OAP fury over pension reforms

Pensions wordsearch

Pensioners, who will be exempt from pensions reform announced today, have attacked the planned changes as a "work shirker's charter."

Internet message boards hummed with fury over the reforms, which will see a flat rate pension of £140 a week introduced.

Currently, at 65 you're entitled to a basic pension of £96.65 a week. On top of this is the means-tested element for lower earners - known as pension credit- which boosts pensions up to £132.60 a week for a single person and £202.40 for couples.

But the reforms to introduce a flat-rate pension will not apply to current pensioners.

The big drawback

Pensions ace Ros Altmann, director general of Saga says: "None of today's pensioners will get less than now, but they will not receive the new benefits. This is a big drawback to the proposals and it would be good if the government could find a way to deal with the anger of today's pensioners."

One reader, who chose to remain anonymous, commented on Moneywise.co.uk: "What about people who have worked for the last 40 odd years paying 40% tax and maximum National Insurance payments? My pension entitled me to £170 per week. Am I to get the same as someone who has never worked and paid tax and NI? This surely is a work shirker's charter."

Pensioner John Deakin from Rhyl, North Wales calls the move "disgusting, disgraceful, despicable, deplorable, reprehensible and immoral."

He says: "It should be illegal that the government are even considering not giving the new state pension to current pensioners. How can they justify not giving the increase to old people who have worked all of their lives, paid their taxes and insurance contributions and in many cases fought for their country?"

But Laith Khalaf, pensions analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, says there will have to be winners and losers in order to reach the government goal of keeping pensioners out of poverty.

He says: "The government can't go tinkering with people already receiving their pension. This would be a positive reform for some existing pensioners but then others would lose out. What about women who are currently retired? The government couldn't go to them and say; 'you owe us five years of state pensions'."


More about

Your Comments

One of the reasons given for changes in the pension system was to also reduce costly bureaucracy. How can this be so, if millions are to remain within a system of means testing, etc., which will have to remain for potentially 30 years. Barmy.

did i do the wrong thing working from the age of fifteen to sixty seven having paid my stamp and tax and now ending up with less each year than someone who has done little or no work in this contry?


Nice one! Just typical: vote for the Conservatives in the hope of fairness/curbing the scivers and leeches, and this is what happens. Promises not kept in other directions also - using the Labour disasters no excuse as we all knew what had happened..............sounds like a vote catcher for the next election to gather up all the ladies and people near retirement........and of course the malingerers who never intended to work, being content to stay on 'soosh' with subsidised housing. Vote BNP or UKIP to get us out of the Eu and release some money for the pensioners?

I agree with other pensioners, I have just started to receive my pension 28th of February after working 50 years !!! and get around £109.00 a week a very long way short of the £150 £160 been talked about I think it is disgracefull they way they are going to treat us. we have paid in for 50 years and deserve better shame on you. I voted for you and always have but I may not the next time. Come on Mr C get your act together and look after the people who have worked all there lifes and paid our dues again shame on you.

I too have just started to get my pension but remain working, I have always worked but at one time worked part time when my family was young and paid the lower stamp, I have worked more than 35 years full time but only get a reduced pension because of paying the lower stamp all those years ago, a colleage of mine who had 10 years off to look after children was credited with the full stamp, she now gets approximately £40 per week more than I do, alas I also fall into the category that will not get the increased pension when this happens!!! What now, have I paid all these years and never had time off work to pay for all the people who have NEVER BEEN EMPLOYED or for people coming into the Country and getting all the benefits, it all beggers belief!!! Frustrated Pensioner who cannot afford to give up work!!

Why are we surprised, British governments all want to get/keep the vote of the masses, and today the masses are those on benifits and government hand outs, the only people who pay taxes are those who work and on PAYE ther rest are either on benifits or have family trusts and so avoid paying taxes.

"Currently you are entitled to £96.65 per week" ONLY IF YOU HAVE ENOUGH NI CREDITS

I totally disagree with Laith Khalaf with regard to winners & losers. Why should there be losers? Existing pensioners who are already getting more (because they have paid in more) should continue to get more and all others, especially existing pensioners, should get the new deal, as those already retired had to pay NI for many years longer than those currently working now, to get the full State Pension. Government should remember there a bigger percentage of retired people who bother to vote.


