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To think the state pension is a benefit

(196 Posts)
hettyGreek Thu 14-Apr-16 07:17:36

I've noticed alot of "The state pension is not a benefit" groups that have sprung up on Facebook etc.

I understand that these people "paid their stamp" and all that was asked of them. But this NI money was not put away in a saving account for them, it just went into general taxation. If it had of just been put away in a savings account the state pension would be far far less than it is at the moment and no triple lock.


NickyEds Thu 14-Apr-16 07:29:33

I tend not to think of pensions as a benefit, however I do see the free bus pass as one. My dad started work at 21 and retired a few years ago at 63. He could, and hopefully will spend 30 years retired after 42 working. I don't see that there's any way he will have contributed enough despite "grafting his whole life". I also hate that phrase because even though he worked hard he will, again hopefully, not have worked his entire life, but nearer half of it. He says it most certainly is not a benefit, his issue is that he could have had a much better return on his ni cash had he been allowed to invest it in his private pensions. He will be right because he had access to much better pensions than we do now.

Fairylea Thu 14-Apr-16 07:33:42

I would be curious to see what those who frequently bash those who claim tax credits etc think about this as surely they are similar ideas - especially working tax credits. With the state pension and working tax you are getting something back from the state that you've paid towards - those who contribution based jsa or working tax credits are doing similar things surely? I don't know why the general media perceives claiming a pension as "ok" but claiming working tax credits or contribution based jsa as "wrong".

Maybe I'm about to get flamed. Just pondering! blush

AllPowerfulLizardPerson Thu 14-Apr-16 07:36:44

Paying in is a condition of receiving back, when it is state pension.

I thought everyone knew by now that you don't have a personal account! But if you have not paid enough NI, then you get less pension.

It is not a benefit in the usual sense of the word, it is a pension. Just like an occupational pension is not a salary.

They are different things and I think it is wrong to suggest otherwise. No idea what the agenda is to try to change this well-established meaning of 'pension' is.

katienana Thu 14-Apr-16 07:41:24

The thing is pensions are being paid out of current NI receipts, current pensioners paid for the last generation etc etc. Those Facebook posts usually contain shite about illegal immigrants getting £25k a year so I'd take with a pinch of salt.

ReallyTired Thu 14-Apr-16 07:43:14

There is no doubt the elderly have not pulled their weight in the financial crisis. At a time when disabled people are having their benefits cut we should be asking more of wealthy pensioners. There are pensioners whose income is more than the average family. Such people do not need a heating allowance or a free TV licence.

I don't understand why we have separate NI and income tax. Is an unduely complex system.

Slowtrain2dawn Thu 14-Apr-16 07:43:47

If I lost my job tomorrow and claimed JSA my national insurance contributions would be calculated ( 28 yrs of work) so I would receive contribution based JSA. Does that mean I would not be on benefit?

lougle Thu 14-Apr-16 07:50:16

I don't think it is a benefit. I understand that it isn't exactly the same money that was accrued through NI, but the amount received does depend on your NI record.

lougle Thu 14-Apr-16 07:52:01

Slowtrain - your payment of JSA would still be subject to meeting the condition that you are available and looking for work. Pension only has age as it's condition.

mollie123 Thu 14-Apr-16 07:52:25

free Tv licence only if you are over 75 shock
winter fuel allowance - £4 a week for a household - yes that goes a long way!!
the basic state pension WAS until this April £115 per week
the pension is taxable unlike other 'benefits'
I feel like a broken record here but can you not really see how inane your arguments the the State Pension is a 'benefit' are hmm

meditrina Thu 14-Apr-16 07:54:55

"I don't understand why we have separate NI and income tax. Is an unduely complex system."

Not really. One is a tax on income, paid by the individual; one is a tax on job earnings, paid by both the individual and their employer. They only tend to get conflated because people see them side by side on payslips.

It would be a massive tax hike to pensioners (old age, disability, occupational) if NI were decoupled from earnings, and applied to other types of income and was wholly paid by the individual. Possibly an increase for working people too, depending on how the employers' component was handled in future.

mollie123 Thu 14-Apr-16 07:57:19

Tax credits (despite their erroneous nomenclature ) are a benefit and are nothing to do with what the recipient has 'paid in' - but how many children you have, how much you earn per week, how your SE as a nail bar owner makes you entitled becasuse you work hard and earn nothing in your business!
Pension credit - for those who have either not paid anything/or enough in is a 'benefit'

ZsaZsa1954 Thu 14-Apr-16 08:02:25

we should be asking more of wealthy pensioners.

Could you define "wealthy" please? because I see this comment a lot on sites like the Guardian and yet curiously no one ever gives a definition of what income level makes a pensioner wealthy.

