Age discrimination?

Not sure if this is exactly the right forum for this idea but here goes.

How is it that the Government is seeking to increase the pension entitlement age so that we are all going to have to work longer and as yet I've heard no mention of raising the cut off dates for say driving licences and other age tested formalities the Government controls.  if we are fit enough to be able to work longer and contribute doesn't it also follow that the age limit for those other criterion should also be lifted (and reduce the burocracy) or are we eventually going to have to be subjected to extra driving test etc merely to fullfill our contractual obligations to a working society?

Why is this idea important?

Not sure if this is exactly the right forum for this idea but here goes.

How is it that the Government is seeking to increase the pension entitlement age so that we are all going to have to work longer and as yet I've heard no mention of raising the cut off dates for say driving licences and other age tested formalities the Government controls.  if we are fit enough to be able to work longer and contribute doesn't it also follow that the age limit for those other criterion should also be lifted (and reduce the burocracy) or are we eventually going to have to be subjected to extra driving test etc merely to fullfill our contractual obligations to a working society?

assured tenancies/ pensionfunds

currently one is not allowed to hold residential property in your SAP.

My suggestions is that residential property, let to local authorities/councils on assured tenancies , should be eligible to be held in pension funds

Why is this idea important?

currently one is not allowed to hold residential property in your SAP.

My suggestions is that residential property, let to local authorities/councils on assured tenancies , should be eligible to be held in pension funds

Pay Same Pension Wherever People Live

If a pensioner lives in the European Union their pension rises with inflation, exactly the same as if they live in the UK. But if they live in almost anywhere else their pension is frozen.

Why? It's exactly the same person and they have built up the same contributions and paid the same tax over heir working life.

The real reason is because pensions are not part of an insurance scheme at all, but a way of keeping the elderly off Government's back. Better a pension than a means tested benefit they think. Not so, pensioners have paid National Insurance and Tax all their lives and a pension is an earned entitlement, not Charity.

If someone wants to retire to Martinique or Florida or Egypt why shouldn't they? Of course no-one should be complled to do so, but for many people it is their dream. Don't cut their pension in real terms by 2-3% each year.

And there are financial benefits – in many countries they can get Care for less than in the UK, and certainly without the carer and family having to emigrate to the UK, so it is Win-Win for pensioners and taxpayers.

Why is this idea important?

If a pensioner lives in the European Union their pension rises with inflation, exactly the same as if they live in the UK. But if they live in almost anywhere else their pension is frozen.

Why? It's exactly the same person and they have built up the same contributions and paid the same tax over heir working life.

The real reason is because pensions are not part of an insurance scheme at all, but a way of keeping the elderly off Government's back. Better a pension than a means tested benefit they think. Not so, pensioners have paid National Insurance and Tax all their lives and a pension is an earned entitlement, not Charity.

If someone wants to retire to Martinique or Florida or Egypt why shouldn't they? Of course no-one should be complled to do so, but for many people it is their dream. Don't cut their pension in real terms by 2-3% each year.

And there are financial benefits – in many countries they can get Care for less than in the UK, and certainly without the carer and family having to emigrate to the UK, so it is Win-Win for pensioners and taxpayers.

Pensions

The Labour government was a major factor in the decline of Final Salary pensions over the past q0 years. The Coalition can change laws to make them more attractive.

Factors Making Final Salary Pensions Less Attractive

  1. Demographics – Aging Population
  2. Allowing Risky Investments
  3. Banning Over-Funding
  4. Showing Pensions As A Liability
  5. Share Collapses

Point 1 – pensioners living longer and a lower birth rate – is not the Government's fault

Point 2 is directly the fault of Westminster. The law was changed to allow pension funds to invested in riskier shares and other investments. Pension fund managers are competitive and went for maximim growth. This exposed pension funds to the 2001 Tech Share Collapse and the 2008 Banking Crisis, both wiping out 50% of the value of some funds. If pensions had stayed invested in Bonds most funds would still be in surplus.

