There have been several news items about UK State Pension this week. The House of Commons library produced a briefing about country-by-country comparisons of state pensions back in May. Don’t remember it being much in the news in May but the National have reported on it this week.
Different countries have different systems for their state pension both in terms of how they collect pension contributions and how people are eligible for them. The Commons Briefing reckons that the two countries most similar to UK’s system and therefore the best comparisons are Eire and the Netherlands. Here’s what the weekly pensions on UK, Eire and Netherlands look like, using today’s £/€ exchange rate of 0.91. There are two UK levels of state pensions depending on when you reached pension age before or after 6 April 2016.
2. Raising Pensions Age to 75?
The UK State Pension Age (SPA) is due to rise to 66 next year. But reports appeared in the press this week about a proposal to raise the SPA to 75. (Guardian, Daily Mail ) 75? Can this really be true? It is true that the conservative think-tank Centre for Social Justice, which first proposed Universal Credit and is chaired by Ian Duncan Smith MP, have published a report in which they propose raising the SPA to 70 by 2028 and to 75 by 2038. Here’s their recommendation:
One of our National Coordinating Group’s interests is to take forward concepts and designs for campaigning leaflets directly of relevant to Scottish pensioners. It’s easier said than done! But our leaflet committee made a proposal to go ahead with three new leaflets.
One of them focuses on pensions. Jim Stamper of the Glasgow group has spent a great deal of time coming up with the basic concept, researching the information, and beginning to put it together in an actual leaflet. We are lucky to have the help of a professional graphic designer to take our initial ideas and produce the finished product.
When we have the leaflet design finished, it will be uploaded here. We’ll also have all the references to the source material here as well.
There are around 350,000 Scotswomen affected by the transition to equality in men and women’s State Pension Age. The initial Westminster Pension Age Act was in 1995 and it set out a gradual pathway to equalise the pension age for men and women. But in 2011 a second Pension Age Act increased the rate of change for women and increased the overall pension age to above 66. This has created a group of women who are partially badly affected. Women born in the mid-50s are losing six years of their State Pension.
Life expectancy in Scotland is currently lower than in the rest of the UK. On average between 2010-12, a 65 year-old male in the UK could be expected to live to around 83 years 5 months compared with 82 years 11 months in Scotland, and a 65 year-old female in the UK could expect to live to 85 years 11 months whereas in Scotland it was 84 years 6 months.
According to the Scottish government, this means that “a 65 year-old entitled to a total pension of £160 per week could expect the lifetime value of their state pension to be around £10,000 (men) or £11,000 (women) less in Scotland than in the UK as a whole”.
Pension difference from UK average