Should the state pension be fully means tested?

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


  • donaldtrampdonaldtramp Forumite
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    In a fair society, no benefits would be means tested. Everybody would have an absolute entitlement with the wealthy paying more tax.

    Sorry, but why would that be fair that the wealthy should just pick up the tab??

    I work real hard. I've worked my way into a good position and I am saving for my pension with my employer. This was not LUCK! This was (and is) hard work. Why should no-hopers who have just been drunkards or druggies or unemployed all their life's (You've all seen them) have the right to just tax me more in order to fund their time on this Earth?

    I'm getting sick of the welfare system being used as a way of life. It should NOT be a career choice to live on benefits.The welfare system was a wonderful system when introduced, a real leap forward for our country. Unfortunately it has evolved from being a safety net(as it was meant to be) to being a career choice and way of life.

    I appreciate there are genuine cases, I truly would give the shirt of my back to these folks, But the 2 car families I keep seeing on the TV and in the papers with 7 kids and no income apart from benefits paid for from MY tax. Drives me nuts!!!

    Sorry, rant over
  • dannahazdannahaz Forumite
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    If it was means tested, then any savings by NOT giving it to people above a certain income level will get swallowed up in the bureaucracy of the means testing itself.
  • ErrataErrata Forumite
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    I'm very encouraged by the posts on this thread as I think they reflect the fact that people want a fair and democratic society.
    Casting my mind back and remembering comments made in my hearing by pensioners over the last 60 years - the level of basic state pension has never been enough. It would be even less if not for those on high incomes such as 'millionaires' not paying the tax they do. Those who believe the state pension and pension credit in this country gives retired people an acceptable standard of living should compare and contrast other European countries provision.
    There is a suggestion by a previous economic advisor to this government
    that the bureaucratic cost of pension credit would pay for any sensible increase in the basic state pension removing the need for retired people to beg for pension credit and the government acknowledges that many older people who could claim don't.
    .................:)....I'm smiling because I have no idea what's going on ...:)
  • coolambercoolamber Forumite
    3 Posts
    After nursing elderly parents (still have father and mother-in-law in my care) I believe I can speak with some authority on the care and financing of the elderly. It is grim. And when my turn comes I will not have enough stamps for a full pension as I have been caring for parents....ho hum...........
    NeilW wrote: »
    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?
  • seven-day-weekendseven-day-weekend Forumite
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    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 Joe Bloggs has paid extra for thirty odd years for his Private Pension.
    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.

    This again penalises the hard-working and thrifty.

    I too am in the same position as the OP and will benefit from a small LG pension, but am still looking forward to receiving my State Pension in just over two years' time.

    And don't forget, Joe Bloggs will pay the due amount of tax on his pensions.
    (AKA HRH_MUngo)
    Member #10 of £2 savers club
    Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds, and you have a rough idea of what it feels like to read Richard Dawkins on theology: Terry Eagleton
  • OptimistOptimist Forumite
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    This again penalises the hard-working and thrifty.

    I too am in the same position as the OP and will benefit from a small LG pension, but am still looking forward to receiving my State Pension in just over two years' time.

    And don't forget, Joe Bloggs will pay the due amount of tax on his pensions.

    I thought penalising the hard working and thrifty was Labour policy !
    "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts."

    Bertrand Russell. British author, mathematician, & philosopher (1872 - 1970)
  • Looking at my bank statement I realise that state retirement pension is already kind of means tested. I receive State pension of £212 a month but then have to pay £122 income tax on my occupational pension so effectively the Government is giving me £90 a month. Very little more than child benefit after 40 odd years working and contributing.
  • WyndhamWyndham Forumite
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    What I'd actually like to be able to do is to not pay into it, but put the money into my employer's pension scheme instead....
  • zsuzsazsuzsa Forumite
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    Means testing of pensions is nothing else than penalisation of hard work and careful savings throughout your life. The only people who would benefit from means testing are those who didn't bother to save. It would make a lot more sense to me to normalise earnings so that there's a smaller gap between high earners and low earners. Some of the hardest working folks are the ones with the lowest earnings. I find it a joke how much some corporate executives and footballers are paid. Above a certain level of ridiculously high income, I would introduce an equally ridiculous tax rate, like 90%. That money could go straight into the pension fund and everyone should get the same amount out of it when they retire. Apart from that, what people do with their take-home pay is up to them and it's not the government's business to check how much savings you have!
  • 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
    73% (6352 votes)
    B. Don't give it to the rich, then there's more for the poor
    27% (2404 votes)

    Total Votes: 8753

    Thanks to everybody that voted :)
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