For many years I worked for a large insurance company, selling private pensions to the general public. A frequent objection was "Why should I bother saving for myself as the State will look after me when I am older?" This turned out to be true in many cases due to the so called Pension Credit Scheme, which is Means Tested. This meant that those people who were able but refused to save, are handed extra by the State in retirement, which is not a fair situation. People who are able, either need to be forced to save into a private pension or they should not be able to fall back on Pension Credits, which also, in many cases gives them subsidised rent and reduced or no council tax. So yes, please do away with Pension Credits but let us have a State Pension that is fair to existing pensioners too.


Never thought I would hear myself say anything in approval of this government but in fact I was relieved to hear that the new flat rate would not be applied to all existing pensioners at the time of introduction. Yes, I of course understand the frustration of those who miss out and remain on a lower pension - I would personally support uplifting them to the new rate. But some of us are presently on substantially higher rate state pensions - in my case nearly twice the new rate (the reason for that being contributions at the full rate over a lifetime's working, SERPS payments when these were an option, and deferral of pension at the normal age) - and had feared seeing all this swept away with a blanket change. 

Laith Khalaf says "The government can't go tinkering with people already receiving their pension." Will he then now condemn the government's intention to reduce the modest and hard earned pensions of thousands of existing public sector pensioners by changing their pensions' index linking from RPI to CPI? This will undoubtedly not help to achieve what he describes as " ...the government goal of keeping pensioners out of poverty."

The government has already torn up the terms on which those pensions are paid - and contrary to what is often reported, many of those pensions are funded by large investment funds and can continue to fund the pensions already being paid out on the terms to which their recipients originally signed up. The government has in effect already gone to them and said "We know what you signed up to and what you've been paying into for decades, but we've just decided we're going toignore that - we don't have any moral scruples about breaking promises."

I cannot understand how the Government can entertain the situation where people who worked all their lives and paid taxes etc. should receive less that others by virtue of birthdate.

Who is this so called pensions expert LAITH KHALAF tell me why should there be winners and losers of the state pension, people who have paid their taxes and ni for the required years, and women who took time out to bring up kids should not be losers.
This expert!! says the government cant go on tinkering with existing pensioners pensions, so we end up having an unequal, unfair,system tell this guy to get into the real world and not the money world of Hargreaves Lansdown.
Would not trust this guy as far as I could throw him !!!!

I am unable to understand Laith Khalaf pensions analyst Government Departments do this already (example; I have recently recieved a letter from Pension Credit Department advising me that my payment allotted to me was to be reduced . When checking why? the Department staff advised me that someone had made a mistake an account i had held for over 10 years should have been reviewed annualy and in so doing implied that was the reason for my deduction. The direct debit payment had remained unaltered at the same rate to that account now to be increased ie from £5-.00p to £9.00p

What about the single women who never had a "maternity break", worked all their lives, paid full NI contributions and are now being stabbed in the back and front by this government's proposal to give full pensions to those who pay 30 years contributions and have taken time off for having children. Why on earth should I pay for someone else to have children let them pay for themselves or go without.

Has the govenment seriously considered the effect that these changes to a two tier pension system will have on the vote at the next general election.Does Cameron really believe that existing pensioners will vote conservative when they see new entrants to the pension ,many of whom have paid fewer years contributions, receiving much more money.
Surely it must save on bureaucracy and untold argument to simply pay the same to everyone and scrap means tested add ons.

 Mr Khalaf talks of people losing out! What about 50 years ago when employers told women upon returning from maternity leave that the "small stamp" would be adequate for securing their pension because any shortfall would come from the contributions paid by their husbands and millions did this and lost out, because when they retired they were told they had no pension. Not quite true because when my wife retired she was allowed to make a lump sum contribution which bought her a small % of her pension.

Speaking for my wife - the system stinks! 

So the goverment has proposed bringing in a pension of £140.00 per week for the next generation of Pensioners.

How do they propose to help those of us who are already Pensioners and are struggling to pay our bills but at the same time eat enough to stay fit and healthy, they cannot leave us out in the cold, they have not thought this through properly.


