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Is my friend being unreasonable about her pension.

(91 Posts)
lemondrizzle Fri 27-Jan-17 11:42:15

I don't really know what to think of this but i'd be grateful for some of your views. My friend recently retired gets a good state pension, and a small company pension, just enough for her not to require any pension credits. However it's annoying her that someone she knows of the same age is getting a much smaller state pension but has had it topped up by pension credits to an amount very near to what my friend gets.

I can understand why this might annoy my friend, because in her view she's made more contributions, thereby should be rewarded with a higher pension than the one she knows who paid much less in but is now more or less getting the same. But on the other hand someone who hasn't paid enough, if they didnt get a top up probably wouldn't have enough to get by on. It's a tricky one, what do you all think.

Chewbacca Fri 27-Jan-17 20:44:03

It is harsh lemon . My friend is 5 months older than me and her state retirement age is given as 66 and 6 months. I'd love to retire and move over so that a younger person could have a job with prospects. The young people today must feel like they're waiting for dead mens shoes!

granoftwins Fri 27-Jan-17 20:48:47

Yes Chewbacca the same happened to me! The thing that really gets my goat is no bus pass either! The whole thing is iniquitous angry

Chewbacca Fri 27-Jan-17 21:17:44

I think it was 500,000 women who were born between 1953 and 1955 who got the worst deal granoftwins. But then that was the very age group who would put up the least fight, I suppose. Friends who are just 1 year older than me retired at 62 with bus passes and state pensions. It's galling that I've lost all the extra money I paid into SERPS as well. confused

lemondrizzle Fri 27-Jan-17 21:42:32

Was it women born after april 1953 who missed out Chew?

callgirl1 Fri 27-Jan-17 21:59:56

Yes, Cherrytree59, they have backdated my pension. I was offered an extra £30 a week, or a lump sum, and as I don`t think that at £30 a week I`ll be on this earth long enough to amass that amount, I`m taking the lump sum and having long standing necessary repairs done to the house, thereby, hopefully, making it more comfortable to live in.

Chewbacca Fri 27-Jan-17 22:02:26

Think so lemom. I've just had a look and found this "A woman born on 5th March 1953 reaches state retirement age on 6th January 2016, ie aged 63. However a woman born exactly 12 months later will not reach state retirement age until 5th July 2019; 3 and a half years later. This will result in a total loss of £26,000 in state pension. There are growing calls for the government to take action following claims that several hundred thousand women born in the 1950s, particularly those born in 1954, have had their retirement plans “shattered”, campaigners say. Many say that for decades they had expected to receive their pension at 60, then subsequently discovered that their SPA had increased by perhaps four, five or even six years."

Chewbacca Fri 27-Jan-17 22:08:31

In addition, "the government didn’t write to any woman affected by the rise in the pension ages for nearly 14 years after the law was passed in 1995. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) started sending out letters from April 2009 onwards. Responding to a Freedom of Information request, the DWP revealed that some women did not find out until they were 59 that their SPA of 60 had been delayed. “Women were given as little as one year’s notice of up to a six-year increase to their state pension age,” says the campaign group Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi), adding: “Many women report receiving no letter ever".

lemondrizzle Fri 27-Jan-17 22:51:15

That's so bad Chew they've been well and truly screwed over. Shame on the government. They'd be so happy not to have to pay us anything, meanwhile what age can female MPs retire i wonder.

Chewbacca Fri 27-Jan-17 23:14:53

You're right lemon women over 60 have been well and truly screwed over. Mhairi Black did her best to highlight the unfairness re pension age for women born between 1953 - 1954 in January 2016 but she was pretty much rail roared into having to accept it. As were we. I estimated that I personally will lose £45,000 in state retirement pension due to having my retirement age increased from 60 to 65 and a half. And that doesn't factor in the missing SERPS! I suspect than "women of a certain age" were deemed easy targets, especially because they were given no little formal information about the changes.

durhamjen Fri 27-Jan-17 23:42:18

A woman who was born in March 1953 and claimed her pension in March 2016 would only get £119.20 a week.
A woman born in April 1953 and getting pension in July 2016 would get pension of £155+ from that date.
Who is losing out there?

lemondrizzle Fri 27-Jan-17 23:50:01

Yes but the one getting only £119.20 a week would get pension credits bringing it up to £155 wouldn't she?

durhamjen Sat 28-Jan-17 00:00:06

Not if she had a private pension which took it up to that. Many women who have small private pensions had no choice because they worked in a company that took superannuation. So they ended up paying not just the NI but also x% in superannuation.

Maggiemaybe Sat 28-Jan-17 00:39:56

Plenty of us have lost out on years of pension, durhamjen, and will not receive the £155, so please don't trivialise our position. Any years when we paid into a public service pension no longer count towards the state pension - they did under the old system. And as has ready been said, the extra contributions we made towards SERPS no longer earn us a top up. In my case I had 41 years contributions by the time I was made redundant at 60. I now care for my grandchildren and am 62. I have another 4 full years to wait for my state pension, and because I worked in local government, my pension forecast under the marvellous new system is around £100. Under the old system I would have earned the full state pension, plus a small SERPs top up, so I will get the equivalent of that under transitional arrangements, around £125.

