UK - Thousands of pensioners are being urged to take part in a demonstration calling for an end to means-testing.
The national rally is being organised by Unison and the Trades Union Congress, which want to restore the link between earnings and the state pension to allow pensioners to retire “with dignity”.
Unison president and TUC general council member Dave Anderson said:
“A new deal for the elderly should include security from poverty in old age with a decent state pension.
“The link with earnings should be restored so that the value of the basic state pension is maintained.
“Our pensioners should be able to live in dignity and security without having to rely on means-tested benefits just to make ends meet.”
He pointed out that council tax increases would add to their concerns.
National Pensioners’ Convention president Rodney Bickerstaffe, who supports Anderson’s campaign, said the Pensions Bill would do nothing to protect existing and future pensioners from an “inadequate” basic state pension.
Bickerstaffe said: “All the evidence shows today’s workers are destined to be in a worse position when they retire than today’s pensioners unless basic state pension is improved.”
Conservative work and pensions spokesman David Willetts agreed. “Like Unison, Conservatives are committed to reversing the spread of means-testing, which is intrusive, demeaning and does not help between a third and a half of poor pensioners.”
The national rally is set to take place in “early summer”.
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Self-administered pension funds spent £14bn on payments to pensioners in Q2 2018, but only received £11.4bn of contributions (net of refunds), latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) data reveals.
The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) has named the 17 members of its inaugural policy board after a competitive application process with 60 candidates.