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to hope the government has the guts to tax WEALTHY pensioners more

(954 Posts)
ReallyTired Mon 22-Apr-13 09:12:30

The Fabian society has suggested that wealthy pensioners pay more tax.

Some how I can't see a conservative wanting to tax wealthy pensioners more when they all vote Tory.

I find it unfair that pensioners with an income more the average family's income get free bus buses, winter fuel allowance, TV licence as well as paying less tax and national insurance. It is about time that the the wealthy pensioners took their share of the pain of the cuts.

I am in favour of well off pensioners having free bus passes, winter fuel allowance as these things encourage independence and improve health. I would like to see the money for these things clawed back by WEALTHY pensioners paying more income tax.

undercoversahm Wed 01-May-13 16:23:21

yes, she is very senior and I guess the rationale is that if the NHS did not allow people to come back on a consultancy basis post retirement then they would lose their expertise.

handcream Tue 30-Apr-13 15:48:50

I think talk of £100k pensions must apply to very very few people. I fear if we think this is the norm that someone will make a decision based on that. As I mentioned before DM as a primary school teacher after 40 yrs gets £9k pension per year.

janey68 Tue 30-Apr-13 13:51:55

Yes I agree. I do think people on those sorts of incomes will be very much the exception though.
There is no point comparing public and private pensions in a simplistic black and white way though . Yes, many private pensions have seen their value plummet but equally if we'd had more economic growth, they would have been soaring. People signed up for different deals and someone in the private sector may well have benefited from higher salary, better conditions etc while actually doing their job. Many people opted to work in the public sector because the better pension was a trade off for lower earnings. You can't just move the goal posts retrospectively. Or at least if you do, you could do it for everyone

handcream Tue 30-Apr-13 11:31:55

Under - she must be a senior doctor to get those sorts of amounts. Wow! I agree with some others that this sort of thing should be stopped. You are either retired or not. You cannot retire and then go back to almost the same role (or even the same role!!)

Xenia Tue 30-Apr-13 11:04:15

We can either have a system where you pay in and then take out - 35 years NI and then you get your£140 a week which is the current/new system or you pay in less via tax or NI and what is paid out is only if you fall on hard times and you may never do so. Various states go for one or other option. We have a mixture here. You used to get quite a bit more unemployment benefit if you had paid NI and much less supplementary benefit if you had not. That is being eroded due to cost.

I think for people aged up to about 40 it would be fair enough to change the rules eg to say you will get a state pension of £140 a week if you have no private pension and you receive that pension whether or not you have paid NI contributions. That is a big change and most people over 40 will have run their lives on the basis ultimately they will receive the state pension of £7k a year or whatever it is.

underc, I think if you are under 65 you still pay NI if you go back to work even if you have a pension in payment. I can draw my private pension at 55. I will be working until I die from choice and I would expect to pay national insurance on my earnings up to state retirement age.

undercoversahm Tue 30-Apr-13 10:04:20

janey I agree that the average public sector pension is very modest (about 6-7k) but it is DOUBLE the average private sector pension. People with private sector pensions are receiving a lot less than they ever expected (on projections) due to low annuity rates and poor investment returns. I don't understand why the same logic cannot apply to public sector earners.

My friend gets just under £100,000. She will retire on 2/3 salary (so about £65,000) and go back approx half time and so earn another £50,000 without NIC. So she will be being paid £125,000 to do a part time job which would be paid under £50,000 were she not "retired". It's utter madness. The money does not come from a magic pot. It comes from young workers who can expect to wait until 70 for their pensions when they come. You can multiply this situation up hugely.

janey68 Mon 29-Apr-13 21:20:59

The op was suggesting the opposite of what you are saying : that winter fuel allowance are bus passes are a good thing, but pensioners should be taxed more! Fwiw I am more in favour of your suggestions quickdown- I wouldn't have any huge issue against means testing fuel allowance and bus passes ( though the evidence seems to be that that would cost more than keeping them universal) but I don't see why pensioners should be taxed more.

