Source : Age UK
Published on 21 March 2012 04:00 PM
In response to the Chancellor, George Osborne's Budget speech, Age UK has issued the following response.
Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director General of Age UK said:
"We agree with the Chancellor that the current pension system is bafflingly complex and so we welcome his announcement that the Government is to bring in a flat rate pension and look forward to reading more detailed proposals.
"Age UK believes that a flat rate pension would enable future pensioners to feel clearer about their retirement income and plan accordingly.
“However it is important that the Government does not lose sight of the needs of current pensioners, 1.8million of whom are living in poverty.
“On the Chancellor’s announcement of an “automatic review” into increasing the State Pension Age, we recognise that as life expectancy increases it is reasonable to consider increases to State Pension age and longer working lives.
"However average life expectancy must not be the only factor that is considered as at the moment the huge disparities in healthy life expectancy across the country means that the poorest socio-economic groups will be required to sacrifice proportionately more of their retirement
“Older taxpayers will be disappointed that the Government has decided to scrap the age-related tax allowance. This will affect those with modest pensions and savings for their retirement.
Someone with an income as low as £10,500 who reaches 65 from April 2013 could be £259 a year worse than under the current system with very little time to adjust their financial retirement plans.”
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We have a number of experts available for comment, including:
Caroline Abrahams is Age UK’s Charity Director, and has worked predominantly on children and family issues throughout her career.
She was Director of Policy and Strategy at the children’s charity Action for Children and Chair of the End Child Poverty campaign before joining the Local Government Association.
She then moved on to become Senior Policy Adviser in the Department for Children, Schools and Families and more recently she has been an adviser to the Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls.
Her policy interests include poverty, public service reform and safeguarding.
James is head of our research department in Age UK.
His responsibilities include:
He has a Visiting Professorship in Ageing at Loughborough University.
Jane Vass is Head of Public Policy at Age UK. She joined Age Concern England as Financial Services Policy Adviser in 2006.
She was previously an independent consumer consultant and writer specialising in financial services from the consumer viewpoint.
In this capacity she undertook research such as reports for the National Consumer Council on equity release and on savings and investments for low-income consumers.
She was a member of the Financial Services Consumer Panel from 1999 to 2003, and from 1983 to 1993 she worked for Consumers’ Association.
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