In the run up to the 2001 Tech Share collapse some companies actually wanted to put more into their pension funds, but were banned by Government rules preventing what the Government saw as "over-funding". A few years later and those companies have sadly been proved correct – the funds are now in serious defecit and closed to new entrants.

Also if a pension fund is technically over-funded the company becomes attractive to predators. It can be taken over and run with zero employers pension contribution until the surplus has evaporated. Close the company and the so-called surplus can be "returned" to the new owners.

Company pension funding is formally assessed every 3 years, but under accounting changes introduced in the 1990s, a pension fund defecit has to be shown as a liability on the companies books every time they are published. For companies that have 1/4ly reporting this can have a massive impact on the apparent value of a company every 3 months as the stock market fluctuates. This is despite the reality that pensions are investments accumulated over 40 years and paid out over 15-20 years, enabling them to smooth out short term fluctuations and rely on "underlying value".

The chilling effect of showing short-term shared-price based pension liabilities on company books is that even if a company is well run, stable, profitable, and has a well funded pension fund, the company's official book value can fluctuate wildly. Regardless of how much money the employer has to put in, just this fluctuation makes a Final Salary Scheme threatening.

Most of  these points can be addressed by Government making changes to UK law.

As for demographics, the real figures are not as bad as the scare stories quoted in the papers. One factor is the number of people who could work but do not, and what figure is used for "working population". Secondly the pension age will inevitably rise,even if only to equal Male and Female retirement, improving the Worker:Pensioner ratio. Taking millions of teens out of employment and encouraging them undertake 5 years of Further & Higher Education is a deliberate political decision that has an obvious impact on the size of the workforce. However it makes sense if it increases productivity over a person's lifetime – that increased productivity should be taken into account.

Why is this idea important?

The Labour government was a major factor in the decline of Final Salary pensions over the past q0 years. The Coalition can change laws to make them more attractive.

Factors Making Final Salary Pensions Less Attractive

  1. Demographics – Aging Population
  2. Allowing Risky Investments
  3. Banning Over-Funding
  4. Showing Pensions As A Liability
  5. Share Collapses

Point 1 – pensioners living longer and a lower birth rate – is not the Government's fault

Point 2 is directly the fault of Westminster. The law was changed to allow pension funds to invested in riskier shares and other investments. Pension fund managers are competitive and went for maximim growth. This exposed pension funds to the 2001 Tech Share Collapse and the 2008 Banking Crisis, both wiping out 50% of the value of some funds. If pensions had stayed invested in Bonds most funds would still be in surplus.

In the run up to the 2001 Tech Share collapse some companies actually wanted to put more into their pension funds, but were banned by Government rules preventing what the Government saw as "over-funding". A few years later and those companies have sadly been proved correct – the funds are now in serious defecit and closed to new entrants.

Also if a pension fund is technically over-funded the company becomes attractive to predators. It can be taken over and run with zero employers pension contribution until the surplus has evaporated. Close the company and the so-called surplus can be "returned" to the new owners.

Company pension funding is formally assessed every 3 years, but under accounting changes introduced in the 1990s, a pension fund defecit has to be shown as a liability on the companies books every time they are published. For companies that have 1/4ly reporting this can have a massive impact on the apparent value of a company every 3 months as the stock market fluctuates. This is despite the reality that pensions are investments accumulated over 40 years and paid out over 15-20 years, enabling them to smooth out short term fluctuations and rely on "underlying value".

The chilling effect of showing short-term shared-price based pension liabilities on company books is that even if a company is well run, stable, profitable, and has a well funded pension fund, the company's official book value can fluctuate wildly. Regardless of how much money the employer has to put in, just this fluctuation makes a Final Salary Scheme threatening.

Most of  these points can be addressed by Government making changes to UK law.

As for demographics, the real figures are not as bad as the scare stories quoted in the papers. One factor is the number of people who could work but do not, and what figure is used for "working population". Secondly the pension age will inevitably rise,even if only to equal Male and Female retirement, improving the Worker:Pensioner ratio. Taking millions of teens out of employment and encouraging them undertake 5 years of Further & Higher Education is a deliberate political decision that has an obvious impact on the size of the workforce. However it makes sense if it increases productivity over a person's lifetime – that increased productivity should be taken into account.

