Pensions - Articles - Tories and Labour differ on WASPI to the tune of 58bn pounds

Comment from Steven Cameron, Pensions Director at Aegon, following the publication of the Conservative’s 2019 election manifesto.

 State Pensions
 “The Conservative Party Manifesto’s pension commitments are largely in line with Labour’s but with some key differences. On state pensions, their commitment to retain the triple lock matches that from Labour, meaning pensioners can now be pretty certain that their state pensions will continue to increase at the highest of price inflation, earnings growth or 2.5%, raising the prospect of another 5 years of inflation busting increases. Free bus passes and the winter fuel allowance also look safe under either party and both will be pushing the BBC to reverse the means testing of TV licenses for the over 75s.
 “The biggest difference, and it’s a massive £58 billion difference, relates to the WASPI women who found their state pension age increase from 60 to 66 without clear, personalised advance notice. The Tories are not matching Labour’s commitment to compensate them.
 National Insurance and State Pension entitlements
 “The Conservative promise to increase the National Insurance threshold to £9,500 in 2020 and in later years to £12,500 will be welcomed by many as a boost to take-home pay. However, under current rules, those not paying any NI lose out on credits towards their state pension. Individuals need 35 years of qualifying NI contributions to receive the full state pension with those with fewer qualifying years seeing a reduction and receive none if they have fewer than 10 years of credits.
 Social care
 “There is disappointingly little detail on how the Conservatives plan to address the massive issue of social care funding. A restatement of the promise that people won’t have to sell their home to pay for care will be a relief to many, but we need far more detail and a long term sustainable plan. Hopefully, whoever is in Government next month will look at the ideas put forward by all parties and work quickly to deliver on the Holy Grail of cross-party consensus.”

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