Poll: 68 is too late for state pension, is “unfair” and will hit the poorest hardest

Neil Foster of Progressive Polling reports on new poll data showing public disapproval of the government’s plans to raise the state pension age.

E-mail-sign-up Donate

 

.

By Neil Foster of Progressive Polling

One of the least discussed elements of George Osborne’s controversial budget was the announcement on the state pension age. The coalition government’s proposed plans would delay state pension ages to 68 which would be the latest point of anywhere in Europe.

George-Osborne-corpseThe government wants to link this higher retirement age to life expectancy, meaning even further delays for people receiving their pension in the future.

Subsequent analysis from pensions and investments analysts at Standard Life shows the policy of linking to life expectancy would have dramatic implications for the younger generation of workers – it would mean a 37-year-old would have to wait until 70 before receiving their state pension.

Meanwhile, a 21-year-old would have to wait until they were 75, and someone born this year would be working until they were 80 and not get their state pension until 2092.

This week, the Unite, PCS and NUT trade unions are highlighting public rejection of the government’s plans to delay retiring until 68.

The www.68istoolate.org.uk campaign points to YouGov poll findings (pdf) published today showing widescale political opposition to the measures:

As Chart 1 shows, 77% of voters do not think it’s fair Britain is increasing the state pension age longer than anywhere else in Europe. 14% believe it is fair and 9% don’t know;

There is strong opposition across supporters of all political parties: 69% of people who voted Conservative at the 2010 general election think it is unfair, as do 77% of people who voted Lib Dems and 90% of those who voted Labour.

Chart 1:

Fair-or-unfair-UK-state-pension-age-higher-than-other-European-countries
Opposition is strong among two groups of voters the Conservative Party needs to regain support from:

Women voters are a more likely to think it is unfair than men (81% versus 73%);

Meanwhile, 83% of C2DE voters are opposed. compared to 73% of ABC1 voters.

Among those directly affected by the policy:

A clear majority (62%) are uncomfortable with the government’s plan to delay the point someone can receive their state pension until 68;

The same figure (62%) believe the plans to raise the state retirement age to at least 68 will hit the poorest pensioners the most, with 24% thinking it will hit all pensioners equally, 12% not knowing and just 1% thinking it will hurt the wealthiest pensioners most, as Chart 2 shows.

Chart 2:

Will-raising-state-pension-age-harm-wealthier-or-poorer-pensioners-more
Voters see a number of risks with the government’s proposal to delay the state pension age until 68:

31% saw it as people having less opportunity to enjoy retirement while healthy and 29% thought it meant fewer jobs being available for younger people;

Only 16% thought older people would be less able to do physically or mentally demanding jobs and 15% thought poorer health would result from having to work for longer;

Just 2% thought it was grandparents being less able to spend time with or help out with their grandchildren.

 


See also:

Osborne’s ‘granny tax’: Robbing pensioners to pay the one per cent 19 Apr 2012

Osborne’s ‘granny tax’ will sting those on a personal pension of just £67 a week 19 Apr 2012

Government gold-plates private pensions while cutting public ones 27 Jan 2012

Raising the pension age will be a public health disaster 18 Dec 2011

The coalition continues its ‘women problem’ by taking away our pensions 30 Nov 2011


 

There is a political danger for the government that its policy is seen as a ‘work-until-you-drop’ initiative that will not adversely affect its ministers or the more affluent. This is in direct contrast to debate in France where newly elected President Hollande is promising to reduce the state pension age from 62 to 60 years for some workers.

Regardless of what happens in France, though, there is an opportunity for campaigners to highlight the huge variation between what the UK coalition government is proposing and what is recommended in other European countries. The delaying and linking of state pension age to life expectancy risks being another government measure that will hit the next generation the hardest and the least well off the most.

It’s a policy that is set to face disapproval across the political spectrum in the short and long term.

You can download the data in full here.

 


Sign-up to our weekly email • Donate to Left Foot Forward

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today. 