Make government and private enterprise finance pensions properly

Many in private enterprise raided pension funds and had 'payment holidays' when times were good.

 

Now times are bad they whinge about the public sector. They also use arguments of greed and envy for their own purposes.

 

Why not come up with a proper plan to finance pensions for the whole nation that includes both government guarantee and proper investment in valuable assests?

 

Also: why not take steps to stop the asset stripping of pension investments by foreign 'equity investment' organisations, who buy badly managed businesses from pension funds, asset strip them, and the sell them back to the pension funds on the basis that they are 'more efficient'?  How much of our pension money ends up in other countries instead of being properly managed at home? Government could do more to protect against this.

Why is this idea important?

Many in private enterprise raided pension funds and had 'payment holidays' when times were good.

 

Now times are bad they whinge about the public sector. They also use arguments of greed and envy for their own purposes.

 

Why not come up with a proper plan to finance pensions for the whole nation that includes both government guarantee and proper investment in valuable assests?

 

Also: why not take steps to stop the asset stripping of pension investments by foreign 'equity investment' organisations, who buy badly managed businesses from pension funds, asset strip them, and the sell them back to the pension funds on the basis that they are 'more efficient'?  How much of our pension money ends up in other countries instead of being properly managed at home? Government could do more to protect against this.

Free Pensions for Directors

Remove the National Insurance Legislation that allows Directors of companies to set their salary between the two lower National Insurance Limits and pay no National Insurance yet still claim a state pension.

Why is this idea important?

Remove the National Insurance Legislation that allows Directors of companies to set their salary between the two lower National Insurance Limits and pay no National Insurance yet still claim a state pension.

Employer-run pensions: mutualize

I haven't done the work of looking up the exact law but have seen the questions asked.

How to ring-fence employer owned pensions like Mirror Group Newspapers, British Shoe Corporation or Richards_of_Aberdeen?.

I suggest that no employing organisation should be allowed to own a staff pension scheme; that all such schemes should be mutuals. Even the staff of the Prudential, I think, should not be required to keep their pensions with the Prudential and perhaps own a little part of it that shares management.

Why is this idea important?

I haven't done the work of looking up the exact law but have seen the questions asked.

How to ring-fence employer owned pensions like Mirror Group Newspapers, British Shoe Corporation or Richards_of_Aberdeen?.

I suggest that no employing organisation should be allowed to own a staff pension scheme; that all such schemes should be mutuals. Even the staff of the Prudential, I think, should not be required to keep their pensions with the Prudential and perhaps own a little part of it that shares management.

Reform Pension Credit and Council Tax Benefit savings rules


Reform of the unfair savings rules for Pension Credit and Council Tax Benefit claims is seriously overdue.

The Tax Credits system is based on actual income from savings. However, Pension Credit and Council Tax Benefit have different rules for the treatment of capital, so that the measure of income from capital is notional rather than real. These rules are based on social security law and are not made by local authorities.

Most capital is counted, even that held in tax-free accounts, and the rule can put those who have saved in cash, rather than through a pension fund, at a distinct disadvantage in their pension credit claim.

Although there is a £10,000 capital disregard, income from remaining capital is deemed to be at £1 per week for every £500 of capital, (referred to as ‘assumed income’), and this applies regardless of whether you are single or in a couple (that is, the capital disregard for a couple is £10,000 not £20,000).

This notional interest rate of over 10% on savings gives pensioners an assumed income figure which is very much higher than their real income from the cash deposits, whether-tax free or not, especially during the current period of very low interest rates.

Legislation is badly needed to abolish the "assumed income" rules and align Pension Credit and Council Tax Benefit savings rules with the fairer "actual income" rules used by the Tax Credits system.

 

Why is this idea important?


Reform of the unfair savings rules for Pension Credit and Council Tax Benefit claims is seriously overdue.

The Tax Credits system is based on actual income from savings. However, Pension Credit and Council Tax Benefit have different rules for the treatment of capital, so that the measure of income from capital is notional rather than real. These rules are based on social security law and are not made by local authorities.

