For example, should all those of state pension age, irrespective of income, be entitled to benefits such as free bus passes, winter fuel allowance, the christmas bonus, tv licences, free presciptions etc.
And then let's not forget that they more than get their monies worth from the NHS (as well as the free prescriptions).
Don't know if I've left any thing out, or got anything wrong, but if I have I'm sure someone will correct me!
Good question, and the key is "irrespective of income".
From what I have read time and time again is that the cost of means testing pensioners would outweight any savings gained, though it would of course depend what level of income is decided to be the cut-off for receiving the benefits. If the figure was set very low then maybe savings could be achieved. Your comment that "they get more than their monies worth from the NHS" is a gross generalisation, and, I must say, rather offensive. Do you advocate rationing NHS care to "rich" pensioners too (who, incidentally, have paid into the system all their lives).
To add to my earlier response, I would say I have no qualms about pensioners receiving the benefits listed by Lynne. All the pensioners I know have very modest incomes and don't begrudge them the benefits after a lifetime of paying into the system.
"more than their monies worth from the NHS" is not a gross generalisation when it comes to my own family. It is a fact and a standing joke (not sure though that that is the appropriate word) with regard to the number of hospital appointments/operations/treatments, due to various ailments, that the aged 80+ plus members of my family have had and are having.
Difficult sometimes to keep up with who is going to which hospital, with whom, and for what!
I'm not advocating anything at the moment. I have posed the question and await to see arguments for and against the question I have put.
What about pensioners who have not spent "a lifetime paying into the system?" Should they also be entitled to state pension age benefits?
it most definitely is not a gross generalization to say that the elderley are the most frequent users of the nhs @burneside - its a fact. whether or not they get 'more than their monies worth' i really couldn't comment!
pensioner poverty is equally as important and as soul destroying as child poverty. in my view, @Lynne and @neilh, pensioners should have their benefits irrespective of their income (means testing being a total waste of money in any case). those who dont want/need it could be encouraged to donate it to age uk perhaps?
Isn't it Alan Sugar who has set up trust into which pensioners could pay their unwanted/unnecessary allowances if they desired?
I have worked and paid taxes all my life, only claimed a top up benefit for 7yrs when bringing up my 3children as a single parent. I claim state pension and still work I pay basic rate tax on anything over tax allowance so still contribute to this country. I have a bus pass which I do not use, I do get the winter fuel allowance (as you get older you feel the cold more) also free prescriptions after all these years of paying. I have asthma so need drugs on a monthly basis. I have had this illness for 33yrs so have more than paid for my medication and my contribution to society so take acception to what this thread implies. A small portion of pensioners are most probably well off but the vast majority arent. My late father had a private pension and struggled to survive, whearas the lady who lived next to him was better off as she was eligible to all the benefits my father wasnt. His pension put him a few pounds above the cut off limit, and I dearsay there are many like him today. We still have to pay for glasses and dental treatment so not everything is given to us
What is it that this thread implies Brazilnut? I thought we were having a discussion based on the question I posed at the very beginning.
I asked the following question in one of my postings above but as I haven't had a response I'll ask it again: What about pensioners who have not spent "a lifetime paying into the system?" Should they also be entitled to state pension age benefits?
What are you so bitter about when it comes to people receiving benefits? I presume by senior citizens having not paid in all their lives I presume you mean people who have not worked
Im not even going to attempt to answer your question as you are very patrionising and I dont need to be told off by you, Im withdrawing.
Good Luck to everybody else that attempts to give Lynne the answers she needs.
Regardless of how you measure it the old age pension is already means tested. If they have savings or an income, they get what is called the basic pension. This amount is UNDER that which the Social Services say is required to live on. Those without savings etc. can add housing benefit and many other benefits until their income is above or level that required to live. ( This figure is unknown to me at the moment, the last time I was involved with Social Services was in 1998, and it was then £81. after rent and basic bills are paid . At the time the pension was £69..
