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A petition has been launched online, calling for the state pension age to be rolled back from 66 to 60 and weekly payments increased in line with April 2023’s National Minimum Wage. It comes after campaigners described the current rate as “far too low” and instead, they are proposing the rate rise to £416.80 a week, arguing it’ll help lift “thousands” out of poverty. After passing the threshold of 10,000 signatures, the Government now has two days to respond.
Petition creator, Michael Thompson said the proposals will “give our elderly folk the power to survive and help grow the real economy, bottom up.”
The full basic state pension is currently worth £141.85 per week, while the full new state pension is paid at a marginally higher £185.15 per week.
However, by honouring the triple lock, these rates will increase by 10.1 percent in April in line with September 2022’s inflation rate.
This should see the full basic state pension rate increase to £156.20 per week (£8,122.40 per year), while the full new state pension rate increases to £203.85 (£10,600.20 per year).
Arguing the rate is still “far too low”, Mr Thompson is calling for the Government to increase the rate to £416.80 per week instead, which would amass to £21,673.60 a year.
He said: “£416.80 per week is the National Minimum Wage from April 2023. A state pension age of 60 for all, reflects current trends in life expectancy which are downward and that health deteriorates long before people are able to claim the state pension currently.
“This level of investment could be easily paid for by using more of our GNP, in line with EU neighbours and halting tax avoidance.”
Mr Thompson continued: “Today’s young are tomorrow’s old, protecting pensions, is defending the future of all and investing directly into the real economy.”
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Do you think the state pension age should be lowered and the payment rate increased? Have your say in the comment section.
Under the current law, the state pension age is due to rise from 66 to 67 by 2028, and then 68 between 2044 and 2046.
However, the Government is considering making the change even earlier, with some reports citing a rise in the state pension age to 68 by 2034.
This deliberation has unsurprisingly been met with resistance, as some analysts have found the change could potentially cause people to be much worse off financially.
New calculations by interactive investor show that bringing forward the state pension age increase to 68 by 2034 could mean a year’s loss of the full state pension payment of £13,594 for workers aged 57 rising to £16,902 for workers aged 46.
The calculations factor in the new full state pension of £203.85 per week (to come into force in April) and assume an inflation-linked uprating of 5.2 percent (forecasted by the Bank of England) and two percent inflation a year thereafter (the Bank of England’s target inflation rate).
But even as it stands, recent research by pension advisors Almond Financial found that people currently receiving the state pension only just break even amid the rising cost of living.
Analysing 50 countries in Europe, the UK finished 15th in the Pension Breakeven Index, just 16.61 percent above the pension income breakeven point. According to the research, the state pension pays just £114.28 more than the average cost of living for a pensioner.
Commenting on the findings, Sam Robinson, principal financial adviser at Almond Financial, said: “The UK has a system that is just above the breakeven point which means at present, there isn’t much room to manoeuvre for those battling the cost of living crisis. And while it is positive that the UK finds itself among the top half of countries, for how much longer is the question.
“While the increase in state pension in line with inflation is needed and welcomed, it’s clear that those over 66 need to look at other options rather than just relying on the state pension.”
With the petition, entitled ‘Increase state pensions to £416.80 per week & lower retirement age to 60 for all’ having been posted on the official parliament petition website, the Government is now obliged to respond as it has exceeded 10,000 signatures.
Currently, it stands at over 18,600 signatures, but this number is rapidly increasing. If it reaches over 100,000 signatures, the petition could also be considered for debate in parliament.
A DWP spokesperson told Express.co.uk: “No decision has been taken on changes to the state pension age.
“The Government is required by law to regularly review the state pension age and the second state pension age review is currently considering, based on a wide range of evidence including latest life expectancy data and two independent reports, whether the rules around state pension age remain appropriate.
“The review will be published in early 2023.”
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