Anorak News | Old Age Question

Old Age Question

by | 11th, October 2004

‘THE Telegraph is of the mind that pensions are the hot topic of the day and tomorrow’s report by the Government-sponsored Pensions Commission will make for explosive reading.

‘Surely, we’ve got to have a heart attack soon’

‘If we are not to face widespread poverty in old age,’ the paper writes in its editorial, ‘we have a choice: save an extra £57 billion a year between us…; work until 70; or raise taxes to pay for an enhanced state pension.’

But before this news can be dismissed as more Labour bashing by the Telegraph, the more left-leaning Times says it agrees with the conclusions.

Of course, both papers may be presenting an overly gloomy picture. There is one other alternative to being poor in your dotage and that is to die young.

However, given the impact of inheritance tax and the premium on burial space, this, at least to the press, makes dying an option not worth considering.

So what will it be? How will the massive pension shortfall be plugged?

The plan that the new Work and Pensions secretary Alan Johnson favours is, says the Telegraph, to offer people a reward for not taking their pensions.

Defer drawing the state pension upon reaching pensionable age (65 for men; 60 for women) and receive a £30,000 lump sum when you start claiming five years later.

This is all very well and good. And, one imagines, looks even better from the Government’s perspective if during your period of abstinence you should happen to be run over by a bus.

But the best bit must be that a nice windfall will remind all those loving relatives who intend to outlive you that you are still alive and reviewing your will.

This new pension plan might just lead to the restoration of family values and a more close-knit, caring society…’

Posted: 11th, October 2004 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink