Pensioners could be better off living apart under welfare reforms, Age UK warns

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Pensioners could be better off living apart under welfare reforms, Age UK warns

Post by Guest on Fri Dec 09, 2011 4:41 pm

Older couples could be financially better off living apart because of new changes to the welfare system, a leading charity has warned.



New Government proposals will disadvantage pensioners with working age husbands or wives, despite the Coalition’s promise to reward marriage through the tax system. Under the plans, tens of thousands of pensioners will lose the right to claim around £100 per week simply because they live with a spouse under the age of 60.

Age UK said this could “result in older people having to spend their retirement savings to support their younger partner”, who may be a housewife or carer. Almost 100,000 couples currently claim pension credit – a benefit that tops up pensions to a minimum level. However, in future, pensioners with a working age spouse will have to claim the much lower universal credit.

A typical couple gets £209.70 per week with a basic state pension and pension credit, but but if one partner is below the age of 60, they will get just £105.95 per week from 2013.

Age UK said this group of people could also lose the right to other linked benefits, such as cold weather payments.

People with savings of more than £16,000 will also lose the right to claim pension credit, while those with savings of more than £6,000 will see a steep withdrawal of support.

Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director of Age UK, said: “Many of those nearing the State Pension Age can find it difficult to find work no matter how hard they try. Just because one half of a couple is below pension credit age does not mean that their income needs drop and for those suffering unable to work through sickness or caring for others there is no opportunity to supplement their partner’s income.”

The charity is also worried that the changes are quietly being introduced as part of the Government’s Welfare Reform Bill.

“We are extremely concerned that there has been no consultation on such a major policy change and full details of the system are not yet available even though the Welfare Reform Bill has been considered by the House of Commons and is entering its last stages in the House of
Lords,” Ms Mitchell added. “There are just too many questions that have been left unanswered.”

The Government is also in the process of changing the state pension age. It will rise for women from 60 to 65 and everyone will then see this age raised to 66 by 2020.

In his Autumn Statement last month, George Osborne announced that the state pension age will further rise to 67 between 2026 and 2028 – a decade earlier than previously planned. This will mean those aged 44 to 51 will be forced to work for an extra year.

A spokesperson from the Department for Work and Pensions said: “We’re clear that people of working age who can work, should be expected to do so, and it’s not right that the existing system allows a younger partner to receive benefits meant for pensioners. Claiming universal credit strikes the right balance between providing the necessary financial help while ensuring that those who can work, are incentivised to do so. This change will not affect couples currently claiming pension credit.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/journalists/rowena-mason/8946672/Pensioners-could-be-better-off-living-apart-under-welfare-reforms-Age-UK-warns.html

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Re: Pensioners could be better off living apart under welfare reforms, Age UK warns

Post by Guest on Fri Dec 09, 2011 5:30 pm

It's shocking how Westminster can spend 170 billion pounds a year on a useless war in Afghanistan and give 75 billion pounds a year to corrupt leaders of foreign states in what is called foreign aid which never gets to the people who need it and yet refuses to look after the interests and welfare of those who have served this country and contributed to its success over many decades, namely the retired pensioners.

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Re: Pensioners could be better off living apart under welfare reforms, Age UK warns

Post by Guest on Fri Dec 09, 2011 7:09 pm

fred bloggs wrote:It's shocking how Westminster can spend 170 billion pounds a year on a useless war in Afghanistan and give 75 billion pounds a year to corrupt leaders of foreign states in what is called foreign aid which never gets to the people who need it and yet refuses to look after the interests and welfare of those who have served this country and contributed to its success over many decades, namely the retired pensioners.

I agree Fred

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Re: Pensioners could be better off living apart under welfare reforms, Age UK warns

Post by victorismyhero on Fri Dec 09, 2011 8:19 pm

Tories...the party for the family......hah!!!
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Re: Pensioners could be better off living apart under welfare reforms, Age UK warns

Post by Guest on Fri Dec 09, 2011 8:31 pm

victorismyhero wrote:Tories...the party for the family......hah!!!

Party of complacent 'I've got mine, you can bugger off'!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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