Investment advisor on how to get the most from your state pension
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The State Pension age is now 66 but will start rising to 67 from 2026. Thereafter, the sky’s the limit. Soon we could all be working to age 70 and beyond. Assuming we live that long.
Even when we do finally receive it, the State Pension will only give us the bare minimum income.
Many will struggle to fund the essentials, as inflation rockets to a 30-year high of 5.4 percent. Soon it could hit six or seven percent.
The Government’s decision to downgrade the State Pension triple lock will hand pensioners an increase of just 3.1 percent this year, which means their income will shrink in real terms.
Many are rightly furious, but that’s only the start of the misery, because the State Pension is under threat on every front. A growing number will die before they receive a single penny.
This week, the International Longevity Centre-UK warned that the State Pension age may have to rise to 68 as soon as 2031, then 69 by 2034 and 70 by 2040.
This means that anybody born after April 6, 1970, will have to work for four years longer than today’s pensioners to get their money.
It would take a brave politician to implement that change, as the voter backlash would be extreme, but the direction of travel is clear.
The State Pension will be paid at a later and later age – and here’s some more bad news. It’s going to be worth even less and less.
The State Pension costs a thumping £100 billion a year and the bill is rising fast, to the frustration of the Treasury.
It already makes up 12 percent of total public spending, and 4.6 percent of national income. With fewer workers supporting more pensioners, that share will only grow.
At some point, the Treasury will strike.
The fallout will be horrendous, though. Millions already struggle to carry on working to age 66, as so many fall ill in their 50s.
How are they supposed to carry on working to age 70?
Many won’t, as life expectancy growth stalls and goes into reverse. Some could make 40 or 50 years of National Insurance contributions and get NOTHING in return.
Even those who do live long enough to qualify for the State Pension will get less and less.
The decision to scrap the earnings element of triple lock this year looks like a dangerous precedent to me – worse could follow.
There are three things people can do.
First, those who have already retired should claim all the State Pension top ups and benefits they are entitled to – such as Pension Credit, Attendance Allowance, Council Tax Reduction, and so on
Second, workers must ensure they to make the maximum 35 years of qualified National Insurance contributions, to get the full basic State Pension. They should then save flat out to build a nest egg in their own name – which is also getting harder as living costs soar.
Finally, they should prepare to work for as long as they can, because nobody knows how high the State Pension age could climb.
Age 70 may only be the start.
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