quickdowntonson Mon 29-Apr-13 21:13:52

The point about the welfare system is that it is supposed to be distributed on the basis of need. People who drone on with the argument "pensioners have paid taxes all their life and are therefore now entitled to winter fuel allowance etc' are completely missing the point. This attitude is partly to do with a Thatcherite individualistic culture, but that's another story!
Universal benefits for families are now means tested. So should universal benefits for pensioners, end of.
None is asking pensioners to pay more tax, just to receive fewer universal handouts when they blatantly don't need them. I personally don't need child benefit, so we don't get it any more, and that's fair enough.
My in laws go to the Maldives every year; skiing every year; sailing holidays for 6 weeks per year...get the picture? I don't begrudge them at all - worked hard, saved all their lives and all that, and they are lovely people. However, one does raise an eyebrow when they hop on a bus (free), while the woman getting on the bus behind them, with 3 kids in tow, who may have had her benefits cut because she has the audacity to have a spare room, who struggles to buy school shoes etc, has to pay. That, to me, is blatantly wrong. (By the way, PIL think its stupid too!)
Why do you need a winter fuel allowance if you are wealthy? That is just nonsensical.
Nigel Lawson was on the TV a while ago having this debate with Jeremy Paxman. Lord Lawson said he does claim his winter fuel allowance. Hope he can afford a blanket as well in times of need, bless him.
In a time of economic cuts, young people are the ones who suffer the most - but then many young people move house frequently with college / jobs etc, and often don't get around to registering their vote. Older people are more likely to stay put.
As so many of you have pointed out, its the grey vote that counts.

janey68 Mon 29-Apr-13 20:02:46

I still don't understand the comment about 'why are people begrudged for having a year off?'... They aren't. Maternity leave is a year long. It's an entitlement. Maternity conditions are very generous in the UK and have improved beyond recognition over the last couple of decades.

Squarepebbles Mon 29-Apr-13 19:48:50

No you keep bringing up my Fil.

Many people have had a year or two off per child.I had 3 in 15 months and sorry holding down a full time teaching job which wouldn't even cover fees for 3 babies would have been impossible.They also needed me.

I haven't asked pensioners to fund me being a sahm as my dp funded it.

You seem to have a major chip re sahp which is fine but if you continue to keep attacking me in particular, dissecting my life on this and other threads I will report you.

handcream Mon 29-Apr-13 19:31:09

Ok Square:

1. You have a chip on your shoulder about your PIL's spending £20k per year on hols. That really annoys you. You have mentioned in a number of times. If it is true what it has to do is beyond me. Perhaps they need to give the money to you!

2. You have lost CB (so have I!)

3. You are not working and claim 5 years is a drop in the sea in the grand scheme of things.

4. You want pensioners to pay for your choices. Its just not fair to you that you have chosen to stay at home (presumably you can afford to!) and you want someone to pay for that choice.

5. Pensioners went through the high mortgage rates, the unemployment issues over the last 30 years etc etc. I remember mortgagte rates at 15% myself. Mortgage rates are wonderfully low at present.

6. You will be a pensioner one day. I strongly suspect you will have a different view of things then (as most people do!)

7. We have a lot of equity in my house. If I didnt in my mid 50's there would be something strange. However, its our only house. We have to live somewhere. Instead of BTL or a holiday home we decided to invest in the education of our children. Now are you going to tell me we shouldnt be living in such an expensive home or perhaps that any payments into private pensions should mean that we dont get a state pension?

Squarepebbles Mon 29-Apr-13 19:16:19

You tell me,you keep bringing it up.confused

handcream Mon 29-Apr-13 19:12:03

Square - what I am saying is what does you having 3 children and being able to afford to stay at home got to do with pensioners?

janey68 Mon 29-Apr-13 19:07:13

Yes I would be interested to see the actual figures as to how the above mentioned person avoided paying NI on their earnings, and has a higher income now than when working full time.

Anyway... I think many of us are agreed that terms and conditions need to change- and indeed in many cases have already begun to change quite radically . What is bizarre is how some people want to change things retrospectively. I wonder how they would feel about retrospective changes in other ways? Eg, if someone has signed up to a mortgage deal at 3% interest rate, and then 5 years later the interest rate goes up to 6%, would anyone feel they should have to pay the higher rate retrospectively? Or, if someone has savings in the bank at a 5% interest and then it drops several years later to 3%, would anyone expect them to pay money back because their savings did better earlier? Of course not. The principle is no different to pensions. People paid into pension schemes under the terms and conditions which stood. In many cases people entered lower paid jobs in part because of the pension deal. If they had been told 'well actually we might snatch that advantage away from you , then many people may have chosen to enter different jobs.
Pensions just seem an easy target because some people look at the elderly, see that they aren't working any more and can't get their head around the fact that these people have worked, they have paid into their pension scheme for 40 or so years and are only taking out what the agreed deal was.