RidersOnTheStorm Thu 14-Apr-16 08:02:49

Agree with mollie. The basic pension isn't a benefit but pension credits are.

"At a time when disabled people are having their benefits cut we should be asking more of wealthy pensioners."

Many pensioners(rich or poor) are also disabled and likely to become more so as time goes on. Age takes its toll on everyone lucky enough to survive long enough to get the pension they paid in for.

honkinghaddock Thu 14-Apr-16 08:04:21

Carers allowance is also taxable.

Osolea Thu 14-Apr-16 08:05:00

It is a benefit, but what's the point in classifying it like that? Free education for our children and free healthcare when we need it is a benefit too, and we mostly all rightly feel that we should receive those things from the society we contribute to.

I think it is different to other benefits because it is dependent on paying into the system, and I think it's fair for the the current generation of pensioners, whether they need the money or not, to feel entitled to the state pension because they have been led to believe that if they pay in then they will get it. It's something that everyone is likely to need, unlike other benefits that should only be there as a safety net when unavoidable things go wrong in life.

Slowtrain2dawn Thu 14-Apr-16 08:10:45

True lougle! I do think there is a blind spot here though. When a person needs the benefits system due to ill health or job loss they are looked down upon, despite the fact they may have paid into the system for years through NI. The trend to move away from calling pension benefit is an understandable reaction to benefit bashing. Elderly people I have met are very scared of being seen as "scroungers".

dimots Thu 14-Apr-16 08:13:14

JSA is taxable. I think income support is also. Not sure about universal credit. But if you receive JSA and then later in the financial year get a job your annual taxable income includes the JSA.
So I can't see that contribution based 6 mths of JSA is any more of a benefit than a state pension.

peggyundercrackers Thu 14-Apr-16 08:13:33

No state pension is not a benefit.

wannabehippyandcrazycatlover Thu 14-Apr-16 08:19:51

Yes it is a benefit and this reviewing like every other benefit.

As pp's have stated pensions are coming out of today's NI contributions and the fact is we can not afford this. I know government employees that are in receipt of ridiculous amounts of pension- why should they then receive a state pension?

Wealthy pensioners should pull their weight but all of the political parties do not have a backbone and won't put this in their manifesto or even suggest it as they would most definitely not get into power.

ABetaDad1 Thu 14-Apr-16 08:24:18

State pension is a benefit as is any money paid to anybody by the state.

The biggest issue I have with benefits for the elderly is they undermine democracy. All Govts know that pensioners vote in large numbers so giving them bigger hand outs of state penson and other pensioner benefits brings in votes.

All Govts know that cutting them or making pensioners pay for things they use or taxing them on their accumulated wealth is political suicide.

the net result is that benefit cuts, higher taxes are increasinglt falling on the younger generations and teh diabled who can least afford to pay and vote in smaller numbers than pensioners.

I don't begrudge older peope getting pensions but the plain fact is they just didn't pay fo the benefits they are now receiving and the balance between generations is being strained.

I tell my MIL this and she just believe that the NI stamp FIL was enough to pay her pension, current healthcare and care home costs. It just wasnt.

dimots Thu 14-Apr-16 08:25:06

If a state pension is not a benefit, neither is contribution based JSA or maternity allowance. After all although the pension is taxable, if the state pension is your only income you won't actually pay any tax on it as you will stay within your tax allowance.

wannabehippyandcrazycatlover Thu 14-Apr-16 08:25:06

Zsazsa I see wealthy as those whose income is higher than 25k annually. I am aware of a government middle manager who will be on recipe of a 70k annual payment- you can't tell me that he should receive a state pension too, whilst we have working families relying on food banks and disabled people literally starving to death?

If people were a bit more relaxed and reasonable about benefits in general it wouldn't be an issue.
Most of us make a variety of contributions to society over our lifetime - including financially through a variety of taxes, and possibly charitable giving.
When we're in need we also take a variety of support out of the communal pot, including for health and education as well as sometimes some financial support which could be in childhood, as students (in my day anyway!), if we are sick, or when we are older and retired.
From each according to their means, to each according to their need.

Personally I've paid in a lot in services as well as taxes through my work in nursing, teaching, and early years. I perhaps feel differently about taxes to some as working in the public service sector I've been aware I'm only paying back from the extra I've been given, so not quite the same as if I had more sense of generating that money myself.
I hope hen I need it there'll be someone to look after me!

RidersOnTheStorm Thu 14-Apr-16 08:26:46

" I know government employees that are in receipt of ridiculous amounts of pension- why should they then receive a state pension?"

Because they made a contract with the government. They paid in to support others and now it's their turn.

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