Should the state pension be fully means tested?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Money Saving Polls
44 replies 7.8K views


  • There is also the cost of 'means testing' to consider : the net gain to the Exchequer would be much less than first appears. I do think that the really wealthy do not pay enough of a contribution, not just because the tax rates are too low on higher incomes, but because they seem so easily able to avoid paying; but I don't think that justifies imposing special penalties on older people, however rich.
  • liz_ferlaliz_ferla Forumite
    19 Posts
    I have worked all my adult life, paid into the system and never claimed any type of benefit. I pay a private pension as well as the state pension. Why should I lose my entitlement because I sacrificed and saved to make my life easier when I retire?
    Val :)
  • ljhhukljhhuk Forumite
    46 Posts
    I am in my 60s and get the state pension having contributed a full stamp for the whole of my working life. It is not enough to live on and I still work full time. I can't see me being able to retire in the forseeable future so calling it a retirement pension is a joke. I don't have a company pension as I gave up work for many years to bring up my children. I am happy to receive it though and appreciate the fact that is is the people working now who are paying today's pensioners and as the years go on, pensioners will increase greatly in numbers and the birth rate will continue to decrease. At some point the state pension might disappear altogether so lets enjoy it while it lasts.
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  • lizzie2911lizzie2911 Forumite
    12 Posts
    No the state pension should not be means tested as this would mean that those who are richer by millions wouldn't need it anyway but those who are over by just a few pounds would be left to struggle. This is what happens to people now re pension credit and getting much needed grants on heating and insulation etc. If you work and pay all your life into a system then you should also be able to reap the benefits. The rich contribute more in tax and NI and are probably rich or comfortable because they worked hard (not in all cases) but 'state' does not mean entitlement to more money out of a system than you have put in.
  • The whole point of the welfare state in the first place was access for all. It has been eroded enough and if pensions go means tested we will be on the slippery slope back to the days of the workhouses which were abolished a lot later than people think.

    Once they go means tested then that is an excuse to hand all over to individual self-help and the vagaries of occupational and private pension schemes and we all know how far down the toilet some of those have gone. My late husband's death in service pension which I have just claimed is roughly half of what he signed up for in 1993. Nor is it index-linked! I am now in receipt of free prescriptions and dental treatment as a result.
  • Mics_chickMics_chick Forumite
    12K Posts
    I haven't voted coz I don't think all the facts are there...
    It costs money (quite a bit of money I believe) to means test for anything so by the time this cost is taken into account would it make any difference? :confused: If not, then leave it the way it is...
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  • Of course the pension should be available to all!
    I spend every day working with people who have no intention of working. Their homes, council tax and bills are paid for whilst I will probably have to work until I'm 65. No way should those who have opted out of the working culture be rewarded by getting a pension that they have not paid into, whilst those of us who have worked hard and saved for our retirement are penalised!
  • teddycoteddyco Forumite
    397 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    This Labour Government claims to be for the working man, but they are far from it. Look how rich the members of the Labour Party have become since they have taken office.

    John Prescott just returned from Barbados on taxpayer expenses, Tony Blair took his office without a penny in his pocket and has emerged richer than Midas and is now set to write his autobiography that will sell for millions in America. In the meantime, they have wrecked a glorious pension system, sunk the NHS into a mire of mud and red tape, increased our taxes and cut our services.

    Mr. Blair will retire in sheer luxury while we all live in these cramped little bird houses paying through the nose for lousy Police services, high street crime, fortnightly trash collection and no hope of Council tax reductions for our trouble.

    At the end of the day, what else is there to do but fight each other over "this is mine and that's yours........" This Labour Government has turned us all against each other.
  • I wonder if the rich even bother to claim the state pension?

    Certainly I know I am poorer than my neighbour despite having an occupational pension as well as the state one. My neighbour has never worked so gets all her housing costs paid and has approx. £120 per week from the Government. Stupid me is still paying over £1200 a year income tax and has less disposable income than my neighbour.
  • MonteilMonteil Forumite
    8 Posts
    A question which begs asking is this: When all the incentives will have been withdrawn from those who have been working hard to save/build a good pension will be withdrawn, and when the chancellor, who is, in fact, responsible for the pension shambles, has ground those who still have some savings to the ground -because, make no mistake those with large amounts of money will always find ways to avoid the worse of taxes - where will he go to find more money? to hand it freely to so many who have not tried at all to make a go of it or to those who are entering the country legally or otherwise. It is rather interesting that there is always money for wars or for handing over to other countries but this country is usually bled to the nth degreee.

    Both my husband and I were very poor when children, his father was one of the miners, in Wales, who had to go back to work at a lower pay than they had before the strike in 1937 -if my memory serves me right- and my family was so poor that nowadays all the social services would fall over themselves to hand over some money. My husband is dead now but whatever money we have made I feel we are well entitled to especially the Government pension which has been well paid for during a lifetime of hard work.

    It is easy to theorize without looking clearly at the facts, but it would be a great injustice if it should coime to pass.
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