A briefing paper examined the Pensions Bill 2013/14.
Source: Djuna Thurley and Steven Kennedy, Pensions Bill 2013/14, Standard Note 06634, House of Commons Library
Links: Briefing paper
A briefing paper examined assessed income periods for pension credit.
Source: Djuna Thurley, Pension Credit: Assessed income periods, Standard Note 6677, House of Commons Library
Links: Briefing paper
A report said that older people found good health, followed by sufficient income, to be the key to a happy retirement. The survey found that people reported concerns about their longer term financial security, having lost income during the recent period of low interest rates. Pre-retirees were found to report lower levels of saving than in previous surveys, as well as a rising cost of living.
Source: The Aviva Real Retirement Report: Autumn 2013, Aviva
A briefing paper looked a the background to, and proposal for, a single-tier state pension.
Source: Djuna Thurley, Single-tier State Pension, Standard Note SN 6525, House of Commons Library
Links: Briefing paper
An article said that regional variation in the risk of fuel poverty among older people in England was not explained by differences in rainfall and winter temperatures.
Source: Robert de Vries and David Blane, 'Fuel poverty and the health of older people: the role of local climate', Journal of Public Health, Volume 35 Number 3
An article examined the financial well-being of elderly people in Europe, and the redistributive effects of minimum pension schemes. Such schemes were effective in tackling poverty, but not in ensuring that older people enjoyed financial well-being in line with the general population.
Source: Francesco Figari, Manos Matsaganis, and Holly Sutherland, 'The financial well-being of elderly people in Europe and the redistributive effects of minimum pension schemes', Rivista Italiana degli Economisti, Volume 18 Issue 2
A think-tank report examined the situation of older people on middle incomes. It said that government should adopt a 'presumption of equality' when considering public policy for different age groups. There was a 'legitimate worry' that older people had not been sharing sufficiently in public spending cuts. Policies that appeared to give special advantages to older people as a category should be reviewed.
Source: Andrew Harrop, A Presumption of Equality: The changing face of old age and what it means for fairness, Fabian Society
A think-tank report said that cutting 'perks' for pensioners such as winter fuel payments or TV licences was 'simply tinkering around the edges': it would save at most £3 billion. In contrast, state pension costs were set to rise by some £40 billion over the next 50 years, leaving younger generations 'saddled with enormous financial burdens'.
Source: Matthew Oakley, Capping Welfare, Policy Exchange
A paper examined the prospects for harmonizing retirement pensions systems in the European Union.
Source: Florence Legros, The Future of Retirement Pensions in the European Union, Robert Schuman Foundation
A report said that women in Europe received pensions that were 39 per cent lower on average than those of men. It developed a new indicator for gender equality, the 'gender pension gap': together with the 'gender pay gap', this would help to assess the magnitude of gender inequality in the course of people's lives.
Source: Francesca Bettio, Platon Tinios, and Gianni Betti (with Francesca Gagliardi and Thomas Georgiadis), The Gender Gap in Pensions in the EU, European Commission
A report said that 28 per cent of older people who were in debt were considered to be in 'problem debt' a total of 1.1 million.
Source: Dylan Kneale and Trinley Walker, Tales of the Tallyman: Debt and problem debt among older people, International Longevity Centre UK
A think-tank report called for cuts in spending on the NHS and pensions on the grounds that they were 'unsustainable'.
Source: Cathy Corrie and Patrick Nolan, Seismic Shifts in the Welfare State: Demographic trends and pension and NHS reform, Reform
A think-tank report said that the new universal credit delivered only mixed benefits for older people, thus missing an opportunity to encourage more of them into work. Whereas many older workers would be better off under universal credit, others would see their financial incentives to work sharply reduced: this was because of the abolition of the 'hours rules' for tax credits, which benefited people who worked a small numbers of hours.
