Does the state pension provide protection for all?

Last updated: Feb 8th, 2013
News by Anna Sofat
pension definition

While I welcome the government's recently announced state pension reform as a major step towards giving people certainty about the first pillar of their retirement income, my concern is whether there is sufficient protection for women, carers and immigrant workers.
 
Under the reforms, you need to have paid at least 10 years' worth of National Insurance Contributions in order to qualify for a reduced state pension and 35 years for a full one.

Women

 10 years is a long time for women who have had to take career breaks to bring up their families and for carers, who are usually women, and who may find it difficult to meet the 10 year threshold if they have to spend many years caring for elderly relatives.

I don't see any protection for these carers, when they should be recognised as doing a valuable job which often saves the State money.

Migrants

 The same applies to migrant workers who come to work in the UK for a few years. When, as a country, we have encouraged immigrants to come here, it seems unfair that anyone who works for less than 10 years, ends up with nothing to show for it in terms of basic state pension benefits.
 
My other concern is that the constant changing of the rules regarding eligibility for the full basic state pension is confusing for people and keeps throwing up different winners and losers.
 
You used to have to work for 40 years to qualify, it was then reduced to 30 years, while the latest reforms have increased the number of qualifying working years to 35. It is very difficult for people to plan for their retirement, when there is change upon change, upon change.

Anna Sofat is managing director at Addidi Wealth

This article was written for our sister website Money Observer

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Your Comments

We are both 58. Having been made redundant 2 years ago, I decided that we just had enough cash from my redundancy and a lump sum from my employer's final salary plan to last until state pension age. That was to be 65 for me and 64 and 6 months for madam. My state pension forecast was for £175 a week at age 65 and madam's was to be £114. So we retired.
Then in October 2011 Osborne announced that the retirement ages were changing. This added 6 months onto my, and 18 months onto the wife's retirement age. So almost a year into our retirement we found out that we needed to find an extra 30 people-months worth of state pension. That left us over £13,000 short in our planning.
Then the number of years to qualify went up to 35. My wife only has 30 years in, so she will only get 30/35 of a state pension unless she gets a job - but we have made plans and changed lifestyle - looking after grandchildren.
Then I looked at the small print. Initially I thought that I would get the £144 per week, a loss of £31 a week, but NO! The small print says that the £144 will be reduced for periods when contracted out of serps. I don't know how many years I was contracted out; all I know is that we have been screwed by these millionaires in power!!!!!
So unless you are within a few months of state pension age, don't bother making any plans. These uncaring toffs will scupper them.

I had retired before Osborne and Cameron got into power. I had planned carefully only to discover after retiring that I was going to be screwed by a corrupt Government. My savings, built up over many eyars, provide a fraction of what they should provide. The link between RPI (always under real inflation) has gone and now we are linked with CPI (even further under inflation). Writing to your MP is met with a blank 'we are all in it together' attitude - which does not apply, of coruse, to MP's and their pensions.
Doon't bother planning, you will get screwed! Incdientally the new scheme is likely to pay less in the long term than the old one. And they criticised Maxwell for robbing the pensioners!
 
And who to vote for? None of them are prepared to honour their promises!

The inheritance of spouses National Insurance contributions are also stopping as part of the new pension scheme, so women including future widows, who are depending on this method of getting a pension are also extremely badly affected by the new scheme.
Imagine saving in a private pension for a pension for you & your wife which included a windows pension & then within a few years of retirement the pension company declaring that your wife’s pension would not be paid & if you died first your widow would not receive a widows pension.
The Government would be the first to complain, but that is exactly what's happening & the Government is the corrupt pension provider!