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MPs to probe ‘moving goalposts’ of state pension reform

Frank Field MP

The Work and Pensions committee is to follow its investigation of the retirement freedoms with a new inquiry into the state pension reforms.

The committee says it is worried those close to retirement in particular may not understand the new system, having done most of their planning under the previous rules.

It also raises concerns those with less than 10 years of National Insurance contributions will no longer receive any pension, and that people will no longer be able to count on a percentage of their spouse’s pension after their death.

The inquiry will seek to establish how the Department for Work and Pensions is providing information on the changes, and whether workplace pension schemes could play a greater role in signposting to information.

It will also look at the impact on women born between 1951 and 1953, who previously would have been able to retire at age 60, but have seen their new state pension age increase.

Committee chairman Frank Field says: “There is a sense that Government has somewhat moved the goalposts in retirement savings without providing enough information about what are, in the end, complex changes, and a risk that some people may face a shock when they come to claim their pension.

“It is important that groups most affected by the changes receive targeted communications that highlight the options available to them.”

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Comments

There are 2 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. We are fortunate indeed to have Mr Field in this post.

  2. Andy Robertson-Fox 29th October 2015 at 9:55 am

    Steve Webb was the past master at moving goalposts – indeed I think in his case they were on wheels.
    I have commented many times on MoneyMarketing about the frozen pension scandal where 4% of all UK pensioners are denied index linking to their pensions and, despite pre 2010 election “promises” this is one one set he didn’t move and should have done!
    He did, of course, upset a group of married women born between 1951 and 1953 and I have every sympathy with them on what seems to be totally unfair but, unlike the frozen pensioner who met all the contribution conditions when working, this is not discrimination.
    He also removed the right to a widowed spouse to receive a pension based on her late partners NI contributions….thus torpedoing the plans of many couples who are now in no position to take remedial action. He claimed it was aimed at overseas spouses and neglected to expand his comments to point out that it covered more people in the UK than abroad.
    I also believe that the allowance paid for a dependent spouse has been withdrawn for new State Retirement Pension claimants and, worse still, will be totally withdrawn from 2020 – I shall be over 75 by then with a younger disabled wife who has no pension claim in her own right.
    I have also heard a rumour that the payment of GMP is going to cease; this is paid with the State Pension but, it seems, the government wish to deny it is their responsibility but, if it isn’t, why is that also frozen to the 4%?
    Successive governments have extolled the virtues of planning and budgetting for one’s retirement. Sorry but with all these changes – mostly not publicised by the DWP – how can one do it?
    Frank Field, in simple terms, your committee should be telling Baroness Altmann it is time to get a grip on the State Pension anomalies inflicted by her predecessor.

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