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Pension rights

Why should people who have sacrificed to save for a comfortable retirement be penalised by having their basic state pension reduced or removed as suggested by Lorna Bourke (Money Marketing, December 18)?

We all know that the state pension is a pay-as-you-go scheme and our contributions do not buy us into a fund. However, whenever we have had the temerity to suggest that NICs are simply another form of income tax, we have been reminded that NICs are different because they buy the right to benefits, including pensions.

Granted, some benefits are means-tested but the amount of pension we receive is dependent upon how much we have paid in contributions. Indeed, we are invited to pay Class 3 voluntary contributions to "help protect your right to retirement pension".

Ms Bourke&#39s suggestion would mean that those who had paid most in would receive least. Hardly an example of the fairness we are currently hearing so much about.

I hope that no Government would be allowed to get away with such a preposterous act.

John Mitchell

IFA, Wilmslow, Cheshire

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