Gransnet forums

AIBU

AIBU to be concerned that my State Pension is referred to as a 'Benefit'?

(104 Posts)
Jess20 Mon 01-Apr-24 15:37:49

Surely the State Pension isn't a benefit but an Entitlement? The government has, I believe, started counting the SP under the umbrella of 'benefits' and making the costs look larger than they otherwise might. Is this to soften up the population so cutting back on benefits can include those of us on SP - eg means testing them in future amongst other things? I'm sure I've rambled or ranted about this sort of thing before but recently, given how being in receipt of a benefit allows the government, or some private company that does it's bidding, to sectetly check out what's in our bank accounts without needing to either ask permission or inform us if the fact, it feels a bit sinister. I think I read somewhere (sorry not to provide a link) that it's now it's state pensioners who are amongst the biggest benefit cheats, scamming the system by claiming pension credit when not entitled as they have too much in savings or being out of the country too long etc... I am concerned in particular after seeing how those involved in the great Post Office Counters scandal gave the accused no credible chance of defense against accusations of dishonesty and criminality. Are we the next target - after the election of course as they won't want to scare off a large part of their voter base. So, is this relabelling the thin edge of the wedge or am I getting concerned about nothing?

Jaxjacky Mon 01-Apr-24 16:10:59

Where have you seen this please, do you have a link? Thanks.

TinSoldier Mon 01-Apr-24 16:21:49

This has been discussed many times and at length.

Read these official documents ...

petition.parliament.uk/archived/petitions/121267

... and this ...

www.gov.uk/government/publications/fighting-fraud-in-the-welfare-system/fighting-fraud-in-the-welfare-system--2

Judy54 Mon 01-Apr-24 16:31:20

I agree with you Jess20. When you receive information about what your state pension will be this year it clearly states benefit which to me is totally inappropriate.

Scribbles Mon 01-Apr-24 16:39:26

DWP have been referring to SP as a "benefit" for at least 10 years! I've always felt there must be some dark motive behind the name change.

OurKid1 Mon 01-Apr-24 16:50:12

I've never actually thought of that, but yes, you are absolutely right to be bothered by it. I am now.

Nannarose Mon 01-Apr-24 17:20:21

Yes, I dislike it greatly. I have even heard some people say that they will not be 'claiming' the State Pension because they 'don't need benefits'. I always point out that assuming they have the correct NI contributions, it is not a 'benefit' (in the modern use of the word)
I also point this out on odd occasions when I am aswering questionnaires. I paid into my occupational pension and claim that, but no-one regards that as a 'benefit'!
I think it is connected to the way in which the National Insurance system seems to be collapsing between Univeral Credit & Taxation. And yes, I wonder if the idea is to make us pensioners feel guilty or beholden in some way.

Chakotay Mon 01-Apr-24 17:29:24

The state pension has been defined as a benefit since the national insurance act of 1946, but as it happens my husband got his pension increase letter he is on the old system and his pension is made up of the basic. graduated retirement benefit and SERPS his letter says changes to your benefits, I am on the new flat rate pension and my letter says increase to your state pension amount, what ever its called I don't care as long as we both get it.

JamesandJon33 Mon 01-Apr-24 17:49:04

If it is a ‘benefit’ then you are obviously able to other benefits. For example if you have ‘housing benefit’ others follow. Perhaps we should question this. But of course this is not so. A little worrying .

Brahumbug Mon 01-Apr-24 21:07:11

It is a benefit, it has always been a benefit. It is one of several contributory benefits, paid for out of the national insurance fund.

Cabbie21 Mon 01-Apr-24 21:15:56

If it is paid by the DWP, Department of Work and Pensions, it is classed as a “Benefit”.

Grannytomany Mon 01-Apr-24 22:30:07

It’s a benefit. It has always been a benefit.

Just be grateful for it.

Grannytomany Mon 01-Apr-24 22:34:49

(Contd..)

If you’re honest with the information you provide to any government department you have nothing to worry about.

My understanding is that access to bank accounts is being sought to assist in cases of fraud investigation. So if you don’t give cause for fraud suspicion and you are telling the truth, nothing but the truth - where’s the problem?

HousePlantQueen Mon 01-Apr-24 23:03:39

More to the point; why do you think there is something shameful about benefits? Do you consider those in receipt of child benefit less worthy for example?

maddyone Mon 01-Apr-24 23:15:06

There is nothing shameful about claiming a state pension, whatever it is called. However this sly lessoning of NI payments is shameful in my opinion, because it is sold to the public as a lovely way of cutting taxes for them, but what will really happen once NI is gone, is that the state pension will go as well and the pension benefit will become means tested. That is shameful in my opinion.