I think it is a disgrace and a slap in the face to current pensioners.
I will be lucky enough to benefit, but that is not to say I cannot see the unfairness of it. I have voted Conservative all my life, but never again. I will now vote UKIP. This government have gone against every promise they made just to get in power, they stand for nothing, there is no way that they will get back into power at the next election.
This country is broke and we are supposedly in it together, we are losing hospitals, servicemen, policemen etc, and what does David Cameron do promise more money to Pakistan !! A country that boasts more millionaire than country. Stop sending money abroad and look after our own pensioners in this country. Get your priorities right David Cameron. You lied to us all!

It is cold comfort to hear that Laith Khalaf of Hargreaves Lansdowne says 'there will have to be winners and losers in order to reach the government goal of keeping pensioners out of poverty. That comment points out the obvious but does not address the issue of unfairness.

My parents generation gave their youth to fight for this country and those that are left are frail and in many cases struggling to make ends meet. By what possible standards of justice has the government decided to dish out 30% extra pension to 'new' retirees and leave our very elderly with the same amount? These people, remember are the ones who contributed for 45 to 50 years, unlike the new entrants who have to contribute for.... oh that's right, thirty years. Lovely.

Could the government not have given the increased payment to everyone over the age of eighty and gradually phased in the same payment to younger pensioners?

I am appalled by these callous and cynical proposals. I voted Lib Dem in the last election. I won't be making that mistake again.

myself and my husband will be retiring in 2015 in March and June. We may just miss the new pension by a few days or weeks, and have to go into all the problems of means tested benefits. Now we will have to worry about this for the next four years as well as worrying about losing our savings if we have to go into a care home, and inheritance tax planning. No wonder we are all depressed.

Oops! Oversight on initial comments - 50 years ago women were also advised to pay the small stamp when they got married bcause their husbands contribution would be adequate!

I am the John Deakin quoted in the above article.

I have never been militant, I have always been a law abiding citizen, paid my income taxes and National Insurance, plus of course V.A.T. & any other form of taxation that the government has seen fit to levy. I haven't worked for the best part of 45 years in order to end up being treated as a second class citizen by my own government, & I can assure whoever is reading this article that I WILL NOT do so, I WILL fight back.

If the government sees fit to implement the proposed changes without the inclusion of "EXISTING" pensioners I will do everything in my power to get them to change their minds including. -

Hunger strikes.
O.A.P. Rallies.
O.A,P. go slows on both the M6 & M56 Motorways at peak times.

Do you know what....I don't think I'll have any trouble organising MASSIVE support. We will probably call our selves something like the 5 P's brigade..........Please Pay Pensioners Proper Pensions

John Deakin....... Rhyl.

I totally agree with John Deakin, we had to pay full NI and tax for 50 years to get a decent pension and the new wave of pensioners in years to come don't have to of had to pay anything. For years they told us by paying more each week would look after us, truth is, they spent spent it all.

John Deakin here again......

I wonder if Laith Khalaf will be a winner, or a loser, my guess is..... NOT the latter.

The government can't go tinkering??? Does he know nothing about politics???

Why should anybody lose out?

Please don't get me started on the disparity of men's & women's pensions over the years, In most cases a woman will receive a state pension for something like ten years longer than the average man. On the new (proposed) flat rate pension of £140 a week, that's £72,800.00.. that's an awful lot of National insurance payments.

I am due to retire in 2013 so I will only get basic pension of £96 plus inflation rises. Will not get pension credit having saved for my old age. So if I was 2 years younger would qualify for 50% extra, even if I had never paid tax or NI contributions. Think again or siver surfers will vote you out again!

Some couples already receiving their state pension + pension credit are going to have their incomes reduced if an amendment in the new Welfare Refom Bill goes through Parliment in it's present form, see below.

Welfare Reform Bill Explanatory Notes:

Page 22
145. Paragraph 64 amends the State Pension Credit Act 2002 so that a member of a couple who has attained the qualifying age for state pension credit may not receive state pension credit if the other member of the couple has not attained that qualifying age. This is to ensure that all claimants who have not attained the qualifying age for state pension credit are required to claim universal credit and, if appropriate, be subject to work-related conditions of entitlement.

Let's start contacting our MP's now to protest before it gets passed.