34 Responses to “Poll: 68 is too late for state pension, is “unfair” and will hit the poorest hardest”

  1. leftlinks

    Left Foot Forward – Poll: 68 is too late for state pension, is “unfair” and will hit the… http://t.co/BbsqnSuZ

  2. Nick McCarthy

    RT @leftfootfwd: Poll: 68 is too late for state pension, is “unfair” and will hit the poorest hardest http://t.co/dgrOMNaI

  3. 68 is too late

    Poll: 68 is too late for state pension, is “unfair” and will hit the poorest hardest: http://t.co/m0eus0Lx by @ProgPoll’s @NeilRFoster

  4. George McIrvine

    Poll: 68 is too late for state pension, is “unfair” and will hit the poorest hardest: http://t.co/m0eus0Lx by @ProgPoll’s @NeilRFoster

  5. Julian

    This survey assumes there is a discretionary pot of money that the government can decide to spend on pensions or not. Asking people whether they’d like something for nothing and discovering that they would, proves nothing.

  6. Alex Snowdon

    Poll: 68 is too late for state pension, is “unfair” and will hit the poorest hardest – http://t.co/Tb63Y1Vr #68toolate

  7. Rob

    Poll: 68 is too late for state pension, is “unfair” and will hit the poorest hardest: http://t.co/m0eus0Lx by @ProgPoll’s @NeilRFoster

  8. Selohesra

    And will The two Eds be committing a future Labour government to reversing the age increases?

  9. Alex Braithwaite

    RT @leftfootfwd: Poll: 68 is too late for state pension, is “unfair” and will hit the poorest hardest http://t.co/G4zifaI1

  10. Noxi

    RT @leftfootfwd: Poll: 68 is too late for state pension, is “unfair” and will hit the poorest hardest: http://t.co/tG28o2zq by…

  11. BevR

    RT @leftfootfwd: Poll: 68 is too late for state pension, is “unfair” and will hit the poorest hardest http://t.co/rWaBWxVq

  12. Stephen Wigmore

    The fact that other EU countries have unsustainable policies is not an argument that we should also have unsustainable policies. On that argument we should have joined the Euro. The fact others do something doesn’t make a bad idea a good idea.

    I’m not saying I support the government’s plans but please actually argue on the basis of whether it is necessary to make pensions sustainable in the face of demographic pressures or not. Don’t just say everyone else is not doing it.

  13. Dominic Carolan

    RT @leftfootfwd: Poll: 68 is too late for state pension, is “unfair” and will hit the poorest hardest http://t.co/KhPK6czA

  14. Nikki Jayne

    I’m 24… I’d be expected to work until my 70s then? Err, fuck that. Gosh, the sooner I can emigrate, the better. I knew I was taking Swedish classes for a reason!

  15. Anonymous

    Why would they do that? It’s not like they’re left wingers.

  16. Anonymous

    Ah yes, that other EU countries will allow people to retire at ages where they can enjoy their retirement is utterly abhorrent to your Feral 1%. You’re saying they’re not going far enough, of course.

  17. Julian

    If you don’t work into your 70s, how much are you prepared to pay now in tax so that no one else has to work until their 70s? Or are you just expecting others to pay you from their taxes?

  18. Anonymous

    Ah yes, typical Feral 1%. You can pay all you like, it’s going on corporate welfare rather than the 99%, suckers.

  19. Selohesra

    I just thought that given the tenor of the article and the fact that LFF tend to spin for Labour then perhaps they had got the inside track on some policy announcement from Ed to reduce age at which you can claim pension.

  20. Anonymous

    Yes, yes, I’m quite aware you can’t tell the difference between a centralist and a left winger from your vantage point, but it was worth hoping you’d developed an actual sense of h…oh well.

  21. Anonymous

    Yes, how DARE someone consider being able to retire among the 99%. No, the 1% need to pay ever-less tax, as the Tories are carrying through the changes to implement, and thus the 99% can’t be allowed to stop working.

    Never mind we’re alone in pushing it in this way, no, it’s somehow us who are “sustainable”, when in fact it’s yet another attack on workers here.

  22. Selohesra

    🙂

  23. Mr. Sensible

    This is a difficult one. Scrapping the compulsary retirement age is a good thing, in my opinion, as is equalizing it for men and women. Also, as we’re all living longer we need to seriously think about this.