PS. do not know why the size of print changed
@Brazilnut - the last thing i am is bitter about people receiving benefits. as i know you have read other posts of mine on other threads i cannot even begin to think how you have come to that conclusion.
And as for me "telling you off". What?!
I asked a question of you (and others), that was all.
So, anyone else like to have a go at answering the following: Should those who have not spent "a lifetime paying into the system" (see the second byrneside posting) be entitled to a state pension and all the other benefits that being of state pension age presently bring?
You said people of state pension age receive "more than their monies worth from the NHS", I called that a gross generalisation, but you then turned the comment around so it referred only to your family experience. Therefore I stand by my original comment.
As for your question, I understand that you now have to pay NI contributions for 30 years (down from 40) to receive a full state pension, otherwise it is reduced. I don't know if a pensioner would still receive the other benefits if they hadn't paid a full 30 years of NI, but it wouldn't bother me if they did.
Are you saying that the elderly do not use the NHS a lot then? I think you'll find that they do. Not that I have a problem with that at all. Sure I'll be needing it more and more as I get older.
"More than their monies worth" an expression that is in common use as I am sure you know and not necessarily to be taken literally. I used it to mean "a lot".
The question of whether those who have not spent a life time paying into the system and whether or not they should be entitled to a state pension and other pension age things is something that some feel very strongly about, one way or the other.
In fact the whole issue of pensioners is a topic that is very emotive. Witness the reaction to the Chancellor's income tax proposals for pensioners in the budget on Wednesday.
I quite deliberately decided to raise the 'pensioner' issue (even before George Osborne's political faux pas on Wednesday) as have thought to myself for some time "Why are pensioners so special when it comes to being on the receiving end of welfare cuts etc". Not that I am advocating they should be but just asking why it is that they are seemingly deemed to be out of bounds as it were.
I had another thread going a few weeks back about social tenants and the 'bedroom tax'. I noted to myself at the time that social housing tenants of non working age (ie those of state pension age) were to be exempt from legislation. Given that the government's argument re the 'bedroom tax' is that it wishes to cut back on the housing benefit bill and that it also wishes to free up under occupied social housing why is it that social tenants of state pension age are exempt when surely there must be a lot of underoccupancy in that age group?
Just asking. Just curious.
So what do you think should happen to pensioners who have not paid into the system for a lifetime? You say you don't mind pensioners receiving special treatment when it comes to welfare, but you spend a lot of time banging on about it. It is said you can judge a society by the way it treats its elderly, and I don't begrudge any pensioner getting a bit of preferential treatment in their twilight years.
I think they should get paid the same/have the same benefits as, other pensioners*. (see bottom of this posting).
So, for example, women (and yes some men fall into this category as well) who have not gone out to work but have stayed at home to look after children and who in my opinion have worked should not be discriminated against in old age because they haven't been out in the workplace earning money. The same applies to others, of whichever gender, who may not have been able to undertake paid work because they have had to stay at home to look after an ill parent for example.
That said, others are not necessarily of the same opinion. I have read, and in the not so very distant past, howls of outrage from some who have spent some 40 or so years in paid work along the lines of why should those who have stayed at home to raise kids/look after an ill parent get a state pension and other age related benefits when they have never paid taxes/ NI?
Also of course, if people who have not paid into the system for a lifetime don't get the same basic rights as other pensioners how would they survive? How would somone who has never done a days work in their life survive? Or someone who has spent most of their life in an HMP somewhere?
'I bang on about' the pensioner issue as you put it as I find it interesting that as a group they are seemingly politically untouchable. Look at the responses to my postings on this thread for an indication of how sensitive a subject this is. Look at the newpaper coverage of Osborne's budget for further proof. Doesn't mean the issue of pensioners, state pensions and pensioner benefits shouldn't be discussed and challenged though, does it? Or does it?
So, if I wish to raise the issue of pensioners again, I will, and I'll make no apologies for doing so. I am very uneasy with the thought that seeminlgy certain subjects should not be broached and challenged and I do see the questioning of pensioners/pensions/pensioner benefits etc as being a bit of a taboo subject.
