Former Pensions Minister urges new government to change the way pensions are accessed

11 November 2019

Baroness Ros Altmann, former Pensions Minister has advised that the new government, which will be established after the general election, need to make serious changes to current legislation surrounding how the state pension is accessed.

Baroness Altmann states that individuals who are in ill-health should be allowed to receive their state pension early as consideration needs to be placed on life expectancy and health in certain scenarios, and not just based on general society. Unfortunately, there will be people who will not live until state pension age and this needs to be factored into the content of upcoming pension manifestos.

In certain private pensions, there is the option to start making withdrawals from schemes early but there is currently no reflection of this on the state pension, even though life expectancy varies considerably across the country. It is a sad fact that, at present, the state pension age will continue to increase with no consideration for individual circumstances.

Baroness Altmann also explores the issue of helping the most vulnerable pensioners by ensuring that pension credits are increased in line with uplifts to the state pension. The state pension is currently protected by the triple lock, which means that it increases by the highest of 2.5%, price inflation or earnings growth.  Pension Credit, the old graduated state pension, State Earnings Related Pension (SERPS) and second state pension are only protected by CPI price inflation. Baroness Altmann thinks the triple lock should be extended to cover these other pensions to ensure consistency and to make things fair.

The article was published in the Financial Advisor and also discusses how women in the 1950s were not ‘adequately informed’ of the amendments that were going to affect state pension age. Backto60, a campaign group for the matter, lost a landmark case against the government last month in which compensation was refused. Baroness Altman believes that the affected women should receive help from the National Insurance (NI) fund to “offset some of the hardship caused.”


Information provided in this news article may be subject to change. Please make note of the date of publication to ensure that you are viewing up to date information.