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'wealthy pensioners urged to give up benefits'

(158 Posts)
mirry2 Sun 28-Apr-13 22:54:22

How wealthy is wealthy?

lainiekazan Mon 29-Apr-13 12:53:40

The problem is the cut off point.

It's all very well to point to extremely wealthy celebrity pensioners who get winter fuel allowance and bus passes and the like. Of course it's ludicrous that money should be wasted in this way.

But any cuts will hit those of us (and it will be us before any of this is implemented) in the middle. It would be hugely galling to see someone who had never worked riding round on the bus for free and turning up their heating, whilst a modest pension might disqualify you from such benefits.

juneau Mon 29-Apr-13 12:53:56

Everyone should get their basic state pension. If this isn't generous enough or in line with other first world countries' pensions (which is what a lot of pensioners are arguing), then it should be increased, but no one who is comfortably off should be getting WFA, a bus pass, or a TV licence. I find it absolutely absurd that some of the most comfortably off people in this country, such as the pensioners in my family, are receiving 'benefits' of this kind. If the rest of us are having to tighten our belts and lose our universal benefits, so should they.

Squarepebbles Mon 29-Apr-13 12:57:59

Laine but the cuts hurt those in the middle for younger generations.

We have to suck it up.

Thurlow Mon 29-Apr-13 12:59:30

It's a difficult one. My mum gets a state pension. She has never worked (SAHM) and has no savings, so if you look at her on her own, she looks as though she needs the pension. But actually my parents are comfortable - own their house, dad still working while claiming an industry pension. But they are comfortable now, they might not always be.

TBF, she tends to generally pass on her pension to me and my brother for our DC.

newgirl Mon 29-Apr-13 13:16:43

Of course if a pensioner needs their funds as a carer/disabled then surely that is part of the means testing.

Yes I had state maternity for my pregnancies which was a very small amount (lasting 16 months total?) and far less than a pension which can be paid out for 20+ years.

newgirl Mon 29-Apr-13 13:17:39

Of course if a pensioner needs their funds as a carer/disabled then surely that is part of the means testing.

Yes I had state maternity for my pregnancies which was a very small amount (lasting 16 months total?) and far less than a pension which can be paid out for 20+ years.

Also agree maternity benefits should be means tested.

infamouspoo Mon 29-Apr-13 13:18:50

Rich pensioners are still getting 'benefits' even if they lose WFA. Its called the NHS, police force, etc etc

lainiekazan Mon 29-Apr-13 13:26:06

It's going to be crap when I'm a pensioner if I have to pay before dialling 999... (luckily ??!! my pension forecast is £0 )

TimothyClaypoleLover Mon 29-Apr-13 13:27:45

squarepebbles - your inlaws sound like mine. They go on 6 plus holidays a year. They also live in a huge house and gloat all the time about the fact they receive the winter fuel allowance when they don't need it. Makes me and my DH sick so based on my inlaws alone I think the winter fuel allowance should be only given to those that actually need it.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 29-Apr-13 13:27:51

I think its disgusting to even ask.
Pensioners deserve their money and shouldn't have to pay it back. perhaps money could be saved in other areas.

yetanotherworry Mon 29-Apr-13 13:47:52

I think your in-laws are not the majority of pensioners though so its unfair to treat all pensioners as thought hey are wealthy. If your in-laws decided to move and took on a huge mortgage would you then think it was okay for them to have benefits?

I agree that the implementation of the CB cut is unfair but don't think its going to be an issue for much longer. CB has been under threat since before I had my kids (oldest is 10) and I think this is the first step of its withdrawal (whichever government is elected next time).

Squarepebbles Mon 29-Apr-13 14:21:03

Yet they won't have to as they benefited from the 80s property boom and paid off their mortgage which wasn't big in the first place yonks ago.

The full CB they had alone was worth 30k off their mortgage.

It's sad that younger generations are having to pay big mortgages for shoebox size houses if they're lucky and can't put anything by for their retirement as they have to cover the shortfall left by previous generations whilst enduring pay freezes etc.

yetanotherworry Mon 29-Apr-13 14:31:32

I know but its all swings and roundabouts... things go up and down all the time. As a society its unfair that we decide that because we're not on the upward-ride, that everyone else should join us at the bottom. You're thinking its unfair because you feel that you should have a better lifestyle on what is a decent wage (I think the same). This isn't your in-laws fault - they didn't create the housing boom - this was due to increased demand/population.

Presumably when your in-laws die, you stand to inherit some money. Would you think it was fair if the next government took all assets on death and out those into the pot for current generation. I bet all the people who don't have elderly relatives would think this is a fair move.

expatinscotland Mon 29-Apr-13 14:41:04

Don't make it voluntary. Link it to those claiming Pension Tax Credit.

