Parliament launches charter of rights for older people

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Pensioners' Manifesto - The general election gives Briatin's 11 million pensioners a unique opportunity to influence the policies of the next government. All candidates are being asked to support the key proposals within the Pensioners' Manifesto - or face the possible consequences at the ballot box. The campaign to promote the Manifesto has already started - visit for more information.
Pensions - Every day pensions are in the news. The Pensions Commission, the Citizen's Pension and the Pension Credit are all hitting the headlines. The NPC continues to make the case for a basic state pension of 105 a week to be paid to all pensioners that is free from means-testing and linked to earnings. The Convention's Women's Working Party will also soon be publishing a new pamphlet on Women and Pensions.

UK pensions and Europe - It is widely acknowledged that the UK has one of the least generous state pensions in Europe. Details of pension provision across the EU is contained in a briefing paper which can be downloaded here in PDF format..

Pension Books - The government decided to scrap pension books without any consultation with pensioners. The Convention has been one of the few organisations to oppose the move and continues to argue for a system that allows older people to collect their pensions at the post office without any fear or anxiety. For more information see briefing paper number 29.
Council tax - Bills for 2005 will soon be issued. The Convention remains opposed to council tax because it is unrelated to the ability to pay and has failed to safeguard essential local services on which many pensioners rely.
Other campaign issues include long-term care, chiropody, free nationwide travel, cuts in adult education andmaking poverty history for older people in developing countries.

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Parliament launches charter of rights for older people

The 13th annual Pensioners' Parliament held in Blackpool at the beginning of June, agreed to launch a new charter of rights for older people. Based largely on the successful Pensioners' Manifesto, the ten-point charter sets out some basic rights that all pensioners should receive on reaching retirement.
Over the course of the three days, over 2000 delegates from across Britain debated a range of issues from pensions and health care to human rights and Europe.
After a colourful and noisy march to the Winter Gardens from the North Pier at the start of the event, delegates listened to the new Pensions minister, Stephen Timms, tell them they'd 'never had it so good'. Understandably, many showed the minister exactly how wrong he was.
A packed Empress Ballroom was also addressed by Rodney Bickerstaffe, Frank Cooper (NPC president) and Joe Harris (NPC general secretary).
As well as formulating the new Pensioners' Charter, delegates also endorsed a call for a Day of Action and Lobby of Parliament on October 12. Plans are now being made to have a series of protests around the country on that day as well as a big event in London.
A detailed report of the Parliament and the campaign for the Charter will be available shortly.
The dates of next year's Pensioners' Parliament are 16-18 May 2006.

Use the left menu to access the Charter and Petition

Press Release

For immediate use after: 0001hrs 7/6/2005

Age Audit highlights reality of life for older people

as new Pensions Minister addresses

Pensioners Parliament

(7-9 June, Winter Gardens, Blackpool)

On the eve of the annual Pensioners Parliament and a speech by the new Pensions Minister, Stephen Timms, the National Pensioners Convention (NPC) publishes an Age Audit of life for older people in Britain today.

With information drawn from government statistics and data from other reputable sources, the Age Audit shows the scale of inequality experienced by millions of older people across a range of social indicators from income and exclusion to health and housing.

Some of the main findings of the Age Audit show:

  • 2.2m (1 in 5) pensioners live below the official poverty line. The same number as in 1997.
  • 1.5m pensioners are malnourished or at serious risk of malnourishment.
  • 1.5m pensioners believe their house is too cold in winter.
  • Last year, 22,000 older people died as a result of the cold. The same number as in 1997.
  • 5m pensioners suffer a long-term illness that restricts their daily activities.
  • 7.2m pensioners in England do not have access to free public transport.
  • Pensioners save the taxpayer an estimated 24bn a year providing unpaid social care, childcare and volunteering.

Joe Harris, NPC general secretary said: Being older in modern Britain can mean that you feel trapped in your own home and dont have enough money to eat or put the heating on. Even those above the poverty line struggle to pay rising council tax bills, meet the costs of care and buy presents for their grandchildren. The scale of inequality affects every older person in one way or another.

At the heart of the problem is the state pension. It remains one of the worst amongst developed countries, yet Britain has the fourth strongest economy in the world and a surplus in the National Insurance fund of 35bn seven times what it would cost to give everyone a higher state pension. That is why we need a charter of rights that will ensure older people are no longer viewed as second-class citizens that can be ignored or patronised.

In response to the Age Audit, the NPC is calling for a new Pensioners Charter which would guarantee all older people the right to a decent state pension, free health care and a warm and comfortable home.

