UK has no trust left in politicians to protect pensions – poll finds

Martin Lewis advises pensioner on savings accounts

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A shocking 91 percent of people said they do not trust the Government to protect the state pension over the next 40 years, in a poll of 2,992 people held from October 14 to 18 by Express.co.uk. Only seven percent of people did trust the Government and two percent were not sure.

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One reader said: “How can anyone trust a government to protect pensions after the past 50 years of gerrymandering and robbing the pension provision as it is the easiest pot to exploit.”

Another agreed: “The only pensions they’ll protect are their own and public sector pensions.

“Private sector pensions and the state pension are there to be robbed – that goes for all parties.”

Express.co.uk’s results mirror those produced by the Great British Retirement Survey which said most young people doubt there will be a state pension at all by the time they retire.

These findings come after a year of financial setbacks for Britons.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced in September that the triple lock, which ensures the state pension rises with the rate of inflation, has been suspended for one year and instead of receiving an 8.8 percent rise, pensioners received a 2.5 percent rise.

At the same time, Prime Minister Boris Johnson increased National Insurance tax by 1.25 percent and expanded it to include earning pensioners for the first time.

According to the Great British Retirement Survey run by Interactive Investor, the stress of future finances weighs heavily on Britons, as 41 percent of non-retired people and 27 percent of retired people say they are concerned about running out of money in retirement.

The current state pension stands at roughly £137.60 per week, which is just 24.8 percent of average earnings in the UK, according to the Pension Policy Institute.

Many financial experts advise people to invest in private pension pots to add onto the state pension they will receive.

Stephen Lowe, Director at Retirement services company Just, said: “The state pension alone will not provide a comfortable standard of living so checking your entitlement for other State Benefits should be as much a part of planning for retirement as understanding what your private pension and other savings will provide.”

But young people are less and less able to contribute to private pensions in their twenties and early thirties because the cost of living and rent prices have risen to unattainable heights, and money that can be saved is put towards buy a house.

The Government does offer pensioner benefits such as Pension Credit, the Housing Benefit, free pensioner bus pass, free prescriptions, winter fuel payments and the free TV licence.

A spokesperson from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said: “We are committed to ensuring that older people are able to live with the dignity and respect they deserve and the state pension is the foundation of support for older people.

“Since 2010, State Pension has increased by over £2,050 in cash terms and we expect to spend more than £125 billion on benefits for pensioners in 2020/21.”

With a national debt of more than £2trillion, Mr Sunak is expected to announce more tax rises in his Budget plan next week, and lowering the Lifetime Allowance cap could be on the agenda.

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Lifetime Allowance is the total amount you can build up in all your pension savings without incurring a tax charge, and it currently sits at just over £1million.

Express.co.uk asked readers whether the Treasury should allow couples to pool the Lifetime Allowance cap so that one person can save a total of £2million without being taxed, if the other person does not earn a wage.

Only 35 percent of people said couples should be allowed to pool their Lifetime Allowance together, whilst 31 percent of people said they should not, and 34 percent were not sure.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments section below.

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