Having lost 6 full years of payments, yes, I have lost out, to the tune of about £39,000. Plus, of course, the costs of public transport. My husband got his free bus pass at 60, and that gives him half price local train travel too. To add insult to injury, women in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, still get their bus passes at 60, and some in England get free transport in their own areas from 60 (London, for example). It costs me £5.80 to get to my nearest large town and back.

I hope all those women affected have joined the WASPI campaign, and that those who are able will travel to London on 8 March for our second demo outside Westminster. Many of us are working, not fit or simply can't afford the fare, so those who are able need to fight for them too.

durhamjen Sat 28-Jan-17 01:06:59

Not trivialising it at all. Why is it trivialising it?
Just saying that it's not as straightforward as made out.
The example of March 1953 was my sister. I asked her if she could retire a year later, and she said it would not make any difference. It depends on the date you could retire, not the date you do. She had over forty years of contributions, too, working for the post office.
So why is it trivialising it?

durhamjen Sat 28-Jan-17 01:13:26

Why is it trivial to say that if someone had been born a month later she would have retired four months later, but have gained £35 a week, and soon have made it up? As it is, on £120 a week, she will always be behind that woman who was born a month later.
Not trivial to my sister!

Araabra Sat 28-Jan-17 05:03:48

But at least the pension age is later, 66 years is a nicer retirement than 60.

Carolest59 Sat 28-Jan-17 09:41:56

I think it is extremely unlikely the waspi campaign will change anything.It has been discussed in parliament many times over the past few years and they won't budge on it.
I'm one of the women affected going from 60 to 66 ,born 1956.also are people aware that you can no longer claim on a husbands contributions should yours be insufficient or if he dies as you could before .
I am fed up of ladies (usually childless) saying how they have full contributions etc and should get more than mums who took a few years out because it is the "children " who pay the state pensions of today as we paid our parents generations pensions.

lemondrizzle Sat 28-Jan-17 09:55:56

durhamjen that seems so unfair for your sister, but sorry if i'm missing something here, if your sister is only on £120 a week shouldn't pension credits top that amount up to £155 a week?

lemondrizzle Sat 28-Jan-17 09:58:50

Sorry durhamjen i think you've already explained this, ignore me. smile

Marieeliz Sat 28-Jan-17 10:13:14

I am in the same situation as the PO. Worked from 15 to 73. I have State Pension plus 2 small OP. My next door neighbour also worked all her life. She did not pay into any OP. Her state pension is topped up and she will get Council tax paid. I do wonder why I bothered. My brother did also work all his life and sadly died 3 weeks after 65. His widow received £2000 + £100 :a month for a year. Life is not fair!

Granmary18 Sat 28-Jan-17 12:22:55

Envying and resenting others is a waste of time and energy. The woman getting pension credits probably wouldnt be able to manage without them ...does your friend want her in penury? I'm grateful for the position Im in with no pension credits ....others need them and so be it. I dont pay in to the funds just for me ....its to maintain our society and provide for those who need it . People chose the old married womans allowance because that was the option then and life, society and attitudes were different and if money was short it was a way of getting a bit more!. Live and let live and be grateful would be my comment to your friend on this one

durhamjen Sat 28-Jan-17 12:27:33

Yes, Marieeliz, my husband worked all his life and died six months after he reached 65, five years ago last weekend.
Life is not fair, is it?

durhamjen Sat 28-Jan-17 12:30:08

Actually that's not true. He fell off a ladder and broke his back, then got cerebellar ataxia, and was disabled for the last ten years of his life, then got brain cancer. Even less fair.

durhamjen Sat 28-Jan-17 12:31:26

Fortunately being disabled and getting various benefits gives you NI credits.

Maggiemaybe Sat 28-Jan-17 12:38:52

Carolest59, I know it seems hard to believe that the campaign will change anything - we have little leverage after all. But it's worth a try, surely? The powers that be were no doubt encouraged to go even further after we all just sighed and rolled over when the first hike to the pension age hit us (though to be fair, a lot didn't even know about it!). Mine went up to 64 at that time - I can't remember the exact age as I picked up the information online, the authorities didn't feel the need to write and tell me about it. They no doubt realised then what a soft target they'd found, so up it went to 66. Yes, of course there has to be equalisation of the pension age, but no other country has done it to a timescale like this, meaning that one relatively small group of women are hit so hard and so unfairly.

The thing is, at the last demo I heard about women of my age who have worked since they were 15, are now on their own, in poor health, and relying on their own parents and foodbanks for help. This is shameful, and if going down to London and shouting about it raises awareness just a notch or two, it's worth it for me.

There are some glimmers of hope. WASPI has crowdfunded to enable them to pay one of the top UK employment law firms to look at the case and advise as to whether a legal challenge is worth pursuing. And the all party parliamentary group supporting them is the biggest ever and still growing.

Like you, I am irritated by the argument that we paid for a previous generation's pension, not our own. Well, someone is paying in now for ours and we're not getting it! If the NI pension contributions paid by both employees and employers are not going towards pensions, what are they being used for?