Should the state pension be fully means tested?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Money Saving Polls
44 replies 7.8K views
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  • rlouksrlouks Forumite
    1 Post
    In a fair society, no benefits would be means tested. Everybody would have an absolute entitlement with the wealthy paying more tax. The only benefits that have anything approaching a full take up are benefits with an absolute entitlement such as basic state pension and child benefit. Means tested benefits are expensive to administer, prone to fraud and people fail to claim, or have claims rejected for many reasons, such as:
    - not knowing the benefits are there
    - not having the language skills to cope with the forms
    - not having the 120+ IQ needed to cope with the forms
    - being put off by the complexity and length of the forms
    - failing to fill in the forms correctly and worst of all
    - PRIDE because too many (especially elderly) people thing that a means tested benefit is charity and they won't accept hand out's.

    I accept there are no simple answers, but Gordon has spent the last 10 years inventing new ways to rip us off, from taxing our pension funds to taxing our holiday travel. And don't think Gordon will stop when he becomes Prime Minister. The PM's other title is 'First Lord Of The Treasury'.
  • NeilWNeilW Forumite
    143 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    I've always found this debate interesting. Intuitively it makes instant and total sense that only those people who need benefits should get it, and up to now society has gone down that path.

    But is it intuition or the fear that somebody might just get something for free that you're not getting?

    I rather like the idea of everybody getting the state pension from the age of 18 - in return for scrapping all other government subsidies and social quangos. It would then be up to local charities to fill in the wrinkles and actually have to go out there and prise hard cash from real people for their particular 'cause celebre' with a good argument.

    Essentially the state is a large dinosaur and just can't handle fine detail.
  • NeilWNeilW Forumite
    143 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    A. All pay in, so all should get something out

    Nobody pays into anything. All benefits, including the state pension, are funded out of current general taxation.

    'National Insurance' is just a non-progressive, non-cumulative, unrelievable form of Income Tax.

    Don't be fooled by the spin in the name.

    NeilW
  • NeilWNeilW Forumite
    143 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    cotsvale wrote: »
    I think everyone should get it but that there should be an opt out clause for those that don't need it and those funds then given to Age Concern or such like to give further help to those that need extra help.

    Why? The individual concerned can always donate it to charity themselves - and they can claim Gift Aid on the amount given.
  • NeilWNeilW Forumite
    143 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    coolamber wrote: »
    Why not give all pensioners a decent pension and then let the Inland Revenue cream the excess off from the wealthy that way everyone preserves their dignity.

    You wouldn't say that if you were wealthy. And you'd leave the country for a kinder regime if anybody tried.

    That's why the current government is 'creaming' the middle classes - who still have a guilt complex and think with gut reflexes rather than their heads.

    Perhaps it would be more equitable if the costs of looking after the elderly were place on their offspring. After all the fact you have a chance at anything is down to those who brought you up. At what point do you repay that debt?
  • alaredalared Forumite
    4K Posts
    If you pay in (no matter how rich you are)then you get the full whack out.
    Pity a few other benefits don`t work on this principle!
    (not talking about severely disabled here)

    The child allowance is the one benefit that should be scrapped altogether.
    Most of it goes on fags,booze and lottery scratchcards.
  • sonderguysonderguy Forumite
    2 Posts
    MSE_Archna wrote: »
    Poll Title: Poll Started 29 May 2007. Should the state pension be fully means tested? Most single people above pensionable age who've paid the right National Insurance contributions are entitled to at least £87.30 from the State. This means even multi-millionaires receive it. Which of these deliberately stark choices is closest to your view?

    A. All pay in, so all should get something out
    B. Don't give it to the rich, then there's more for the poor


    Click reply to discuss or vote here.


    I do not spend what I have not got, I do not have credit card debt. I have worked for over 30 years and have built up a "nest egg" for retirement. I would be very angry if I had my pension cut to subsidise those that "live for the day" with booze, fags, foreign holidays and consumer toys and are poor when it comes to their retirement. I would only accept special treatment for disabled people who should be supported by soceity anyway.
  • No, the state pension should not be means tested. There is no need for an opt out clause for the super rich... They would, or should, pay income tax on the state pension received...

    gemini john
  • rmg1rmg1 Forumite
    3.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
    ✭✭✭✭
    I think the state pension should be means tested for 2 reasons:-
    1) Joe Bloggs who has a private pension of £25000 a year doesn't need the extra cash
    2) Because you're not paying Joe Bloggs a state pension, as he obviously doesn't need it, there's more for those who do need it and could have a small increase. It won't be a large increase due to cost of the overblown bureaucracy and thousands of paper-shufflers that always seem to descend upon these issues.

    As for having an arbitrary cut-off point, means-tested allowances like Income Support have a sliding scale, where the amount you receive starts to drop off after a certain point, until you receive nothing if have too much in savings/earnings. This would allow a little leeway in payments.

    Referring back to Joe Bloggs again, if he has paid into the system in the form of NI contributions, one could reasonable assume he has benefited from those contributions in visits to his GP, hospital, etc.


    As a last point, why do these types of discussions always seem to descend into rants about "I've paid in, I'm having my share back out" regardless of whether the payments are required?
    If people were a little less self-centred, then maybe these discssions wouldn't be required. And before anyone asks, I do pay into my works private scheme but as I started paying fairly late in my working life, I will not receive full benefit from that scheme, so my paymets would require a little "topping-up". I have already discussed this with a financial advisor and that was his conclusion, not mine.
    :wall: Flagellation, necrophilia and bestiality - Am I flogging a dead horse? :wall:

    Any posts are my opinion and only that. Please read at your own risk.
  • alaredalared Forumite
    4K Posts
    rmg1 wrote: »
    I think the state pension should be means tested for 2 reasons:-
    1) Joe Bloggs who has a private pension of £25000 a year doesn't need the extra cash
    2) Because you're not paying Joe Bloggs a state pension, as he obviously doesn't need it, there's more for those who do need it and could have a small increase. It won't be a large increase due to cost of the overblown bureaucracy and thousands of paper-shufflers that always seem to descend upon these issues.

    Joe Bloggs has a private pesion because Joe Bloggs paid into it.
    He made that choice and didn`t *iss his money up a wall.

    He also paid into the state pension where he didn`t have a choice.
    Maybe Joe would have liked to have said "stick your state pension
    I don`t want to join",but of course he couldn`t because he was forced into paying N.I.,which is just another word for MORE TAX.

    Joe`s paid in
    give him his money,he`s coughed up all his life!

    Next you`ll be saying if a "rich person" pays for a lottery ticket and wins,don`t give him his winnings because he`s "rich"
    Why stop there,take his premium bond win off him as well!
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