October 2017
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What will you get for your lifetime’s NI payments? A state pension? Or nowt?

A few years ago, the Government reduced the number of years NI payments needed to qualify for a state pension from 40 years to 30 years. This was intended to help many women, who might have taken a few years off work to bring up a family, still be eligible for a pension.

But now our leaders, with their gold-plated, inflation-protected pensions, have found out that we can’t afford to look after those who’ve paid NI all their working lives. So they’ve started to change the rules. Assuming you’re not killed in one of Sir David Nicholson’s and Cynthia Bower’s filthy, slaughterhouse hospitals, will you get anything for your lifetime’s NI contributions?

Let’s quickly look at the main changes:

1. While politicians and bureaucrats will still keep an early retirement age of around 60 for their generous pensions, the retirement age for the state pension will be going up towards 70 and even higher to reflect increasing longevity

2. The number of years NI contributions to be eligible for a state pension has been increased from 30 to 35 years

3. Previously, if you had paid sufficient NI contributions, this would have qualified your partner for 60% of the state pension. Now your partner will be eligible for nowt. They will have to have made their own NI contributions.

4. If I understand correctly, those who have paid for an increased state pension with SERPS and things like that will soon get nothing at all in return for their extra payments – everyone who is eligible for the state pension will get the same flat-rate pension of about £144 a week

5. Next, the Government is going to means-test universal benefits such as free bus passes, winter fuel allowances and free TV licences.

This may save a billion or two. But with our national debt heading towards £1.5trn by 2015, Britain will still be bankrupt. So, the really big question is whether, at some time in the future, in the name of “fairness” or something like that, our overpaid, over-pensioned masters will means-test the state pension. If that happens and you have a small private pension and/or say £50,000 in savings, you may find that you get absolutely nothing for your lifetime’s NI contributions.

If they means-test the state pension, the winners will be those who have saved nothing and so will get a full pension and those who have never worked as they will get NI credits for every year they have spent on the dole. The other winners will be immigrants, who have nothing, as they will get social security payments which may be almost as much as the full state pension. The losers will be those who have paid NI and/or have saved up a bit

Just something worth bearing in mind.

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