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Is the UK Basic State Pension adequate to meet a healthy and warm standard of living in late life?

(75 Posts)
GranddadBrian Thu 14-May-20 14:52:00

The pensions triple lock could be scrapped in the near future as the government looks to recoup the hundreds of billions of pounds it has spent on lockdown. On the advice of Gov FT advisers.

That is according to a Treasury document dated May 5, seen by the Telegraph, chancellor Rishi Sunak has been advised by Government Financial Advisers to break one of the Conservatives’ manifesto pledges and scrap the pension triple lock on state pension rises.
Under current rules, the state pension is increased by the triple lock which is the highest of earnings growth, price inflation or 2.5 per cent a year.

At present in the UK the latest stats available highlight that:

Average Pensioners income is £138.80 Pw with no company pension.

Presently the UK full state pension is set at £175.20 per week

Whilst on the wage front the average weekly wage in London is over £700: pw.

Across the whole of the UK the average wage was £585 at April 2019 the lowest income region being £

The Present UK living wage based on @35hr week is £305.20 which DWP believes is the minimum you need to live when working.

Where as a UK Pensioners average income is £138.80. If you have no company pension.

The present UK full state pension is £175.20 per week. Only a small % of females over 70 are on a full pension,

No account has been taken of pension credit for contributions of savings towards a company pension, prior to 1974 few Manual workers were able to contribute to a company pension.

Should we now be considering what the Minimum UK Basic State Pension should be to ensure its adequate to provide funding a healthy and warm standard of living in late life?

Your views please?

suziewoozie Thu 14-May-20 15:02:32

There is not a snowballs chance in hell that any real improvement in the State Pension will happen. Why on earth should the Government improve it ? They get enough votes as it is from the over 65s. As for the possible loss of the triple lock - there are two possibilities - it is being floated to see how cross people get - if they get very cross the Govt will relent and say they are a listening government. If people don’t get very cross, it will happen

vampirequeen Thu 14-May-20 15:20:34

The state pension isn't enough. If it was then people wouldn't qualify for housing benefit and pension top up.

AGAA4 Thu 14-May-20 15:21:58

I think many will be annoyed by this. For many the pension is just not adequate. Hence the "heat or eat"dilemma for some pensioners.
When I was working years ago there was a married woman's contribution which was not counted towards our pensions and just went straight to the chancellor so no benefit at all. We weren't informed of this.
Many women will not have had enough stamps for a decent pension.

growstuff Thu 14-May-20 15:41:12

Errmm … JSA for people of working age is £74.35pw. How come pensioners need more than double?

I'm not claiming the state pension is generous, but how do people think others, maybe only a little younger, cope?

MissAdventure Thu 14-May-20 16:05:13

I was just thinking that, but I didn't want to get shot down in flames.

Whitewavemark2 Thu 14-May-20 16:05:50

growstuff with respect that is not the point. Neither is adequate.

GranddadBrian Thu 14-May-20 16:08:34


A rather interesting response so dose cynics shut up & allow the Gov to keep more seniors in the poverty trap for that’s what’s will happen or try to reawaken the spirit of fairness & desires for greater equality in our society?

I often wonder why we are sitting back and allowing common decency to almost disappear? Is it complacency or a could not care less attitude.


AGAA4 Thu 14-May-20 16:12:37

JSA is not enough to live on but hopefully people can get a job so there is hope.
For some pensioners there isn't that option being too old and possibly ill to ever work again so they are stuck on whatever they get with no hope of things getting better.

craftyone Thu 14-May-20 16:19:25

heat or eat? we get another £200 for winter heat

SueDonim Thu 14-May-20 16:24:54

It’s not for us as a couple with a daughter who was dependent on us until three weeks ago, but my mother lives very adequately on her State Pension and manages to save a bit, too.

AGAA4 Thu 14-May-20 16:24:54

£200 added on in December to a very small pension is helpful but still not enough.

growstuff Thu 14-May-20 16:26:16

What about people in their 60s, who aren't in the greatest of health? They're highly unlikely to find a job. Many of them are still working age.