Source: Giselle Cory, Getting On: Universal credit and older workers, Resolution Foundation
A think-tank report identified a 'disconnect' between attitudes/assumptions about older people and the reality of their economic position. 'Middle income' pensioners were almost as well off as middle-income people of working age. Older age was no longer a proxy for poverty, and older people should take their share of the pain of deficit reduction and pay tax at the same rate as working people on similar incomes. High levels of home-ownership among older people posed a threat to inter-generational fairness: rising house prices helped neither older people, who rarely unlocked the equity or 'downsized', nor younger people who were priced out of the market. More new homes, including better options to tempt would-be downsizers, and a property tax, would restrain house price rises.
Source: Andrew Harrop, Ageing in the Middle: Implications for housing and attitudes towards age equality, Fabian Society
An article examined how changes in the distribution of pre-retirement labour earnings affected post-retirement income. The distribution of labour earnings before retirement played a 'considerable role' in the pension distribution of retirees, particularly for low and medium incomes. The existing system of public and private pension schemes had not substantially improved pension income dispersion among women: on the other hand, changes in labour earning distributions had benefited more poor female pensioners than male ones.
Source: Roberta Adami, Orla Gough, and Angeliki Theophilopoulou, 'The effect of labour earnings on post retirement income', Journal of Economic Studies, Volume 40 Issue 3
A report questioned whether free travel passes were intergenerationally fair. Increasing numbers of people claiming free passes were not using them for leisure travel, as intended, but were instead commuting to work for free.
Source: Jeremy Leach, Fare Concessions for Older People: Identifying the numbers, Intergenerational Foundation
Two linked reports examined material deprivation among older people. The authors said that their findings confirmed the need for a broader poverty measure that looked beyond low income. Low income did not automatically result in a pensioner living in material deprivation, because some managed well on a low income. On the other hand, pensioners who had an income above the low-income threshold might still experience material deprivation due to higher living costs.
Source: Mehul Kotecha, Sue Arthur, and Steven Coutinho, Understanding the Relationship between Pensioner Poverty and Material Deprivation, Research Report 827, Department for Work and Pensions | Anna Bartlett, Claire Frew, and Joanne Gilroy, Understanding Material Deprivation among Older People, In-House Research 14, Department for Work and Pensions
A new book examined later-life poverty across the 25 member states of the European Union. It analyzed the poverty risks faced by older people, and discussed how such risks ought to be measured.
Source: Asghar Zaidi (ed.), Poverty among Older People and Pensions Policy in the EU, Ashgate Publications
An article examined the targeting of attendance allowance (an extra-cost disability benefit for older people). Uptake was found to be highly responsive to the onset of disability. Timely receipt of the allowance reduced disabled older people's financial strain.
Source: Francesca Zantomio, 'Older people's participation in extra-cost disability benefits', Journal of Health Economics, Volume 32 Issue 1
A report (by an official advisory body) made a range of recommendations designed to make tax simpler for pensioners. It proposed simplifying the married couple's allowance to remove the existing income abatement system and streamlining administrative aspects, replacing it with a flat-rate payment for those still eligible. It also said the 10 per cent savings rate was both complex and ineffective, with low awareness and take up: it would be much simpler and more effective to abolish the 10 per cent rate and use the money saved to improve other incentives.
Source: Review of Pensioners' Taxation: Final Report, Office of Tax Simplification
A study examined whether different needs among older pensioners might alter significantly the income that they needed for an acceptable standard of living. It was found that older pensioners did not have fewer needs compared with younger pensioners. When discussing a minimum acceptable standard of living, older pensioners did not need less and there was no evidence that they had lower expectations, or that there were systematic economies from life being less 'full'.
Source: Yvette Hartfree, Donald Hirsch, and Liz Sutton, Minimum Income Standards and Older Pensioners Needs, Joseph Rowntree Foundation
A think-tank report (edited by a former minister in the coalition government) called for the winter fuel payment to be taken away from most pensioners, and for the money saved to be used to pay for a cap on long-term care costs.
Source: Paul Burstow (ed.), Delivering Dilnot: Paying for elderly care, CentreForum