Tag Archives: pensioners

‘Middle income pensioners squeezed’ – Woman, 72, gets £42 less than others due to birthday

A STATE PENSION alert is being issued to retired Britons, particularly those receiving a sum through the basic state pension. One Briton has described income as being “squeezed”, and called for more understanding with regards to the differing amounts pensioners receive.

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State pension UK: Payments will arrive early next week for certain pensioners – check now

State pension, Universal Credit and other benefits can have their payment dates change should they fall on a bank holiday. Where this occurs, recipients will usually be paid on the first working day beforehand.

Claims for state pensions can be made online through the Government’s website.

Additionally, claims can also be made over the phone or through the post.

To be eligible for a state pension, people will need to have at least 10 qualifying years of National Insurance contributions under their belt.

To receive the full new state pension amount of £179.60 per week, at least 35 years will be needed – although there are certain reasons which could mean the amount is smaller or greater.

Once a person reaches their state pension age, there is no obligation to actually claim the payments and if they do not, the payments will be automatically deferred.

State pension payments will increase for every week they are deferred, and for the new state pension, this is so long as they are deferred for at least nine weeks.

The payments will increase by the equivalent of one percent for every nine weeks of deferment.

This works out at just under 5.8 percent for every 52 weeks, for the new state pension.

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State pension set to rise by 8% but thousands of pensioners will miss out on boost

State Pension payments offer important financial support to individuals who have reached state pension age. Many people will have built up substantial National Insurance contributions throughout their lifetime in order to get the biggest state pension possible. To provide support, the Government’s triple lock mechanism boosts the state pension sum each year by the highest of average wages, inflation or 2.5 percent.

But as more people get back into employment after a challenging year and a half, it is believed wages data could be warped.

As a result, the state pension could increase by the rise in wages – which is currently predicted to be eight percent.

This has led to questions about whether the Government will be able to maintain the triple lock policy in the future.

However, regardless of a state pension triple lock rise, there will be some who are set to miss out on the boost.

READ MORE: SEISS: HMRC issues vital update on self-employment grant 5

Despite the state pension being set to increase by eight percent, then, these individuals will not benefit from the rise.

The campaign group End Frozen Pensions has suggested nearly 500,000 people are impacted by this approach.

The only way a person will be able to increase their state pension sum is by returning to live in the UK.

Parliament documents state that in May 2020, there were 492,176 people overseas in receipt of a frozen UK state pension.

Tom Selby, senior analyst at AJ Bell, said: “A spike in average earnings would present a real problem to the Treasury as it would dramatically increase the value of the state pension.

“The state pension triple lock wasn’t really designed for a world where average earnings increase by eight percent – which is entirely possible as lockdown restrictions ease and the UK economy hopefully bounces back from the lows of 2020.

“Such a dramatic increase in average earnings would cost the Exchequer around £3billion – hardly loose change, even in the context of a pandemic which has seen borrowing rise by hundreds of billions of pounds.

“Chancellor Rishi Sunak has been clear that the Government intends to honour the triple lock promise, so it may simply decide to wear this extra cost.

“If it does and average earnings rise by eight percent that will represent a boon for retirees, adding just over £14 per week to the value of the flat-rate state pension.”

Author: Rebekah Evans
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State pension set to rise but nearly 500,000 British pensioners won't get boost

If a person lives outside of these countries, they won’t get the yearly increases.

Should the affected person return to live in the UK, then their pension will go up to the current rate.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) issued guidance on the benefits and pension for UK nationals in the EU, EEA or Switzerland following the confirmation of a Brexit deal having been reached last year.

It states: “You can carry on receiving your UK State Pension if you move to live in the EU, EEA or Switzerland and you can still claim your UK State Pension from these countries.

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'Completely two-faced' – Outrage as British pensioners miss out on state pension boost

That’s not to say everyone will end up receiving the increased amount, however. Some people who retire abroad may find they are not able to receive the uprated state pension due to where they live.

This is because the payment only increases annually if the recipient lives in a country on a list of certain countries.

According to the End Frozen Pensions campaign group, it’s estimated nearly 500,000 British pensioners are unable to get the uprated amount.

