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News & politics

Pension theft

(90 Posts)
maddyone Thu 20-Feb-20 13:58:05

The reason put forward by successive governments for the raising of the state pension age has always been that people are living longer. Today I read something that was posted on Facebook by one of my friends. It says that the decision has been taken by successive governments to not top up the pension fund as originally proposed by William Beverage in 1948. It is claimed that if the pension fund had been topped up by government as proposed, an additional £11.3 billion would have gone into the fund each year from 1990. From 1981 the amount paid into the fund was reduced, and from 1990 no money was paid into the fund. The principal culprits for this situation are claimed to be Lady Thatcher, John Moore, Kenneth Clark, Sir John Major, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Steve Webb, and Guy Opperman. It all amounts to a £271 billion shortfall into the National Insurance fund. These decisions have been made by people who will benefit from the most generous of publicly funded pensions which will make them among the wealthiest of pensioners in the country.
I apologise that I’m rubbish at doing links, and in any case this is on Facebook, but the article is apparently still available on the Webb. It is on BYLINE.COM and written by David Hencke.
I lost three years of my state pension, and I know many Gransnetters have lost the full six years. Now I know this I’m disgusted. I swallowed the line that people are living longer and though I wasn’t pleased about it and thought it unfair on many people, I accepted it. I’m assuming this isn’t false news, please let me know if it is.

growstuff Thu 20-Feb-20 16:59:10

I'm a bit puzzled by this. Do you have a source?

The balance on the Fund at 31 March 2019 was £29.9 billion, which is above the minimum working balance requirement.

The reason usually given for raising the state pension age is that, with a Pay As You Go system, younger working people are paying an increasing amount for pensions, as life expectancy rises.

On average, there has been a shift in wealth and income from younger people to older people over the last couple of decades, which is politically unacceptable.

Raising the state pension age is a political decision, not a financial one.

maddyone Thu 20-Feb-20 17:07:58

Maybe it’s false news growstuff, I saw it on Facebook. It interested me as so many people have lost out and will lose out. Of course raising the pension age is political. I’ll see if I can find anything on the internet.

growstuff Fri 21-Feb-20 02:28:23

I've done a little research on this and I honestly think David Hencke has got this wrong. I lost faith in him as a journalist since he was behind the alleged Westminster paedophilia allegations.

Anyway, my searches confirmed what I already knew. There is no such thing as a National Insurance fund. There is no ring-fenced fund which is kept solely for paying out pensions and other benefits. It's a balance sheet fund only.

Some years it 's estimated that there is enough in the hypothetical fund to meet the commitments. Some years there isn't, in which case the Treasury makes up the shortfall.

The health of the balance sheet depends on outgoings, which can be predicted reasonably accurately, and income, which is more unpredictable and depends on working people's contributions.

The contributions can be affected by unemployment and the number of working people in the country. It's known that the trend is for a decreasing ratio of working people versus pensioners. It's one of the advantages of immigration because immigrants (especially those from the EU) tend to be young and in work. A drop in contributions could be a very serious disadvantage of Brexit.

The Treasury's job is to balance the burden on working people and those in receipt of pensions. There isn't a defined "pot". Accusing former politicians of doing something which they have never claimed to do, is vexatious. National Insurance contributions have risen steeply over the last few years, while working people themselves will never receive the returns that current pensioners do.

I think it's right that the trends should be reversed and it wouldn't surprise me at all, if there are some steps to do this in the budget. Despite the fact that most pensioners vote Tory, the massive majority means that the Tories don't have to listen to their traditional voters for the next four years and will probably look for measures to hang on to their new, less wealthy voters.

Mealybug Fri 21-Feb-20 03:22:37

I should have retired and received my pension at age 60, five years ago but have to wait until I'm 66 next January. I was never informed of the changes and when I finally receive my pension I will have paid in for 50 years, having left school at 15 and worked full time, I will have lost £40k plus over the last five years. There's money in the pension fund so why can't they pay it out to women like me, some ladies have passed away before they even reached 65 or 66!

GracesGranMK3 Fri 21-Feb-20 06:27:03

Interesting Growstuff and thank you. Isn't it also true that those starting their pensions later are receiving a larger "basic" pension. They may receive it for fewer years but the receive more for each of those years. Some attempts at evening up the lifetime of the pension were made. The gap between the basic pension for the old and the new will, because it is a percentage increase, continue to grow. It was never all one way.

growstuff Fri 21-Feb-20 08:17:07

I agree with you GracesGran. I was born in April 1955, so will receive the new state pension, which is more than the old one. The extra six years has also given me an opportunity to build up an extra six years, which will mean an extra (approximately) £27 a week. If I live to my mid 80s, I will receive the same as if I had received the old pension six years earlier. Unlike other posters, I did know about the changes in the mid 1990s, which equalised male and female pension ages, although I'm miffed about the 2011 change, which added an extra year.

I'm actually more annoyed about the changes to the benefit system, which happened at much the same time and independently of the increase in pension age, which means that the genuinely hard up can't claim Universal Credit when working only 16 hours a week - and the other passported benefits, which went with UC, and the freezing of state benefits for all working age recipients.

