News items from the press relevant to the 50+
More than three-quarters (78%) of women aged over 50 who are still working said they plan to continue past retirement age, equating to 4.1 million women if the figures were projected across the UK, the study from LV= found.The Evening Standard, 28th November 2012
Andrew M Brown writes in The Telegraph, 27th November 2012
The finding highlights the social impact of Britain's pensions crisis as gold-plated schemes which pay for a comfortable old age are approaching extinction in the private sector.
When asked why they will continue working, the most common answer given by workers over the age of 50 is that they will be 'forced to do so to survive financially'.
Becky Barrow reports in The Daily Mail, 27th November 2012
Laura Cox and Emine Sinmaz write in the Daily Mail, 26th November 2012
Instead of the popular tax break, the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) proposed that every pension pot should be increased by 5pc before it was used to buy an annuity.
It also proposed that the annual limit for Isas be increased to between £30,000 and £40,000 by having a single tax-free allowance across pensions and Isas. The current Isa limit is £11,280, of which half can be saved in cash.
Higher-rate tax relief on pension savings should also be abolished, the CPS said, to be offset by a restoration of the tax credit on dividend income controversially scrapped by Gordon Brown.
The report quoted research by Prudential which found that 79pc of pensioners drawing a company or private pension in 2011 took a lump sum from their fund at retirement – and that 10pc regretted doing so. Only those with guaranteed incomes of at least £20,000 a year should be allowed to withdraw a lump sum from their pension fund, the report suggested.
Richard Best writes in The Guardian, 21st November 2012
Nearly two-thirds of us could be eligible for higher pensions when we retire.
The National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) says that thousands of people are missing out.
They do not realise that having certain medical or lifestyle conditions could significantly boost their retirement incomes when buying an annuity or annual pension.
The NAPF estimates that about half a million people retiring each year are being short-changed, by up to £1bn from their total future pension income.
Joanne Segars, chief executive of the NAPF, wants to see changes to the industry so people end up with the best possible annuity for them.Maleen Saeed reports for BBC News, 17th November 2012
In a stark assessment of the growing crisis in elderly care, a government report warns that the country may not be able to afford to fund a cap on care costs for a rapidly expanding ageing population.
The report, released this week, depicts a bleak picture of the future, with a growing number of pensioners slipping into poverty as they use up their savings to fund care and rely on friends and family for help. It lays bare the scale of the task facing ministers and will increase the pressure on David Cameron to address the issue.
An official review of the social care system published last year recommended that the Coalition should introduce a cap of £35,000 on the maximum amount that people have to pay towards a nursing home.
Rowena Mason writes in The Telegraph, 2nd November 2012
Are you aged 55 or more and planning to retire in the near future? Then you need to get your skates on because new rules to be implemented in December could mean you receive less retirement income from your pension savings.
Until now, men have on average received about 4% more income from their annuities than women, because women tend to live longer. But the EU gender directive, which comes into force on 21 December, will stop insurance companies using the sex of a pension policyholder to determine the income the policyholder receives when they cash in their savings and buy an annuity. Insurers have said they will rely more heavily on other criteria, to underwrite annuities, including the type of work a policyholder has done and whether they suffer certain medical conditions.
Jill Insley writes in The Guardian, 3rd November 2012
Auto-enrolment is finally forcing British workers to think about how they will fund their leisure years, but the measures come too late for the soaring numbers of forgotten elderly facing a retirement in debt. With fewer opportunities to earn and ongoing budget pressures, many warn that their circumstances are likely to deteriorate even further.
"Around 427,000 households in the over-70 age groups are already in financial difficulty; either three months behind with a debt repayment or subject to some form of debt action such as insolvency," says Una Farrell of the Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS).Chiara Cavaglieri writes in The Independent, 4th November 2012
"I sat there in front of my television thinking: are we living in the same world?" said Peter, who says her 1,000-euro monthly state pension is not enough to make ends meet. "People in this country want to take it easy, to retire early and lead a quiet life. But there are no guarantees in life."
A surge in the number of pensioners heading back to work has come about despite a reluctance by President Francois Hollande's Socialist government to pursue new reforms after the fierce 2010 protests that greeted those by his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy.
Nicholas Vinocur writes for Reuters - 30th October 2012
Just 14pc of men and 24pc of women earning less than £300 a week belong to a workplace pension, the TUC said. By contrast, 74pc of men and 82pc of women on £600 or more do belong to a scheme.
Part-time workers in the private sector are even less likely to have a pension. Only 8pc of male part-timers belong to a scheme, compared with 17pc of women. It's a very different picture in the public sector, however – here, 73pc of male part timers and 58pc of the female counterparts have a pension.
Overall, nine in 10 public sector employees are in a scheme, compared with fewer than half – 42pc of men and 35pc of women – in the private sector, according to the report.
Richard Evans reports in The Telegraph, 1st November 2012
Annuity rates are on track for their biggest annual fall since 2002, according to an authoritative report.