Most capital is counted, even that held in tax-free accounts, and the rule can put those who have saved in cash, rather than through a pension fund, at a distinct disadvantage in their pension credit claim.

Although there is a £10,000 capital disregard, income from remaining capital is deemed to be at £1 per week for every £500 of capital, (referred to as ‘assumed income’), and this applies regardless of whether you are single or in a couple (that is, the capital disregard for a couple is £10,000 not £20,000).

This notional interest rate of over 10% on savings gives pensioners an assumed income figure which is very much higher than their real income from the cash deposits, whether-tax free or not, especially during the current period of very low interest rates.

Legislation is badly needed to abolish the "assumed income" rules and align Pension Credit and Council Tax Benefit savings rules with the fairer "actual income" rules used by the Tax Credits system.

 

Reduce “data protection” restrictions

My wife prefers me to deal with her tax and pension affairs.  Even though she's already given the authorities permission for me to deal on her behalf, they continue to ask to speak to her in person so that she can answer "security questions"  — questions which I could just as easily answer.

We can do everything in writing, with me writing the letters and my wife signing them.  But we are being encouraged to use the telephone, so can we not find an arrangement that will allow spouses to deal with their spouses affairs without having to have the other party available to speak on the phone?

Why is this idea important?

My wife prefers me to deal with her tax and pension affairs.  Even though she's already given the authorities permission for me to deal on her behalf, they continue to ask to speak to her in person so that she can answer "security questions"  — questions which I could just as easily answer.

We can do everything in writing, with me writing the letters and my wife signing them.  But we are being encouraged to use the telephone, so can we not find an arrangement that will allow spouses to deal with their spouses affairs without having to have the other party available to speak on the phone?

Restore tax break for Pension Companies

The Labour govt removed the tax break that Pension Investment companies got with their uk stock market investments and wrecked the best pension system of any country; this also reduced the volume through the UK stock exchange and so reduced its importance in the world. 

Why is this idea important?

The Labour govt removed the tax break that Pension Investment companies got with their uk stock market investments and wrecked the best pension system of any country; this also reduced the volume through the UK stock exchange and so reduced its importance in the world. 

Repeal of new pension law

Until April this year, as a 52 yr old if had I been made redundant under govt cutbacks (which is a real possibility) I could have still received my council private pension. This is not a great deal of money, but it would have been sufficient to allow me not to claim benefits from the state if I had not been able to get another job (which gets harder as you get older with the culture of youth that prevails in this country).

The law has now been changed and if I were now to be made redundant I could not receive my private pension until I am 60 – thus if I could not get another job I would be forced to take benefits to support myself. No doubt this was a cost saving scheme but ill thought out. Can the law that enshrines this be repealed – with the govt cutbacks that are threatened a great many people might still have some dignity in this situation and some personal income to live on.

Why is this idea important?

Until April this year, as a 52 yr old if had I been made redundant under govt cutbacks (which is a real possibility) I could have still received my council private pension. This is not a great deal of money, but it would have been sufficient to allow me not to claim benefits from the state if I had not been able to get another job (which gets harder as you get older with the culture of youth that prevails in this country).

The law has now been changed and if I were now to be made redundant I could not receive my private pension until I am 60 – thus if I could not get another job I would be forced to take benefits to support myself. No doubt this was a cost saving scheme but ill thought out. Can the law that enshrines this be repealed – with the govt cutbacks that are threatened a great many people might still have some dignity in this situation and some personal income to live on.

State Pension Reform

The state pension should only be avilable to people who have contributed, people who have not worked and contributed should not be able to claim state pension (this excludes people who have a "real" reason for not working).

no contribution no pension

Why is this idea important?

The state pension should only be avilable to people who have contributed, people who have not worked and contributed should not be able to claim state pension (this excludes people who have a "real" reason for not working).

no contribution no pension

work untill 60

Instead of putting pension age up to 70, it should go down to 60. All the jobs that come available can be filled by people who are now getting dole and benefits. instead of paying them who don't work, pay the people who have worked all their life and give them a nice "old age"

Why is this idea important?

