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    From Ros Altmann:economist and pensions,
    investment and retirement policy expert

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    Author: Ros Altmann

    What next for the triple lock and pensioners?

    What next for the triple lock and pensioners?

    After the Lords vote to protect the triple lock state Pension earnings link, what happens next?  Commons will debate the amendments the week after next giving a few days to add pressure.  It’s not too late for Government to change its mind and keep the triple lock, using an adjusted earnings figure lower than 8.3%.  If pensions rise by just 3.1%, there will be increasing pensioner poverty and MPs likely to face angry pensioners who feel abandoned while their household…

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    Pensioners are not the Chancellor’s cash machine – they need their promised protections

    Pensioners are not the Chancellor’s cash machine – they need their promised protections

    3.1% rise in State Pensions next year means a real terms cut, despite 2019 Manifesto commitments to protect pensioner.  Scrapping the triple lock earnings link takes over £5billion away from pensioners next year – the Budget’s biggest cost-cutting measure.  Pensioners should not be used as a cash machine to pay for spending elsewhere, such as a lower bank levy or alcohol duty, especially as we face a cost of living crisis.  Tuesday’s Lords debate could stop this and ask MPs…

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    Congratulations to the Chancellor for addressing low paid workers’ pension problems at last

    Congratulations to the Chancellor for addressing low paid workers’ pension problems at last

    Delighted to see Chancellor’s Budget plan to fix flawed pension tax relief rules for lowest earners which meant around 2 million workers were losing out on tax relief. More than a million low-earning women are currently paying 25% extra for their pension due to a tax administration anomaly in Net Pay schemes. Chancellor proposes to change HMRC systems to ensure they will get their tax relief and higher take home pay – but not till 2025. I welcome the Chancellor’s…

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    Budget announcement on pension charge cap

    Budget announcement on pension charge cap

    Increasing pension charge cap for workplace pensions may not be necessary to drive pension money into long-term investments and does not overcome the major barriers. Plans to boost investments in infrastructure or illiquid projects should focus more on Defined Benefit schemes which hold over £2trillion rather than on Defined Contribution which hold around £200billion. The Chancellor’s announcement of an increase in the charge cap for auto-enrolment pension schemes, above the current 0.75% level, has been well-trailed.  The intention to encourage…

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    It’s not too late to save the triple lock!

    It’s not too late to save the triple lock!

    It’s not too late to save vital earnings protection for state pensions – can use adjusted ONS earnings figures of around 3.2%. Government still has time to rethink its panic decision to break Manifesto commitment to keep triple lock.  House of Lords hasn’t yet passed legislation to remove precious earnings link and I hope Ministers will think again – poorest pensioners should not be abandoned as cost of living for them soars.  The ONS announcement of September’s CPI figure need…

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    Government doesn’t need to drop triple lock earnings link

    Government doesn’t need to drop triple lock earnings link

    Dropping the triple lock earnings linking is a triple broken promise to pensioners. The legislation to abandon earnings protection for poorest pensioners is unnecessary and based on a false premise as scare stories of an 8% pension increase are wrong. I will warn against setting a dangerous precedent in today’s Lords debate and explain how to save over £3billion without jeopardising poorest pensioners, mostly women. The current legislation allows State Pensions and Pension Credit uprating to use ONS adjusted earnings…

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    Care crisis is getting worse – Government needs to take more action now

    Care crisis is getting worse – Government needs to take more action now

    House of Lords warns of Government policies that will make the care crisis worse and opposes National Insurance rise for health and care levy.  Raising National Insurance places more burdens on employers and low-earners, while the money will go to NHS rather than being earmarked for social care. Mandatory vaccination rules from November could see over 40,000 careworkers sacked and there are already 150,000 vacancies.  New immigration visas do not cover careworkers, who earn too little to be allowed in…

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    Social care funding reform cannot be achieved equitably or sustainably with a National Insurance rise

    Social care funding reform cannot be achieved equitably or sustainably with a National Insurance rise

    Social care funding reform cannot be achieved equitably or sustainably with a National Insurance rise – and even worse if the extra money just goes to the NHS. Increasing National Insurance is socially inequitable for funding desperately needed social care improvements which were supposedly finalised in 2019, pre-pandemic. The lowest earners pay National Insurance of 12.8% on £3,000 more of their income than other taxpayers. NI starts around £180 a week, but tax only starts around £240 a week. Pensioners, pensions,…

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    State Pension earnings link in triple lock must not be abandoned

    State Pension earnings link in triple lock must not be abandoned

    State Pension earnings link in triple lock must not be abandoned. Uprating reflects retrospective inflation but forecast steep price rises will hit poorest pensioners most. Government must not abandon the earnings link in the State Pension uprating calculation:  To abandon the earnings link element of the State Pension triple lock would be a potential disaster for pensions and pensioner poverty.  With the lowest State Pension in the developed world and millions of pensioners already living in poverty, failing to uprate…

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    Dropping the earnings link for state pensions sets a dangerous precedent

    Dropping the earnings link for state pensions sets a dangerous precedent

    Pensioners are not all well-off, millions rely on the State Pension which is the lowest in the developed world.    Removing the earnings link sets a dangerous precedent that pensioners are a target for cost savings.    Basic state pension was worth 26% of average earnings in 1979, fell to 16.3% by 2010 and is now 19% with new State Pension at 24.8%.    A comprehensive review of pensioner support is needed, not short-term sudden changes in their protection.   It…

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