There's no simple solution to the pension woes
Angry readers took us to task for over-simplifying state pension issues with many feeling let down by MPs
Proper pension planning has been impossible for years as MPs have made political capital out of retirement savings. That's the view of the many Independent readers who wrote in response to an editorial comment last week criticising the Coalition for delaying the introduction of a flat-rate state pension for "political expediency".
Many feel cheated by the proposed flat-rate pension as it will penalise those who planned ahead by building up additional pensions through Serps or S2P. "These are not the preserve of the rich, as you imply," wrote Emrys Williams.
Alex Garbut said criticising the Coalition for delaying is missing the point. "Every government since Barbara Castle introduced Serps has exacted higher rates of NI contributions from those not contracted out in return for the promise of a corresponding pension," he said. "People have been planning since 1978 on this basis so the flat-rate proposal would cost some thousands a year."
Mr Garbut is angry. "On the scale of broken promises and breaches of faith by a government it would be right up there with the most cynical and dishonest," he said. "If a private pension provider tried anything like it, you would be screaming with indignation."
Others expressed similar sentiments. "If your pension provider told you that your pension had to be reduced because it had decided to share it with people who hadn't contributed, you'd be pretty upset and would sue," said Mr Williams.
Neil Bloomer of Wakefield said: "The proposed flat-rate pension is unfair to pensioners who have had to suffer the consequences of the recent economic turmoil but will not themselves receive the increase. It is yet another signal that responsibility is not rewarded."
Rob Edwards of Harrogate also mentioned unfairness. "It means that I have effectively lost all the extra contributions that were used to increase my Serps benefit. Those of us that made decisions 30 years ago should not now find that the rules have changed."
James Burgess is a former chartered financial planner who retired at the age of 50. "A move to a new flat-rate pension set at any level lower than the highest accumulated/accrued Serps/S2P benefit inevitably means that some people will lose part of their currently promised benefit," he said.
He believes that politicians will be forced to delay any changes. "They will use the trick that has been played with the raising of the state pension age. They'll introduce the change creating an army of losers, but make it many years hence, to give people time to plan their finances. That will avoid the problem of people voting in anger at the next election," he said.
Other readers demanded clarification. "I am disappointed that there has as yet been no serious discussion of the problems that will arise in trying to implement the proposals," said Vaughan Clarke.
Iain Smith of Rugby has been a pensioner for four years. "Will pensioners such as me lose out?" he asked. With so many unanswered questions, there must be more clarity. Your Money will seek answers from MPs and pension experts.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
iJobs Money & Business
Up to £70,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...
Up to £65,000 per annum + benefits: Sheridan Maine: Are you a qualified accoun...
£32000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Services Manage...
£Neg. (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Finance Account Manager with...
Day In a Page
A three-bedroom villa with self-contained flat, minutes from Lake Windermere
A deceptively spacious, beautifully presented Georgian home with 3000sq ft of living space and five reception rooms
A five-bedroom Victorian home with four receptions, superb gardens and paddock in Pembury
An eight-bedroom house on the south side of the The Green with cinema, wine cellars and summer house
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
A three-bedroom, 15th-century cottage with original features in the picturesque village of Sissinghurst
A six-bedroom terraced house with large south-facing roof terrace, cinema room and wine cellar
A new seven-bedroom home built in Queen Anne-style with swimming pool and parkland views in Mortimer
A listed, four-bedroom farmhouse in the rural hamlet of Rushall with detached barn, four acres of gardens and paddocks
A first-floor flat with two bedrooms, a spacious reception room and communal grounds in a leafy part of London
A three-bedroom flat with a spacious rootop terrace and balcony, accessed from a private gated courtyard
A Grade II-listed pile with six bedrooms, stables and 39 acres of grounds in Standlake
A two-bedroom flat with boutique hotel-style interiors, close to the foodie haunt of West End Lane
A two-bedroom flat in a beautiful old vicarage, with many original features, close to the city centre
A three-bedroom 16th-century home with an aga kitchen, private gardens and heated outdoor pool, in Hadleigh
A three-bedrom home in sought-after Queen's Gate Mews, with Italian marble-finished bathrooms
Surrounded by glorious countryside in the village of Udimore, sits this impressive four-kiln oast and barn conversion
A five-bedroom house in the picturesque village of Kettlewell, north Yorkshire
An 18th-century former coaching inn with original staircase, open fireplaces and beams throughout
A Grade II-listed Georgian town house with three bedrooms and a south-facing courtyard, near Arundel Castle
Feel on top of the world at this über chic penthouse on the 37th floor of one of Europe’s tallest blocks.
A Grade II-listed Victorian villa with six bedrooms and two further cottages, all with spectacular sea views
A grade II-listed, Georgian cottage with mature 50ft garden, perfect for summer entertaining
A magnificent Georgian pile with turrets, seven bedrooms, a heated pool and four acres of gardens
Fairoak Farm has five bedroom suites, gym, outdoor swimming pool and golf course
Chic two-bedroom river-fronted flat with a private lift that delivers you directly to your home
A spectacular seven-bedroom Tudor pile, once owned by Henry VIII, with 18 acres of land
A seven-bedroom Georgian property previously used as a picturesque wedding venue
A split-level flat in a church conversion with two en suite bedrooms and 1,200sq ft of living space
A three-bedroom bungalow situated behind an impressive stone wall, £645,000
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
Chapel House is a former vicarage with nine bedrooms in the beautiful Upper Wye Valley
A five-bedroom B&B and separate owner's accomodation with potential for conversion
Enjoy summer by the Thames in this two double-bedroom converted warehouse in Rotherhithe village
A one-bedroom, luxury apartment with private gym and concierge service in Moorgate
A four-bedroom house in Hermitage Gardens with three reception rooms and landscaped gardens