change?

Reports that have looked into the falling annuity rates have suggested that it could continue, as a post-Brexit recession means that the funding is simply not there, and pressure will be placed on tax revenues, which are needed to pay state pensions. It has been suggested that the changes will affect those that are not already retired, meaning that Theresa May will have to work hard to support the financial futures of those still in work, saving for their future. The promised ‘triple-lock’ on pensions (increasing the payment with price and wage inflation) may now not be possible in the wake of a Brexit. This promise was also made by the now-resigned David Cameron.

As the Prime minister attends his last parliamentary meeting and bids goodbye to the country, we wait with baited breath to see what Theresa may has in store.