    The problem is that the government is going too fast with it.

  24. Julian

    It’s so simple isn’t it? Just tax the 1% and all the problems go away. They will be sugar daddies for us all. Do you dispute the Laffer curve or do you just think we haven’t reached the optimum point yet where the tax take from the 1% is at its maximum?

    One answer is to wait and see what Hollande does. If he raises the tax on the rich to 75% as he has promised, let’s see just how much extra is received in the French Treasury.

  25. Anonymous

    No, simplistic solutions are your domain, not mine.

    We’re nowhere near hitting the Laughter curve’s implications with the UK tax rate. Especially when you consider that capital gains is 28%, and there are many, many tax exemptions the rich take advantage of.

    Sitting around and waiting while the UK economy crashes isn’t exactly a good idea either. There’s still time to rescue the UK economy without a hard crash, but continuing with “Plan A” for a few years more…

    Actually, I’m not big fan of that part of his plans, it’s far too large a jump. I am a fan of charging smaller firms a lower corporate tax rate (15%) compared to big firms (30%).

    What I *actually* advocate for the UK, on tax, is closing a lot of loopholes, raising capital gains for non-productive gambling and cracking down HARD on tax evasion (An infusion of spine from the IRS would be good, in my book).

    But hey, I’m only a gradualist rather than a revolutionary like you.

  26. Julian

    You make sensible suggestions and I wouldn’t disagree with most of them. I’m not convinced, though, that this would bring in enough money to pay for everything, including keeping the retirement age as it is now.

    When the state pension was introduced, most people worked almost until they died. Because of the increase in life expectancy, we now need to fund not a small percentage increase in pensionable years but many times the number of years retirement our great grandparents enjoyed.

    I don’t think anyone has a right to expect to retire at 65 just because that was the case until recently. We have the benefit of a far longer healthy retirement ahead of us even if the retirement age is raised.

    Finally, even if the money could be found as you suggest, is this the best use of it? Should we not spend it on the NHS or removing student fees or reversing the benefit cap or any number of other worthy causes. I expect to work well beyond 65 and actually consider that a good thing.

  27. Anonymous

    Someone who’s worked in a manual job most certain doesn’t have that luxury.

    One answer is, as proposed in France, allowing earlier retirement if you have a certain number of years banked up.

    But there are plenty of ways to handle this, including a higher tax rate to fund a higher state pension, removing the need for the lower and lower-middle classes to fund a private pension entirely, so they won’t be vulnerable to having it wiped out in the markets.

    Moreover, things like student funding is something which is most decidedly revenue-positive! The NHS, too, sustains many people in work when otherwise they’d be dependent on state aid.

    There are very good reasons that Germany and the Nordic Countries are doing so much better than we are. It’s time to pay attention.

  28. Progressive Polling

    Poll: 68 is too late for state pension, is “unfair” and will hit the poorest hardest: http://t.co/m0eus0Lx by @ProgPoll’s @NeilRFoster

  29. BevR

    RT @leftfootfwd: Poll: 68 is too late for state pension, is “unfair” and will hit the poorest hardest http://t.co/rWaBWxVq

  30. Rebecca Devitt

    Poll: 68 is too late for state pension, is “unfair” and will hit the poorest hardest: http://t.co/m0eus0Lx by @ProgPoll’s @NeilRFoster

  31. 68 is too late

    Poll: 68 is too late for state pension, is “unfair” and will hit the poorest hardest – http://t.co/Tb63Y1Vr #68toolate

  32. BevR

    RT @leftfootfwd: Poll: 68 is too late for state pension, is “unfair” and will hit the poorest hardest http://t.co/rWaBWxVq

  33. MariaHawkey

    Poll: 68 is too late for state pension, is “unfair” and will hit the poorest hardest: http://t.co/m0eus0Lx by @ProgPoll’s @NeilRFoster

  34. The hidden fees that are halving the value of UK pensions | Left Foot Forward

    […] See also: • Poll: 68 is too late for state pension, is “unfair” and will hit the poorest hardest 8 May […]

Leave a Reply