Instead of putting pension age up to 70, it should go down to 60. All the jobs that come available can be filled by people who are now getting dole and benefits. instead of paying them who don't work, pay the people who have worked all their life and give them a nice "old age"

Defined Earnings Pension Schemes

Reinstate the link (i.e. make it once more tax efficient for businesses to operate final salary pension schemes) between an individuals earnings and their pension and make it impossible for any future chancellor of the exchequer to pillage pensions and destroy the nations retirement.

Why is this idea important?

Reinstate the link (i.e. make it once more tax efficient for businesses to operate final salary pension schemes) between an individuals earnings and their pension and make it impossible for any future chancellor of the exchequer to pillage pensions and destroy the nations retirement.

Allow Pension Increases and NHS care to Ex Pats

Pensioners are denied state pension increases if they choose to live in certain countries.  The situation is unjust.  A person  who has contributed all his life and chosen to live in Greece gets pension increases but, if he choses to live in Australia, he does not.

A similar unfairness relates to NHS entitlement.   A retired person who has contributed and is exempt from any further National Insurance contributions is denied free NHS treatment if he spends more than a certain time abroad each year.

Why is this idea important?

Pensioners are denied state pension increases if they choose to live in certain countries.  The situation is unjust.  A person  who has contributed all his life and chosen to live in Greece gets pension increases but, if he choses to live in Australia, he does not.

A similar unfairness relates to NHS entitlement.   A retired person who has contributed and is exempt from any further National Insurance contributions is denied free NHS treatment if he spends more than a certain time abroad each year.

Public sector early retirement packages and ongoing work.

anybody who receives an early retirement package – redundancy plus pension from 50 – ie NHS managers, sho0uld not then be allowed to work as a consultant on £hundreds daily unless they forfeit  their pension until they fully stop working, otherwisde the tax payer is paying such people three times 1) the lump sum severance 2) the pension they receive from 50 and 3) the ongoing consultancy pay they get from the ongoing work. There are ex NHS employees getting this sort of deal.

Why is this idea important?

anybody who receives an early retirement package – redundancy plus pension from 50 – ie NHS managers, sho0uld not then be allowed to work as a consultant on £hundreds daily unless they forfeit  their pension until they fully stop working, otherwisde the tax payer is paying such people three times 1) the lump sum severance 2) the pension they receive from 50 and 3) the ongoing consultancy pay they get from the ongoing work. There are ex NHS employees getting this sort of deal.

Stop government intervention in private pension payments

The Labour government raised the minimum retirement age to 55 years. This affects even private pension plans. Thefore, government legislation about the age at which private pension plans may be paid out should be repealed.

Why is this idea important?

The Labour government raised the minimum retirement age to 55 years. This affects even private pension plans. Thefore, government legislation about the age at which private pension plans may be paid out should be repealed.

Pension at 50

The last government introduced tax laws (2004 finance act) which prevent people from accessing private pensions before the age of 55. This should be change to allow people to access a pension which they have planned for their future

I am a member of a pension scheme which is well organised, well funded and has for many years paid a pension from the age of 50 to people forced to leave work because of redundancy. The trustees have been forced by current legislation to change the minimum pension age to 55. As this is a private scheme there is no cost to the public when people draw a pension from this scheme.

There is however considerable cost to the benefit system when a 50 year old member with a young family is made redundant, and now must rely on state support for 15 years as the pension he has paid into for 32 years is no longer accessible.

Why is this idea important?

The last government introduced tax laws (2004 finance act) which prevent people from accessing private pensions before the age of 55. This should be change to allow people to access a pension which they have planned for their future

I am a member of a pension scheme which is well organised, well funded and has for many years paid a pension from the age of 50 to people forced to leave work because of redundancy. The trustees have been forced by current legislation to change the minimum pension age to 55. As this is a private scheme there is no cost to the public when people draw a pension from this scheme.

There is however considerable cost to the benefit system when a 50 year old member with a young family is made redundant, and now must rely on state support for 15 years as the pension he has paid into for 32 years is no longer accessible.