The Pensioners Charter which will be discussed by over 2000 older people at the Pensioners Parliament states:

Every man and woman on reaching state pensionable age will have the right to:

  • a basic state pension set above the official poverty level and linked to average earnings.
  • a warm and comfortable home.
  • a free annual comprehensive health check and health care treatment based on clinical need.
  • free community care and services to assist living at home.
  • free long-term care.
  • free nationwide travel on all public and local transport.
  • free education, access to and participation in leisure and cultural activities.
  • goods, services and benefits without age discrimination.
  • be consulted on national and local issues affecting older citizens.
  • dignity, respect and fair treatment in all aspects of their lives.

Notes to Editors

  1. A copy of the Age Audit is reproduced below. Please view on full screen.
  2. For further information contact NPC Communications Officer Neil Duncan-Jordan on (m).

Age Audit 2005

Social Indicator




In 2004 the number of pensioners living below the official poverty line of 60% median income was 2.2m. In 1997, the number was the same.

Average income for a pensioner household is 12,400 less than half the national average wage.

DWP: Households Below Average Income Statistics 2004

Winter Mortality

In 2003-04, 22,000 people over 65 in England and Wales died as a result of the cold. In 1997, the number was the same.

Office for National Statistics

Health and well-being

1.8m male pensioners and 3.2m female pensioners (37% of all pensioners) suffer a long-term illness that restricts their daily activities.

131,000 (33%) care home residents have to pay for their own care such as help with eating a meal or taking a bath.

890,000 (40%) of 80-89-year-olds suffer from some form of abuse. 46% of abusers are relatives and 34% paid care workers.

Office for National Statistics May 2004

Office of Fair Trading investigation 2005

Action on Elder Abuse phone poll 2004


1.5m (1 in 7) people over 65 in the UK are malnourished or at serious risk of malnourishment.

1.65m (15%) pensioners have gone without food at some point.

Malnutrition Advisory Group study 2004

Grey Matters: Growing older in deprived areas 2005


1.5m (12%) pensioners believe their house is too cold in winter.

1.1m (10%) pensioners say their accommodation is in need of serious maintenance/repair.

Survey of English Housing 2002

Social Exclusion and Isolation

1.5m (12%) older people feel trapped in their homes.

2m (22%) older people do not feel valued as a member of society.

Grey Matters: Growing older in deprived areas 2005

NOP World/Help the Aged poll 2005


7.2m (80%) pensioners in England do not have access to free public transport.

3.4m (91%) single pensioners and 1.8m (53%) couples do not own a car.

3m (28%) of older people are unable to take part in leisure/social activities due to a lack of access to public transport.

Grey Matters: Growing older in deprived areas 2005

Help the Aged briefing September 2004

Office for National Statistics May 2004


1.76m (16%) of people over 65 use the internet.

People aged 65 and over watch 33/4 hours of TV a day.

5.4m (50%) pensioners did not buy new clothes in the previous year.

Pensioners save the tax payer an estimated 24bn a year providing unpaid social care, childcare and volunteering.

People over the age of 70 are not allowed to undertake jury service.

National Statistics Omnibus Survey Dec 2003

Office for National Statistics Time Use survey 2000-01

Grey Matters: Growing older in deprived areas 2005

Age Concern 2004



The election of a Labour government on May 5 with a considerably smaller majority, now means that older people must step up their campaigning activities and continue to put pressure on local MPs for a change of direction on the key issues of state pensions, health and long-term care, nationwide free travel and the replacement of council tax.
In June, at the annual Pensioners' Parliament, the Convention will launch a new Pensioners' Charter - which will aim tosecure certain undeniable rights for all older citizens - regardless of the political complexion of the government of the day. This will be followed by a national lobby of MPs in September and a series of local, regional and national protests.
The Convention would also like to thank all those supporters who helped promote the Pensioners' Manifesto over the last few months. Despite the major parties' desire to sideline the issue of pensions during the election campaign - our nationwide network of contacts was able to putthe issuedirectly to the local candidates.
Our efforts have undoubtedly helped strengthen our organisation for the challenges ahead. With the general election now over, the Convention carries on the campaign for dignity, security and fulfilment in retirement for all.