It is not a penalty to not get sweeties from the government. A penalty would be not paying out a state pension at all if you have a private one over a certain amount of money. The idea that an individual somehow deserves money handouts from that state just for being a law-abiding citizen is ludicrous and entitled.

But since it's IDS saying it, it's all bunkum just like everything else he spraffs.

TimothyClaypoleLover Mon 29-Apr-13 14:44:27

yetanotherworry - I know not all pensioners are wealthy. What I am saying is those like my inlaws should not receive WFA. Obviously those that need it should have it.

In the same way that we don't let everyone claim other benefits we should not be allowing every pensioner in the country to claim WFA just because they are pensioners. This country's benefit system is a complete joke and needs overhauling.

expatinscotland Mon 29-Apr-13 14:47:24

'When you pay into the pot, you are not paying into a savings account for your retirement. You are paying for the services you use all through your life.'

Exactly! The price of a peaceful society with excellent infrastructure that allows its residents to go about their business and make a lawful living as they see fit is enormous. Why is that not enough if you are earning well? Gotta be given sweeties from the state that you don't need like a child.

That mentality blows my mind.

Isthiscorrect Mon 29-Apr-13 15:09:32

Not all pensioners on a good pension benefit. My mother now 80, was a single parent, she educated held and became a teacher. Yes she got a good pension and yes she did benefit from property, but she has a house worth 120k and about 5k savings. She hasn't used the Nhs since I was born, more than 50 years ago, with the exception of the flu jab, but now she has to sell her house to pay for care. So IMHO she should have spent every penny. She did give to charity and do voluntary work, she gave back her wfa, she did use her bus pass (a lot). So she is your middle class wealthy but will die with nothing.

Isthiscorrect Mon 29-Apr-13 15:10:32

*herself not held

handcream Mon 29-Apr-13 15:15:50

I still go back to how does someone become 'wealthy' - is it someone who saves and doesnt blow their money, who is careful with their decision making, be it the number of children they have or whether they have lots of nights out drinking and smoking etc?

Do they decide to work and consequently have a state and private pension. Of course you will get more in retirement if you work. It would be bonkers if you didnt!

I am actually surprised that people who arent working still get NI credits paid for by people who are working who are actually the most vocal on this.

And Square - you are sounding very silly. You claim your PIL's are spending £20k on holidays yet your FIL was an electrician. You clearly have a big chip on your shoulder and probably very jealous of what you think he has. Yet - you arent working yourself......

ICBINEG Mon 29-Apr-13 15:36:24

sounds like the only way to redress the balance is to get the youth vote out.

When all sectors of society vote equally we will all get our voices heard equally (yeah right but I can dream can't I)....

handcream Mon 29-Apr-13 15:46:49

I agree IcBineg. Everyone should use their vote. There are lots on here saying that the pensioners vote more than the rest of us. Well, use your vote and lets stop moaning. People will vote for whatever is good for THEM so lets get out there....

dreamingofsun Mon 29-Apr-13 15:49:51

i don't see why pensioners should be excluded from the current state of cuts. Obviously for essential services, where people can't afford them the state should provide things, but if its non essential and the person can fund it themselves then why not?

my retired neighbours live in large houses, run expensive cars and often have several properties - i don't see why they should be excluded from any cuts just because they are old. this sounds ageist to me which i thought was illegal? Obviously the pension they have paid into via NI is a different matter.

Lavenderhoney Mon 29-Apr-13 16:17:10

And the saving will go where? Because it sure as anything won't be redistributed to more needy pensioners, whatever the government say.

I don't think pensioners shoud be penalised on a means test.

However I don't think pensioners should be penalised in their tax return either.

Perhaps it would be better to increase the % of tax the utilities have to pay, with a slight reduction that takes into account discounts for pensioners if they attract a lot with good discounts for them.

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

If you linked WFA to pension credit, it would once again be those in the middle that were treated the most unfairly. The wealthier wouldn't miss it, the poorer would see no difference, yet those who had paid into a pension from a mediocre wage would end up no better off than those who had saved nothing. It would create a disincentive to paying into a pension and saving for the future, which is the exact opposite of what the government needs to encourage.

cathan Mon 29-Apr-13 16:19:51

I don't think pensioners should be exempt from the current cuts. Not all pensioners need the extra help and I would prefer to see it given to those who really need it. Pension credit already exists for those pensioners in real need. Why not target the other benefits (like winter fuel allowance) to pensioners who qualify for Pension Credit. In my opinion that would, be much fairer, not only to them, but to current taxpayers who are feeling the pinch in many ways. It would also mean the benefits could be higher and so make a real difference to an elderly person who is too worried to heat their home properly. Similarly, why should wealthy pensioners get a free bus pass? They don't need it - someone on a low wage who has to travel to work would gain much more benefit. The social security system is supposed to be a safety net for the needy - not cream for fat cats!

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