It has been announced that in April next year the state pension will increase by 3.1%.
State pensions are paid at two different rates:
1. People who reached state pension age before April 2016 will have an increase of £4.25 per week, total pension £7,376 – 20 p per annum
2. Those on the new single tier pension will have an increase of £5.55 per week, total £9,627 – 80 p per annum
For basic and upper rate taxpayers the increase will be subject to income tax at their appropriate rates.
The state pension paid in the UK is proportionately the lowest provided in any developed nation.
Your committee has fought to defend the triple lock protection on the state pension. However, despite statements made by the Prime Minister some months ago this protection was reduced, allegedly for one year. Left in place, the increase related to average pay increases would have been in the area of 8%.
Pensioners as a group are probably the most exposed to the cost increases in energy, food, petrol, indeed most commodities and services. Aggravated by inflation currently at 3.1% and predicted to rise, resulting in any personal savings being reduced in spending power.
No further financial assistance for pensioners was apparent in the recent budget. Rather the reverse, as those who have passed retirement age and continue working will have to again start paying National Insurance despite in some cases already having done so for more than forty years.
The State Pension is very much an issue for working members as well as your retired colleagues. Given current occupational pension arrangements, working members should consider that it is likely on retirement the State Pension will represent a substantial part of their cash income. Interference with the triple lock protection today will diminish the amount they receive on retirement.
Is this a government with any interest in the welfare of pensioners?
Chair, Hampshire Unison Retired Members Section
29 October 2021