What are you going to do to help pensioners? From Liz Langley, Hunt End
I CAN assure you Liz I care deeply about our pensioners and recognise the contribution they have made, and continue to make, to British society and our local community.
A number of steps have been taken to support older people over the past few years.
A triple lock on the State Pension has been introduced, which will ensure the basic State Pension increases every year by the highest of earnings, prices or 2.5 per cent.
This change has seen the State Pension increase by £800 since 2010, which I’m sure has been welcomed by pensioners.
In addition I’m pleased to see a new pensioner bond has been created offering retired savers a return that is better than anything pensioners could get before.
The 65-plus pensioner bond has seen huge popular demand and is the most successful savings product in our history.
The NS&I bonds, initially made available on January 15 for one month, will now be available until May 15, 2015.
Alongside this, from April 2015 millions of people on Defined Contribution schemes will no longer have to buy an annuity if they don’t want to and there will be no punitive 55 per cent tax rate if you want to draw down more than your tax free lump sum. What’s more people who have worked hard and saved all their lives will rightly now be able to pass on their hard-earned pension pot tax-free.
Finally, the Government has protected universal benefits, including Winter Fuel Payments, bus passes and TV licences. Cold Weather Payments have also been increased and the Warm Home Discount introduced to provide vulnerable pensioners with a welcome £135 rebate on their energy bills.
I hope this reassures you that I share your belief that we must do everything we can to back pensioners who have worked hard throughout their lives and want security in their retirement.
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