I am a "baby boomer" and am just coming up to retirement, and there are thousands of us all born after the 2nd World War, do you think this Government is trying to delay this increase in Pension until the majority of us have gone, forgotten, or given up, not in a care home as we can't afford one, unless we are forced to sell our properties to pay towards our upkeep, and have to endure "means testing" which I cannot claim, as I have "too much money and savings" and "your wife's still working?" sorry - definitely not!
Mr. Cameron can give £650 million, and highly sensitive military technology to Pakistan, because he inferred that "Pakistan looked both ways" regarding International Terrorism. When Gerald Ratner stated his goods were "c**p" he was forced (eventually) to resign!, as for Mr. C. stating that Britain is responsible for many of the worlds problems, what is this man trying to do! - I have a background in sales, and you never knock the opposition, but you never ever knock your own company!.
Politicians most of them haven't had a proper job, and certainly don't know and care what makes us "oikes" tick, - but wait until the polls?

This is blatant discrimination of th elderly by the Coalition. Vote them out, but make sure labour wouldn't rat on you as well. Why do the three main parties hate the old?

seems to me that the only losers in this are those of us who worked all our lives with a pension approximately £140.00 per week and a few pounds saved . So we chose the wrong path in life .Should have spent every penny and made sure no where near the 40 years required for the fullpension . It will be labour for me next time

I have enjoyed reading the comments of the moneywise readers over the past half hour. One thing stands out, the goverment's propsals will create a two class pensioner society. The object of the proposals was to simplify pensions!! Having worked all my life and paid my taxes and NI contributions. I only receive a basic pension, unable to recieve any credits or additional benefits because I paid into a company pension scheme for forty years!!
Save and be thrifty and you are penalised in your old age.

I agree with you wholeheartedly. I am a Conservative voter and agree with many of the sensible changes being made to stop abuses in the system, but these latest developments are indefensible. I am a female born between 1950 and 1955. I have already got used to the idea that I will not be able to collect my state pension until I am almost 62 years old. Two more years of paying tax and NI, and two years pension loss amounting to 10,000 pounds. Not only am I being forced into the new pension rules and lose at that end, but I am being excluded from the new flat rate pension of circa 150 a week. I have worked all my life, despite taking career breaks to look after my four children until they started school. I struggled to pay nursery and child minders fees (there were no nursery fee benefits when I was bringing up my children). I am exactly the type of woman the government is pretending to protect! In fact, I am losing out at both ends of the spectrum. A double wammy. Thanks David.

Totally agree. Its a nonsense to have this two tier system. I thought the idea was to recoup the extra pension payments from reducing administrative bureaucracy. How can that be so when all present pensioners, and people retiring within the next five years who will not be eligible for the new flat rate, will still have to be means tested, given pension credit, etc. etc. until circa 2050! I am disgusted. If like me YOU were born between 1950 and 1955, have worked all your life but took career breaks when your four children were little, were tricked into paying married womans stamp and therefore get no SERPS, then you will lose twofold. Forced into the new system by not being able to claim pension until you are 62, (or for some women in this age range, 66), but not eligible for the new flat rate, then you get hammered with a DOUBLE WAMMY. I am totally appalled.

I'm with you John. I feel just as passionately as the majority of people on this answerboard. It is absolutely unbelievable how these proposals can be taken seriously when it is so totally unfair to all existing pensioners and those due to retire within the next five years.

It appears that we all feel very strongly about this discrimination against existing pensioners, I carried out a comparison calculation against my state pension based on the estimated flat rate pension of £140. if was introduced today:
My Pension: £122 Wifes Pension: £65 = £187
Flate Rate £140 £140 = £280

The difference: £93 per week/ £372 per month £4836 per year. HOW FAIR IS THAT!!! This annual sum would pay my annual gas/electric/water/ council tax/car insurance/road tax and still leave an amount for fuel. We MUST STEP UP TO THE PLATE AND STOP THIS UNFAIR two tier system that flies in the face of equal rights and without doubt is against the 10 million pensioners Human Rights as they in most cases have paid their dues for 40 years

I also cannot claim pension credits because of savings When it is introduced in 2015 the rate will be £155 plus any occupational pension without any means testing therefore a married couple could have a weekly pension pot of £310 + any other pension. What is more annoting is that the new has to subscribe for 30 years not 40years to qualify.

I couldn't agree with you more Sir!