So far this year, average incomes generated by a standard annuity for a 65-year-old male have fallen by 8.6pc, Moneyfacts found. Unless annuity rates can stage a dramatic recovery in the fourth quarter, this will be the fifth consecutive year in which average annuity income has fallen.
Richard Evans reports in The Telegraph, 30th October 2012
The middle class and middle aged have been hardest hit by the economic downturn, according to an influential new report. These savers have seen their total assets fall by as much as £160,000, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS).
It is this top fifth of savers who have suffered the most – although the report said about 80pc of over-fifties would have a retirement income of at least 80pc of their current income if they made use of all their assets.
However, those in this age group should not be complacent. While the report stated that their income may be perfectly adequate at the start of retirement, it admits that it does not take into account how inflation will eat away at their earnings.
People used to work beyond statutory retirement age because they enjoyed the purpose and social interaction of employment. Now they can't afford not to. How should benefits adapt to, and protect, an ageing workforce? Emma Page reports.With the abolition of the default retirement age (DRA), it is likely that many of us will be working into old age. According to a recent Institute of Chartered Management survey, commissioned by the Guardian on behalf of Unum, only 30% of the population has made adequate provision for retirement, and one worker in five does not expect to retire until they are over the age of
Emma Page writes in Personnel Today, 26th October 2012
Going on a first date can be daunting. That doesn't change just because you get older.
The 50-plus generation find there are still many of the same stigmas associated with meeting people online as there are for younger generations. Will I like him? Will we get on? Will I need my friend to ring half way through with an 'excuse' for me to leave promptly? These are the same questions going through first dates' heads, no matter their age.
According to a YouGov Survey last year, one in five relationships in the UK now start online, with UK singles contributing almost £3.4bn annually to the economy in their search for a partner. With some 5.8m people over 45 living alone and some 1.7m women over 65 who are widowed in the UK, online dating for the over-50s has become big business.
Emma Sinclair writes in The Telegraph, 25th October 2012
Two out of five over 65-year-olds who are still working believe they will never stop - and most of them blame a lack of savings for their situation.
An estimated 1.4million people are still in employment although they have reached the age when they can draw their state pensions, according to research by NFU Mutual.
Of the half a million pensioners who are working and plan to continue, some 57 per cent can't afford to give up because they don't have enough savings and investment income.This is money.co.uk, 25th October 2012
The Institute for Fiscal Studies reckons the richest 20 per cent of the over-50s saw an average of £162,500 wiped off their assets.
The loss is a combination of the fall in the value of their home and the drop in the value of their investments, such as tax-free Isas and their shareholdings.
Becky Barrow writes in The Daily Mail, 23rd October 2012
The gap between women's and men's savings into pensions has grown in the past year, with women now investing £776 a year less than their male counterparts, according to research by Scottish Widows.
The insurer's annual Women and Pensions report showed that after two years of narrowing, the gender savings gap has increased to the highest level in the eight years it has been asking people about their savings.
The average monthly saving among women has fallen from £130 to £95 since 2011, while the average for men has risen from £174 to £185. A 30-year-old woman who continues saving at the same rate will retire on a pension pot almost £30,000 smaller than a male the same age.Hilary Osborne reports in The Guardian, 22nd October 2012
The rate of consumer prices index (CPI) inflation in September is traditionally used as a measure to determine next year's benefit increases, and yesterday's figures showed that CPI fell to 2.2pc in this month, the lowest level since November 2009.
Britain is a nation of Goofs - Gadget Obsessed Over-Fifties - with older generations now owning almost as much technology as consumers half their age, a survey says.
More than nine in ten over-50s own a digital camera, three in four carry a smartphone and almost a third play on a portable games console.
One in five uses a fitness app and 22 per cent own a PS3, Wii or Xbox said the study.The Daily Mail, 16th October 2012
Pensioners will receive only a 2.5 per cent rise in their state pension next year after inflation, which has impoverished millions on fixed incomes in the past year, eased back at the crucial point the annual rise in the state pension is set.
The Office of National Statistics today said the consumer prices index (CPI) fell to 2.2 per cent in September - the month used by the Department of Work and Pensions to fix a rise in the weekly payments made to 13million Britons.
Andrew Oxlade writes in This is money.co.uk
The Guardian, 16th October 2012
Millions of workers could end up automatically enrolled into high cost and poor performing pensions because employers do not get enough help in finding value-for-money schemes, a report has warned.
Since 1 October employers of large companies have been bound by law to enrol employees into a workplace pension scheme, with set rules on how much should be contributed
Hilary Osborne writes in The Guardian, 11th October 2012
A startling UN report into global ageing has revealed that there will be more pensioners than children by 2050, when the number of people aged 60 or over will hit two billion.
Today's report, called Ageing in the 21st Century: a celebration and a challenge, also revealed that the number of centenarians will rise nearly tenfold from 316,000 today to three million in 2050.
Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, said older people bring significant benefits to society, but warned that a spiralling population will spark major challenges for nations in areas like healthcare and pensions.
The Daily Mail, 1st October 2012
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