Finally from a purely personal and selfish point of view why on earth would I wish to reduce any benefits that pensioners get when, all things being equal, I shall myself be of state pension age one day? (and although that day keeps getting further and further away it still isn't that far away - sad to say).
*but I must confess that it does stick in my craw that those pensioners who are really very, very, well off get things like the winter fuel allowance. Do I in my heart of hearts think that they should get it? No.
for info - I know the article's dated 2010 but am pretty certain that the proposals still stand and will come into effect, I think, in 2016.
But Lynne people who stay at home and look after children etc can have their NI paid if they receive certain allowances (such as Child Benefit) which is why it is always recommended that the person most likely to stay at home (usually the Mum) is the person named as receiving the benefit so that they are have their NI contributions paid for them. So they don't miss out on getting full pension rights for the years they are not working outside the home, but that doesn't cover all the years they need to qualify for a full pension (well unless they have loads of children over a looooong period of time anyway).
If you look at that Daily Mail link I gave you'll see that it was proposed that whether or not someone would be able to qualify for a state pension would be determined not by the number of years that NI is either actually paid or credited as being paid but rather in terms of length of time the person has lived in this country.
I honestly know no more than is in that article. Suggest if anyone wants to know new rules and regs concerning who will be entitled to a state pension that they contact local MP.
In fact I might do that myself. All has gone quiet of late about those 2010 pension proposals except for the fact that being a woman of a certain age, along with many other women of a certain age, I now have to wait even longer for my state pension - but that's another gripe for another thread perhaps.
Have searched everywhere trying to find more details about the proposals for changes to state pensions wef 2016 but alas all has been in vain. All I can find, is that it is proposed that there will be a flat rate pension of around £140.00 ( But will other age related benefits be removed to compensate for that I wonder?). Even government websites are silent. Then I thought of looking at the Saga website and there it says that the government will be pubishing more details this summer about what is planned for 2016.
So, look out for more details this summer it is then.
What about all the Pensioners who have never bothered to apply for Winter Fuel allowance or a free bus pass because they don't need it.
The govt every year say that billions of pounds in benefits for pensioners and others are not claimed.
Also the comment made earlier also applies, the cost of means testing these benefits would almost certainly be greater than the cost of paying the benefits.
This was the main objection to the CSA who 'pursue' absent parents for maintainence. The cost of collecting this money was £50 million more than the cost to the Govt of paying the claimants in the first place.
Dont forget that a lot of these pensioners who you are moaning about saved you from speaking German as a mother tongue.
How soon you forget.
YOU will be old one day.
Hello? I'm moaning about pensioners? Where?
Why should I do that when I will be one myself in the none too near future.
I started this thread a few months back originally to debate issues concerning pensioners but as I suspected, anything concerning this issue is like treading on egg shells.
Given this sensitivity I did think twice about reserrecting this thread this morning but then I thought "Hell no, why shouldn't I? I'm sure there are lots of people out there who would be interested to know what might happen re state pensions and other age related benefits in the near future".
So, I posted the link today (see above) as a matter of information to all, but especially for those who are similar to myself in age. Near retirement age but not quite. Far enough way however from that magical state retirement age for the whole thing (state pension amount, age at which it can be claimed and other things) to be completely different by the time we get to 65, 66, 67 or even older.
And whilst I may not presently be old enough to get my state pension I think you'll find that I can quite easily fall into the old(er) age category.
PS For all you men out there in your early 60s. Re bus passes. Just in case you didn't know. As I understand it, at the moment, (for things might change!) you are entitled to your bus pass when a woman of the same age as you is entitled to claim her state pension (which will be at age 60+, rather than at age 60) even though you can't claim your pension until you are 65.
another "for info" link.
If you are a man turning 60 soon or if you are in your early 60s already, then if you type in your birthdate details but then put in that you are female this will give you the date that you should be able to claim you bus pass (but......like I said........things might get changed by the time you reach that qualifying date).