TartinaTiara Mon 29-Apr-13 18:52:19

I think that the problem of public sector workers retiring then going back to work is addressed to an extent already - in a lot of cases the pension is clawed back as soon as they earn their "salary of reference", generally the salary they were on when they retired. And any salary they earn is subject to NI, if they're less than state pension age - it's simply not the case that someone can retire at the age of 48 and then be completely exempt from NI on their earnings, though they wouldn't pay it on their pension.

It's all a bit divide and rule isn't it? I've seen loads of threads on here saying that nobody wants to have 65 year old teachers, surgeons, midwifes, but on this one nobody seems to want them to retire any earlier than 65.

janey68 Mon 29-Apr-13 17:42:24

Agree Xenia- I think more changes will come in for public sector pensions, and the type of policy you suggest may well be on the cards. Which is fine. But you can't change things retrospectively which people have paid into with agreed terms and conditions .

Xenia Mon 29-Apr-13 17:35:41

Yes, the going back to work issue after retirement is one the public sector might cover. It not only applies to doctors but also lots of sernior public officials on high salaries who retire, draw the pension and the next week are back in roll as a self employed consultant despite a 2 years of income pay off if they were let go early.

It must be hard to deal with it though without legislation and without the risk that people say they paid in for X years on this basis and that changing the rules later is confiscation of their assets.

It would be perfectly possible to say public sector workers once they retire will not be rehired by the state in any shape or form ever (assuming we can manage without their services). Then they could consider before they retire if they would rather keep working or not.

Squarepebbles Mon 29-Apr-13 17:32:04

Hand I didn't plan on twins or the conception of a natural miracle(I was told could never happen 6 months later).

You seem bent on dissecting my life.

janey68 Mon 29-Apr-13 17:30:28

How come she is receiving more? Can you tell us the figures (as she's obviously told you how much she earned in full time work and how much in pension and part time now?

The point is, the average public sector pension is actually very modest, something like 7 or 8 k. And you can't change the terms retrospectively . If we're going to go down that route, why not force people to pay back child benefit for the last 25 years- after all it's the same principle. They weren't doing anything wrong- just collecting the money to which they were entitled. I'm sure there'd be uproar if that was suggested

undercoversahm Mon 29-Apr-13 17:05:25

Xenia it's not sorted out yet. It is sorted out for "new recruits" and they won't retire for another 30 years. In the meantime, we are paying those stupidly high pensions. I do think that at least those retiring at 48 (and I know some personally) should not be able to collect their pension AND go back part time and collect more wages AND not have to pay NI on those wages as they are "pensioners". My friend who is a psychiatrist will be earning more at 55, working part time and drawing a full public sector pension, than she ever got when she was working. It's mad. And unaffordable. The fact that the new recruits won't get the same is what makes it doubly unfair that they are the ones PAYING for this level of pension for the current over 50's. (BTW I couldn't wish the pension on a nicer person than my friend, but is that the point? Even she agrees it is crazy).

Bedtime1 Mon 29-Apr-13 16:16:22

I'm fed up of people getting benefits and others that don't fullstop. We all have the same chances. ( obv very sick and disabled perhaps don't but I wouldn't want to say someone who is say blind cant be successful as they can. Did you see secret millionaire, the lady who was completely blind and she had a big company employing many staff. She was a millionaire.)


janey68 Mon 29-Apr-13 15:58:24

You get a year off with each child, so it's not really very logical to say 'its not much for 3 children ( or 1,2,4 or 6 or however many you have!) The entitlement remains the same and all things considered, weighing up the needs of employers as well as employees I think a year is about right. It's actually far longer than many of us on here got, but I don't begrudge anyone ... That's how these things go. There are different advantages and disadvantages at different times over recent history, which is why it becomes a nonsense to try to pretend you can balance things out. If a female pensioner in 2013 is on a good public sector pension then you can guarantee she'll have worked for about 40 years with minimal maternity leave. If you're jealous of her pension, she could equally well be jealous of your year off work.

handcream Mon 29-Apr-13 15:39:28

Having three children is I think a bit of a luxury especailly if you can afford as a family to have a SAHP.

I couldnt afford three.

Xenia Mon 29-Apr-13 13:38:46

Yes, but it does say they are have sorted it out now so that police retire at 60 for a pension not at 48 as before and pensions will be based on average lifetime salary not final and even with all that they are not getting particularly large pensions, just larger than those who are in private sector pensions.

undercoversahm Mon 29-Apr-13 12:30:32

There was a great article in the Guardian on Saturday (not normally known for being right wing) about how public sector pensioners are now coining it in at our expense. There should be a new tax introduced for those pensioners:

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