Press Release

Embargo: For use after 0001hrs 2 May 2005

45% of candidates from the main parties back higher state pension

With just days left before the general election, Britains biggest pensioner organisation the National Pensioners Convention (NPC) has published the result of its nationwide poll of parliamentary candidates showing considerable support for a higher basic state pension. Since the election began, candidates from all the main political parties have been canvassed for their views on six key issues within the NPCs Pensioners Manifesto, and the findings represent the largest and most accurate indication of candidates views towards the all-important 11 million older voters.

The main findings of the poll are:

  • Returns have come in from 52.5% of constituencies (340). The total number of constituencies is 647
  • 24.5% of candidates have responded (616) (based on 4 candidates per constituency)
  • Of those responding, 44.5% (181) of candidates from the three main parties support raising the basic state pension to 109.45 a week for all pensioners
  • The number of candidates from the three main parties supporting a basic state pension of 109 a week are as follows:

Conservative: 17%

Labour: 49%

Liberal Democrat: 57%

The number of candidates from the three main parties supporting all six of the key policies in the Pensioners Manifesto (see below) are as follows:

Conservative 1%

Labour 24%

Liberal Democrat 48%

The responses are shown on the accompanying database and the numbers beside the candidates names correspond with their support for the issues listed below. DTA against a name means Declined to answer and where no name appears it means the candidate did not even respond:

  1. Raising the basic state pension to 109.45 a week for all of pensionable age
  2. Raising the basic state pension every year in line with average earnings
  3. Providing all long-term care free of charge
  4. Introducing a free nationwide travel scheme for pensioners on public transport
  5. Replacing the council tax with a fairer system based on the ability to pay
  6. Introducing legislation to prevent age discrimination in the provision of goods and services

Joe Harris, NPC general secretary said: This is the most ambitious survey of election candidates ever undertaken on behalf of older people. In every constituency our members have been canvassing the parties and putting the issues of concern to older people at the heart of the election campaign. Whilst the two major parties dont seem to want to talk about the state pension the results of our poll show that 45% of candidates are backing our call for 109 a week to be paid to all pensioners. With around four million pensioners still living below the official poverty line, a bigger state pension would make a huge difference particularly for many older women who are currently amongst the poorest pensioners in the country.

In many marginal constituencies, pensioners could make a real difference to the outcome of this election. Before they cast their vote, older people should consider how each of the candidates in their area has responded to our poll. With just a day to go, all the parties should now pledge to give everyone a decent state pension without the need for means-testing, as a matter of urgency. There is no doubt that this would be a real vote winner.


Notes for Editors

  • Candidates from all the main political parties, Greens, UKIP, SNP and Plaid Cymru were sent a survey form on the six key policies within the Pensioners Manifesto the week commencing March 21. The responses on the attached database are for the three main parties but a full version can be viewed by visiting
  • For more information contact Neil Duncan-Jordan on .
  • Candidates Responses Database Note this file is in MS Excel format - if you do not have Excel - download a copy of XL Viewer (10 Megabytes)
  • Candidates Response - 3 Main parties only in DOC format

Press Release
For immediate use: 11 April 2005
National Pensioners Convention responds to statement by Ed Balls on pensions
Joe Harris, NPC general secretary said: "It really is outrageous that Ed Balls can say that the government is not going to tackle the pensions crisis highlighted by the Turner Commission for at least another five years. In the meantime, millions of pensioners will have to live in poverty and thousands of workers will see their company pensions disappear, while Mr Balls and the other candidates lucky enough to be elected on May 5 will qualify for a gold-plated MP's pension that the rest of us can only dream about. It's either a very confident or a very foolish candidate that makes such a statement just weeks before a general election."
"Rather than putting it off, the government must raise the basic state pension to 109.45 a week for all as a matter of urgency, strengthen the state second pension and include more carers, part-time and low-paid workers in the system to ensure we all get a decent pension in retirement."
For more information contact Neil Duncan-Jordan on

