NARPO President highlights ‘bitter blow’ on Pensions
NARPO, the organisation representing retired police officers in England and Wales, found a very mixed bag for their members in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement.
NARPO President Eric Evans said,
‘We welcomed the Government’s increase in the basic State Pension by 5.2% in line with September’s CPI. The extra £5.30 a week in pensioners’ pockets which will help towards meeting the rising costs of living, and help to offset the ever increasing cost for fuel. We also welcome the rise in the standard minimum income guarantee in pension credit by 3.9%. However we regret that this will be met through reductions in savings credit provided to pensioners with slightly higher incomes.'
NARPO feels that, like many initiatives and government fiscal policies in relation to our pensioners, the Chancellor’s autumn statement is once again a case of giving with one hand, and taking with the other. This is especially true of George Osborne’s announcement on the State Pension age.
Mr Evans added,
'The decision to speed up the timetable to increase the State Pension age to 67 will come as a bitter blow to many people fast approaching retirement, especially those in ill-health, caring for relatives and those out of work.
‘NARPO recognises that, as life expectancy increases, it is reasonable to consider increases to State Pension age and longer working lives, however this decision has been based on no published detailed analysis. Average life expectancy must not be the only factor that is considered as, at the moment, the huge disparities in healthy life expectancy across the country means that the poorest socio-economic groups will be required to sacrifice proportionately more of their retirement.’
NARPO believes that more work needs to be done to ensure pensions decisions are based on all the relevant factors, including inequalities in life expectancy, employment opportunities, trends in private provision and prospects for older workers. This week, the Government has announced an increase in State Pension age and a delay in auto-enrolment for some people rather than looking at retirement provision in the whole.
President Eric Evans concluded,
‘Any changes in State Pension age should be made in the context of a strategy to improve health inequalities, including a timetable for the reduction and abolition of pensioner poverty and a strategy for achieving this, as well as a firm commitment to private pension reform and improvements to state pensions.
We will be examining the Government’s review very carefully to ensure that the overall package does not allow employers to force older workers out of the workplace, or be used as a backdoor way to reintroduce forced retirement, which the government has only just abolished as discriminatory.’
Note to editors:
NARPO a member organisation representing retired police officers of all ranks and police widows from police forces throughout England and Wales. NARPO offer a range of services to members including advice on pensions and other issues affecting the welfare of our members.
For further information, or if you have any queries regarding the press release or NARPO as an organisation, please call our President, Mr Eric Evans or our CEO, Mr Clint Elliot on 01924 362 166 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org