Cabbie21 Tue 02-Apr-24 09:09:50

Grannytomany

(Contd..)

If you’re honest with the information you provide to any government department you have nothing to worry about.

My understanding is that access to bank accounts is being sought to assist in cases of fraud investigation. So if you don’t give cause for fraud suspicion and you are telling the truth, nothing but the truth - where’s the problem?

Unfortunately for many, DWP can and do make mistakes, get things wrong and make decisions which are overturned on appeal.
There is good cause to be concerned, to check, to challenge where appropriate.

Nannarose Tue 02-Apr-24 10:03:31

maddyone

There is nothing shameful about claiming a state pension, whatever it is called. However this sly lessoning of NI payments is shameful in my opinion, because it is sold to the public as a lovely way of cutting taxes for them, but what will really happen once NI is gone, is that the state pension will go as well and the pension benefit will become means tested. That is shameful in my opinion.

I agree

RosiesMaw Tue 02-Apr-24 10:14:34

They can call it a pressie from the Tooth Fairy or my OAP for all I care just so long as they pay it- but I wish it was enough for anybody without an additional income to actually live on.
And no I am not “grateful” - I’ve more than earned it!

maddyone Tue 02-Apr-24 11:13:44

Unfortunately I’m of the opinion that in the future people who have definitely paid for it will be denied it because it will be means tested.
It won’t affect us, we’re already on it, but look out for your children and grandchildren. They will have paid too, and make no mistake, when NI is eventually phased out, taxes will rise, and they’ll still be paying, but unless they have no money or a private pension, they will not be entitled to collect a state pension.

maddyone Tue 02-Apr-24 11:14:41

Already Pension Credit has disappeared with the new state pension.

SueEH Tue 02-Apr-24 12:09:13

I had to phone someone official about one of dad’s accounts (I have POA) and had to pass the phone over to dad for the security questions.
When asked what benefits he gets he replied nothing and therefore failed the security check. He get his state pension and Attendance Allowance and doesn’t consider they are benefits .

Notagranyet24 Tue 02-Apr-24 12:24:33

Maddyone I agree. State pensions have been called benefits for some time, few people know, but it is obviously on the way to means testing.

This morning, at the swimming pool, while queueing to go in. A woman started chatting to me, 'I'm on benefits, but I'm not a pensioner. I don't get a reduced entry price but pensioners do. Lots of pensioners are well off and I don't think that's fair', she said.

The Tory government propaganda is working. It's true that there's financial inequality but it's widespread, not confined to pensioners. Having a large house doesn't make you cash rich, it's a result of the property market which needs taking in hand.

rockgran Tue 02-Apr-24 12:33:48

I do find it worrying because words matter.

schnoodlelove Tue 02-Apr-24 12:54:21

yes it is alarming. I think the notion of 'benefits' is now tied to claiming them because of poverty. Something that to my grandmother was shameful as she lived in the era of the workhouse and was scared of it as her mother had died in one. And would never claim.
The State pension is currently paid at the same rate whether you have paid all your contributions..or not. The latter is called pension credit and is means tested. the one based on contributions is not. So it feels like the people who paid and made sure they had, in my case, 40 years of contributions paid up are now being lumped together with those who have not and can all soon be means tested. Its not fair.
Many of us did not work in jobs that gave pensions...and my private pension plan paid out one off peanuts when I retired.
I remember when I got married I was offered a lesser payment of NI as my pension would be based on my husbands. I declined this offer as a feminist and smelling a trap of dependence. although I was paid very little as an editor in a publishing house, with no pension and it was tempting.
People don't like things that are not fair. Our state pension is the lowest in Europe because it is available to all and not just contribution based. I think only Albania has a lower state pension.
We all would like everything for everyone ...but its not realistic or fair and for those not fortunate to have been employed in the public sector (apparently half the population and the public sector presently owe over 3 trillion pounds in public sector pensions) , or get private sector high end jobs that paid final salary...the future is grim. I I had been a German, or American and had paid in all those years as I did I would have a state pension four times as much.

Fernbergien Tue 02-Apr-24 13:55:22

I noticed the reference “state benefit “ some years ago and found it a bit offensive.
Later on I went on a course which said free to people on a benefit so I used it to my advantage.