Press Release
For immediate use: 8 April 2005
Six millionwomen pensioners will receive less than 1.60 a week increase in their state pension
Millions of older women whoreceive a state pension based on their husband's national insurance contributions, will receive on Monday (April 11) an increase in their pension of just 1.51 a week, according to Britain's biggest pensioner organisation, the National Pensioners Convention (NPC).
Under existing rules the basic state pension rises every year by the greater of either 2.5% or the Retail Price Index figure from the previous September.
On April 11 the 2005 weekly increases in the basic state pension will therefore be:
Single pensioner: 79.60 to 82.05 = 2.45 increase
Woman based on husband's contributions: 47.65 to 49.16 = 1.51increase
Official statistics show that one in four older women live below the poverty line and two out of every three pensioners claiming means-tested support are women*.
Dot Gibson, NPC vice president said: "It is clear that women are not doing well out of the present pension system. We urgently need a basic state pension that is set at the level of the Pension Credit of 109.45 a week and which is paid to all pensioners in recognition of their role as workers, mothers, carers and volunteers."
"All the main political parties are trying to woo the pensioner vote and older women will be the single most important section of the electorate. There are 7 million of them and many claim they are still undecided. Any party that wants to form the next government must therefore address their concerns - of which pensions is one of the biggest."
  • Out of Britain's 11m pensioners, 63% (6.93m) are women *
  • Out of all women pensioners only 13% (0.9m) receive a full basic state pension based on their own national insurance contributions *
  • The average income for womenpensioners is 57% of men's +
  • Some opinion polls show Labour's current support amongst women is less than 36%
  • Alan Johnson, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has described women's pensions as "a national scandal"
* Source: Office for National Statistics May 2004
+ Source: Ageing and Gender, Social Trends 2004
For more information contact Neil Duncan-Jordan on Tel:

Press Release


Home News

For immediate use:29 March 2005

Pensions Minister addresses first ever national conference for black and ethnic elders 31 March 2005

Pensions Minister, Malcolm Wicks, will today (March 31) address the first ever national conference for black and ethnic elders organised by the National Pensioners Convention (NPC) - Britain's biggest organisation for older people.

Over 100 retired delegates from the African, Asian, Caribbean, Chinese, Indian, Irish and Italian communities will look at how issues of pensions and income, health and care and equality and inclusion affect Britains older black and ethnic minority members.

Claude James, chair of the conference said: Rather than having people speaking on our behalf, this conference will show that we are quite capable of speaking for ourselves. The needs and concerns of black and ethnic elders are often overlooked by the policy makers, but we will use this event to highlight the poverty amongst Britains ethnic elders, their specific health needs and the double discrimination they face being both older and from a different community.

The event will also encourage all pensioners to get involved in the NPCs manifesto campaign to ask every candidate in the forthcoming general election to support higher state pensions, better health care and free travel for all older people.Ethnic elders have a lot to gain by getting involved and showing that all pensioners are united in their campaign for justice.

The event will take placefrom 11am-4pm on March 31 2005 at the Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church, 235 Shaftesbury Avenue, London and will include:

  • A question and answer session with Malcolm Wicks, Pensions Minister
  • Workshops to consider issues ranging from pensioner poverty and access to social care to active citizenship and discrimination
  • Discussion on the issues and concerns affecting elders


For more information contact Neil Duncan-Jordan on


  • 5.1% of over 65s are from the non-white ethnic population (Source: ONS May 2004)
  • The event also offers an excellent opportunity to assess the issues of concern to older black voters in the run-up to the general election

Attention: Forward Planning-Political- Social Affairs
-Personal Finance

Press Release

Embargoed: 0001hrs 21 March 2005

Pensioners launch general election campaign

Supporters of Britains biggest pensioner organisation the National Pensioners Convention (NPC) will this week issue a challenge to every candidate in the forthcoming general election to support the Pensioners Manifesto.

The document has taken six months to produce and has been the result of nationwide discussion by more than 1000 pensioner organisations. Now as part of the NPCs campaign to put older peoples concerns at the heart of the election, members are sending a survey to all candidates asking them for their support on six key policies contained within the manifesto. These include:

1. A basic state pension of 109.45 a week for all pensioners.

2. A restoration of the link between pensions and average earnings.

3. Free long-term care.

4. A nationwide free travel scheme.

5. Replacement of the council tax with a fairer system based on the ability to pay.

6. An end to age discrimination in the provision of all goods and services.

The responses from the candidates will then be publicised locally and nationally before election day to enable older voters to judge which candidates are backing the Pensioners Manifesto and deserve the support of the over 60s.

Joe Harris, NPC general secretary said: For the first time in electoral history, pensioners in every constituency are asking their candidates if they will support a Pensioners Manifesto. This is an ambitious and radical plan that will help put the concerns of older people right at the heart of the election campaign and candidates should think carefully how they respond, because it could affect their chances of getting to Westminster. This is real pensioner power which the parties will not be able to ignore.

Already in the last few weeks the three main political parties have started to wise-up to the fact that there are 11 million pensioners the vast majority of which will vote in the general election. Older people are twice as likely to turn out and vote as those aged 18-24 and research shows that many of them are prepared to switch their vote if they like what the parties are saying. This time pensioners could make a real difference as to who gets elected and the politicians will have to either back our manifesto or pack their bags.