I disagree very strongly with singling out pensioners as an especially needy group.

growstuff Thu 14-May-20 16:29:55

Whitewave I was being diplomatic. Many pensioners aren't struggling financially and I don't see why younger people should pay for all of them, especially as younger people are, on average, likely to be less well off (even before Covid-19).

PS. When I get my state pension, I'll be rich compared with now!

growstuff Thu 14-May-20 16:33:23

AGA The money from married women's contributions didn't go straight to the Chancellor. What do you think he did with it?

The contributions didn't only pay for the state pension, but a range of benefits and some went to the NHS.

Those women who didn't pay full NI contributions actually received a very good return on their contributions and, if they're in real difficulties, they can receive Pension Credit and receive as much as people who have paid a lot more.

AGAA4 Thu 14-May-20 16:36:00

The OP has brought up the issues of state pensions. This doesn't mean their are no others in need.
It is hard to take in this country that there are any people who are in poverty.
There are people of all ages who are needy and I don't think pensioners are a special group. You can be needy whoever you are.

ladymuck Thu 14-May-20 16:45:02

I think much depends on your lifestyle, and how much money you are used to having. If you are used to having an active social life, eating out frequently etc., you might feel yourself to be impoverished on the basic pension.
On the other hand, someone who doesn't smoke, drink or eat out will have more flexible income, and might feel quite well off.

AGAA4 Thu 14-May-20 16:45:52

Growstuff. I got nothing back from my married woman's contribution. It became law later that we had to pay the full national insurance but by then I had paid many years of a smaller amount that benefited me not at all. This was the early 70s.
The stamps only started many years after I had worked so I wouldn't have had enough stamps to pay for a full pension as I had worked without any benefit but paying what was then the married woman's stamp.

Jane10 Thu 14-May-20 16:52:33

Do pension credits increase the state pension to a more adequate amount?

kath54 Thu 14-May-20 17:05:48

We are constantly being told the NHS is still open for us. I have been suffering from Chronic uveitis and need treatment with injections into the eye and steriod drops. I have an appointment with a specialist in June but this has been postponed for six months. After a bad flare up last week I went to the emergency eye hospital. The Dr there warned me I would be getting the letter I have just referred to and said I needed to phone up and insist I still be seen in June. I did this but the Specialist refused to see me for 6 months. I feel far more worried about my eyesight than the threat of Coronavirus. I follow all the guidance from the government but feel other conditions such as my own are being cast to one side

growstuff Thu 14-May-20 17:10:12

They top up state pension to the maximum amount available. People receiving pension credits are also eligible for some other perks.

After paying my rent and council tax, I currently live on less than the full state pension and have done for the last five years. I do live very frugally, but I can honestly say that I have never been without food or adequate heating.

I'm 65 + 1 month, so still of working age.

growstuff Thu 14-May-20 17:13:36

Yes, you did AGA, unless you have never used the NHS. I have paid 47 years of full contributions and I doubt very much whether I've received more than you have. The difference is that I had money deducted from my pay every month, which you didn't. There was nothing to stop you from investing what you saved.

BlueBelle Thu 14-May-20 17:25:50

I don’t get a full government pension because I had some years off bringing three children up alone I get a small work pension that brings me up to the same as the full state pension I don’t get any other help or money I manage quite adequately, but I wouldn’t if I had rent or mortgage to pay though or a higher life style
I consider I have a very adequate lifestyle I don’t have a car I don’t smoke I do go out to coffee or lunch most weeks with friends and have a can of cider here and there I m satisfied

AGAA4 Thu 14-May-20 17:25:54

I didn't see it in my state pension as you did Growstuff. I have had to work as well. Sadly my husband became terminally ill in his forties and died. I had to work and bring up my daughter aged 12 at the time.
And I have paid full contributions till I retired at 67.

AGAA4 Thu 14-May-20 17:33:45

Growstuff. Please don't presume you know my circumstances.
I am not making personal remarks to you so don't do it to me.