A research briefing on frozen overseas pensions, available in the House of Commons Library, states in May 2020, there were 492,176 people overseas who are in receipt of a frozen UK state pension.

The vast majority (84 percent) of these people live in Australia, Canada or New Zealand.

It means their pension remains payable at the same rate as when they first became entitled to it, or the date they left the UK if they are already pensioners then.

Ian Andexser, Chairman of the Canadian Alliance of British Pensioners (CABP) and Nigel Nelson, the previous chair of The International Consortium of British Pensioners (ICBP), are among those are campaigning against the policy.

The campaigners, both of whom live in Canada, sat down – over Zoom – for an interview with Express.co.uk this week.

Frozen pensions, as the policy has become known, is an issue which has “been going on for many, many, many years”, Mr Andexser explains.

“The policy goes back now I think over 74 years,” he says, explaining the “active push” from the frozen pensions campaign group has been ongoing for just over 20 years.

“We’ve come a long way in that time. But we haven’t hit the final goal.”

The interview is taking place more than six months on since the confirmation of a Brexit deal being reached, back in December 2020 – days before the Brexit transition period came to an end.

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“And we have no problem with that, because that’s the way it should be.

“The problem we have is that the UK Government has said for many, many years, they were not prepared to enter any new agreements,” the campaigner continued.

“And that has been their argument with Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and all of the frozen countries around the world.

“Predominantly, about 90 percent of frozen pensioners are living in the two countries Australia and Canada.

“So that’s primarily where the push has been.

“And it just strikes us as being completely two-faced by the UK Government to continue to deny a request to index our pensions using the argument that they weren’t making any agreements, and then turn around and make 27 new ones with EU countries, and not just EU countries.”

Last year, the Canadian Government requested the UK change the policy on the frozen pensions issue.

Earlier this year, the UK Government responded.

“It was a flat out, ‘No, we’re not going to consider any change to the effective policies that we have in place’,” Mr Andexser said.

A DWP spokesperson said: “We understand that people move abroad for many reasons and that this can impact on their finances.

“There is information on GOV.UK about what the effect of going abroad will be on entitlement to the UK state pension.

“The Government’s policy on the up-rating of the UK State Pension for recipients living overseas is a longstanding one of more than 70 years and we continue to uprate state pensions overseas where there is a legal requirement to do so.”

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Council tax hikes: How state pensioners may get reductions on rising bills – check now

Salman Haqqi, a personal finance expert at money.co.uk, reflected on how difficult this will be for households to manage in early June.

He said: “Receiving the news that extra cash will need budgeting for over the next 12 months is never a good thing.

“But after the events of the past year, these council tax hikes are just another additional pressure for those already struggling to stay financially afloat.”

Fortunately, retirees on low incomes may be offered some levels of restbite from these hikes through state support.

READ MORE: Pension priorities: Retirees focus on costs but what could be missed?

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State pensioners urged to check as many may be missing out on £358 – are you eligible?

The State Pension is designed to offer important financial support to those who have built up National Insurance contributions throughout their lifetime. The sum is commonly viewed as one of the key, and indeed for some the primary, source of income during retirement. However, it is worth noting there are some individuals who may be able to boost their sum for later years in life.
As a result, those on the higher rate of Attendance Allowance can expect to receive a payment of roughly £358 per month. 

What is important to note, however, is that the Attendance Allowance payment is not one which is means-tested.

This means what a person earns, or how much they have in savings, for example, will not impact the amount they receive.

In addition, a person does not have to have someone caring for them in order to claim.

These individuals must also be habitually resident in the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man or the Channel Islands.

For those who are interested in receiving Attendance Allowance, the DWP has provided guidance.

The Government website explains: “Use the Attendance Allowance claim form to apply by post. The form comes with notes telling you how to fill it in. 

“Send the completed form to Freepost DWP Attendance Allowance. You do not need a postcode or stamp.”

The official form is, once again, accessible through the Government’s website or can be requested by calling the Attendance Allowance helpline. 

A claim for Attendance Allowance can be backdated to the date of claim, which is usually the date a form is received, or when a person calls the enquiry line if the pack is then returned within six weeks. 

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