  • For more information contact Neil Duncan-Jordan on .
  • Contacts are available in all regions of the UK for interview.
  • Additional information can also be found at
  • Every Wednesday during the campaign, starting on April 13, the NPC will publish details of candidates responses on a region by region basis.
Press Release
For immediate use: 16/03/05

Reaction to Budget 2005 from the National Pensioners Convention

Rodney Bickerstaffe, NPC president said:
"Whilst the Chancellorrecognised he had to offer something to Britain's 11m older voters in the run-up to the general election, many will still feel disappointed that he missed the opportunityto substantially raise the basic state pension, restore the link with earnings, end means-testing and do something to widen women's entitlement to pensions."
"The Chancellor's pledge to remove the charges for those who are in hospital for more than a year will certainly be welcomed by the 10,000 people that it affects."
"Free off-peak local bus travel will benefit 80% of pensioners in England who currently only qualify for half-pricefare andis a step towards a nationwide scheme that would allow pensioners to travel free from one end of the country to the other."
"The 200 council tax refund willbepopular with many older people, but will only last for a year and the government will have to do more to end the unfairness of a tax that has no relationship to an individual's income.

"What these announcements show is that constant campaigning and pressure from the National Pensioners Convention and its 1.5m members has forced the Chancellor to act on some issues. There is of course still time for the government to do more in their response to the Pension Commission report and the publication of their own manifesto - butpensioners will no doubtgive their reaction at the ballot box."
For more information contact Neil Duncan-Jordan on

Budget 2005 at a glance

  • Free off-peak local bus travel in England for all over 60s and the disabled from April 2006
    Note: Free travel will be restricted to within local authority boundaries. The Treasury claim this will cost 420m a year

  • One-off 200 council tax refund for 2005 for every pensioner household where at least one person is 65 or over
    Note: This 200 includes 50 already mentioned in the Pre-Budget Report in December which was due to be paid in 2005. 7.2m pensioners will qualify costing 970m, but 1.4m women pensioners under 65 will be excluded

  • Immediate end to the reduction of the state pension after a 52 week stay in hospital
    Note: This will benefit approximately 10,000 people

  • Basic state pension will rise on 11 April 2005 to 82.05 a week (single) and 131.21 (couple)

    Pension Credit will rise on 11 April 2005 to 109.45 a week (single) and 167.05 couple.

    Note: It is expected to reach 119 a week for an individual by April 2008

  • Winter Fuel Allowance (WFA) remains 200 for pensioner households with at least one person aged 60 or over and 300 for the over 80s
    Note: Treasury figures show the WFA will be reduced by 50 in 2006/07

  • Personal income tax allowances were raised as follows:
    65-74: Up 260 to 7090
    75 and over: Up 270 to 7220
    Married couples: 70-74 (born before 6/4/1935): Up 180 to 5905
    Married couples: 75 and over: Up 180 to 5975

Press Release
For immediate use: 14/03/05
Britain's biggest pensioner organisation warns Brown over Budget statement
The National Pensioners Convention (NPC)- on behalf ofits 1.5m members - has today issued a warning to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to make a bold statement in Wednesday's Budget in favour of raising pensioners' incomes or face the possible consequences at the ballot box.
The NPC want Gordon Brown to:
1. Raise the basic state pension to 109.45 a week.
2. Restore the link between the state pension and average earnings.
3. Increase the 25p a week age addition at 80 to 25.
4. Acknowledge that the current pension system has unfairly penalised many women and provide them with a full state pension in their own right.
Joe Harris, NPC general secretary said: "Up till now, despite numerous announcements, ministers have failed to capture the attention of Britains 11 million older people. The pressure is now on the Chancellor to deliver a popular alternative to the Conservatives plans to halve council tax for pensioners and restore the link with earnings, and the Lib Dem proposals to make long-term care free and pay all over 75s a pension of 109 a week."
"Anything less than a serious attempt to raise the basic state pension for all is bound to have serious repercussions at the ballot box in a few weeks' time."
For more information contact Neil Duncan-Jordan on .


For immediate release:
Saturday March 12, 2005

Joint statement from Age Concern, Help the Aged and National Pensioners Convention ahead of Budget Day on Wednesday March 16

Gordon Lishman, Director-General, Age Concern

Mervyn Kohler, Head of Public Affairs, Help the Aged

Joe Harris, General Secretary, National Pensioners Convention

The Government cannot afford to ignore older people in Wednesdays Budget. Older voters are most likely to turn out and their votes have the power to determine the outcome of the General Election. With millions of older voters still undecided or prepared to switch their vote, no party can take their support for granted or try to win them over with token gestures.