Callistemon Fri 21-Feb-20 09:36:02

What growstuff and Gracesgran say is correct.

There is nofund as such, not like personal pensions where your own fund grows (or, in the case of some does not).

Mealybug what you will receive in your pension will probably exceed eg my pension by about £40 pw for the same number of years contributions.

maddyone Fri 21-Feb-20 10:01:18

Thank you for your hard work growstuff, I really shouldn’t believe anything on Facebook should I? I did a bit of looking yesterday but couldn’t find much, just things DH said on Twitter. As I had my six year old twin grandchildren here yesterday I didn’t have much time.
The new pension is higher than the old one as some of you say. My husband gets the new pension, about ten pounds a week more than I get, because he became eligible for his state pension a year later than I did, and that’s when the change happened. We were both ‘contracted out’ so we get a lower state pension anyway, but we also get our professional pensions.

maddyone Fri 21-Feb-20 10:02:48

It does make me wonder what people get out of publishing false news. I’m annoyed with myself for being gullible enough to swallow it.

suziewoozie Fri 21-Feb-20 10:13:42

maddy people who publish fake news are generally doing it for political reasons imo ( and that’s across the political spectrum). It can wind people up and aggravate negative feelings towards one group or another. I think as well there are probably professional fake newsers. I only use FB with a small group of family and friends for photos and inconsequential personal events but occasionally ( because someone’s settings are too lax) I get a ‘shared’ post that is just so factually incorrect and designed to encourage such hatred that I could cry.

spabbygirl Fri 21-Feb-20 10:16:57

I so agree and like many others lost pension because I'm one of the waspi women. But when you hear Priti Patel saying they're stopping immigration and sending people back where possible the shortfall of people can be made up from our own unemployed people and those 'economically inactive' that is you and me, the retired folk. I see further reductions in pension in the future.

maddyone Fri 21-Feb-20 10:20:26

Oh well, I’ll have to chalk it up to experience. I am annoyed with myself though, I’m capable of being quite sceptical sometimes.
I’m on Facebook to share family news and pictures mainly, and also with a few close friends, and some friends in America. One of them must have shared it.
Never mind, onwards and upwards.

mumof2boys Fri 21-Feb-20 10:22:11

Don’t forget most of the fake news you read on Facebook and the like is generated by bot factories from the likes of Russia or from those trying to gain politically.

Why would they do this - because they profit from unstable currency markets & have an interest in a divided Europe.

Just a shame so many fall for it and won’t stand back and think objectively for themselves.

Anyone who dares point out the fakeness gets dismissed as a lefty snowflake.

maddyone Fri 21-Feb-20 10:22:30

That was to Suzie.

maddyone Fri 21-Feb-20 10:23:07

And mumof.

maddyone Fri 21-Feb-20 10:23:53

I do feel silly for reading and believing. As I said, I’m usually quite sceptical.

maddyone Fri 21-Feb-20 10:28:05

Oh my goodness, I’ve just received the daily email, and this thread is on it. shockblush

MaizieD Fri 21-Feb-20 10:44:19

maddyone. Your experience with this facebook post is exactly the sort of thing I've just expressed my worries about on the 'Labour leadership' thread. You are lucky in that you have this forum in which to talk about it, and find out if it is true, or not. Also, that you have an open mind.

I agree with you that it is puzzling as to the motives of whoever originated the misinformation; I can't see any purpose in it apart from mischievously stirring people up over supposed 'injustice'. But during political campaigns, such as the EU referendum or general elections, the misinformation informs people's judgements and is unlikely to be countered as few other people are aware of what is being sent to the targeted group.

And, I think that the political parties and lobby groups will keep up their 'campaigns' at a low level between voting events, just to soften up their targets...

growstuff Fri 21-Feb-20 10:55:27

maddyone I was contracted out, so won't get the full state pension either. That's why it's been useful to me to have the extra six years, during which I've paid voluntary NI contributions. I would urge anybody under state pension age and not working/earning enough to do the same. I will have paid just over an extra £1000 over six years, but will receive an extra £1404 per annum (plus inflation) in pension. Anybody still in paid full-time work will have to pay more.

growstuff Fri 21-Feb-20 10:58:08

The original information came from David Hencke. He's a freelance journalist, who was responsible for reporting on the alleged VIP paedophile ring, which turned out to be false.

growstuff Fri 21-Feb-20 11:01:52

maddyone Don't feel silly. I keep reading the stuff Waspi women write. I wish they'd stick to the facts and not try to go for the emotional angle and exaggerate. I do feel that women in their late 50s and early 60s have had a rotten deal, not as a result of pensions, but as a result of benefit changes and the general discrimination against them in the workplace.

blondenana Fri 21-Feb-20 11:10:42

As far as i know and read about the VIP paedophile ring there was evidence to prove it was true,
What about all the listed names from the 60s and 70s

thekeats Fri 21-Feb-20 11:12:54

Well said!

Shortlegs Fri 21-Feb-20 11:34:14

I would suggest that as a reliable news source Facebook would rank alongside The Beano or Dandy.