There have been Budgets for jobs, Budgets for enterprise, Budgets for Britains hard-working families. A Budget for pensioners is long overdue. At the very least, the Chancellor must use this Budget to increase the basic state pension to 109 per week.1 Pensioners have been overlooked for long enough - leaving them empty-handed once again could prove very costly at the ballot box.


Notes to editors

1 This is the means-tested minimum income level for older people, set by the Government. It will be annually uprated on April 11, 2005, to 109.45 (from 105.45).

Age Concern/ ICM research (January 2005) shows that two-thirds of over 55s (66%) say they are absolutely certain to vote compared with less than two-fifths (39%) of under 55s. For further information, please contact the Age Concern press office on or out of hours on .

Help the Aged/MORI (February 2005) found that 75% of the over 75s were absolutely certain to vote, of whom 25% remain undecided about the candidates they will support.

Media Contact Neil Duncan-Jordan NPC


Media Contact: Helen Wanless or Mel Beardon, Age Concern England

Telephone: or
Press Release

For immediate use: 7/03/05

Wise-up on womens pensions

- New guide launched to help

working age women -

Britains biggest pensioner organisation the National Pensioners Convention (NPC) will this week launch a new guide to help young women understand how the UK pension system works, consider the pension options available to them and recommend policies that would make pensions fairer.

The guide entitled: Wise-up on womens pensions has been produced by the NPCs womens working party made up of retired older women from a range of backgrounds, who are concerned that todays younger generations do not experience the same prospects of poverty in retirement that they have had to face.

It is widely acknowledged that women are amongst the poorest pensioners in society, with one in four qualifying for means-tested benefits. In the main, this has been due to:

  • Fewer opportunities to work full-time and pay national insurance
  • The married womans option to pay reduced contributions
  • Lower pay when in work, reducing the possibilities of saving
  • Employment in occupations that do not offer occupational pension schemes
  • Broken work records due to domestic responsibilities; affecting poorer women the most
  • Divorce, separation or widowhood

Helen Grew, spokesperson for the NPC womens working party said: The failure of the state pension system has been to base entitlement on a traditional male work pattern of 44 years continuous employment, with little serious acknowledgement or safeguards for protecting the vast majority of women whose working life did not conform to this model.

On the other hand, the failure of the private occupational schemes has been to both restrict access for part-time, low paid, mainly women workers and more recently to move towards less generous, defined contribution schemes. However, even those fortunate enough to be members of a final salary scheme, tend to find that the rules favour men and do not take account of a womans broken work record.

This new guide aims to help women understand how the system works and give them the arguments to campaign for much needed changes.

The guides main recommendations for changes to UK pensions, include:

  • Raising the basic state pension immediately to 109 a week and increase it every year in line with average earnings
  • Abolishing the rule that prevents people with less than 10 years contributions from getting any state pension
  • Widening the existing Home Responsibilities Protection rules to include more carers
  • Reducing the National Insurance lower earnings limit to enable more low-paid and part-time workers to build up an entitlement to a basic state pension
  • Retaining the State Second Pension as an earnings related pension
  • Requiring employers to pay more into National Insurance


Notes for Editors

  • The guide will be officially launched at the TUC Womens Conference in Scarborough on March 10.

  • For further information contact Neil Duncan-Jordan on .
  • Copies of the guide are available price 1 (inc p&p) from NPC , London .

"We are carefully looking at proposals to guarantee pensioners a decent income in retirement, so that we can end means testing for pensioners once and for all and get rid of the evil of pensioner poverty" Tony Blair 1996

From a letter dated 4 September 1996 from the Officeof the Leader of the Opposition, Tony Blair.

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This Convention declares that every pensioner has the right to choice, dignity, independence and security as an integral and valued member of society. These rights require an adequate state pension linked to average earnings, comprehensive free health care and concessionary travel on public transport

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From April 2005 the basic state pension will rise by 2.45 a week for a single pensioner and 3.95 a week for a couple. This will bring the figure to 82.05 for a single pensioner and 131.20 for a couple. However, if the link with earnings had not been broken in 1980 the basic state pension from April 2004 would have been 113.12 for a single pensioner and 180.90 for a couple.
That is whythe campaignto have the link with earnings restored becomes moreimportant every year that the gap between the state pension and the costs of living grows

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