Don’t be fooled – you’re unlikely to get a full state pension if you’re retiring in the next few years

The Branch has received the first in a series of briefings prepared by UNISON’s Pension Unit to increase awareness of what is going on and why changes in pensions are important for all UNISON members.

The attached briefing sets out the changes to the State Pension that will affect everyone who is reaching their State Pension Age on or after 6 April 2016. It was written by UNISON National Pensions Officer Alan Fox.

In it he says: “You may have heard that from 6 April 2016… your state pension will become £150 a week, as this is what the new state pension amount will be. Sadly you’re likely to be in for a shock!”  The full Pension Briefing

When the proposals were first put forward by the former pensions minister Steve Webb, UNISON  highlighted the fact that the changes were ‘cost neutral’ meaning that there will be losers as well as winners and that the new State Pension is not simply an increased Basic State Pension.  It in effect merges the Basic State Pension with the Second State Pension.

Many of our members will in due course receive a higher state pension than they would otherwise have received although at a cost of paying more in National Insurance contributions. What is equally apparent is that many of our members who are relatively close to their State Pension Age will not get the full new State Pension amount of approximately £150 a week, a fact which is not widely recognised.

Nearly all the employer pension schemes in both the public and private sectors were ‘contracted out’ of the State Second Pension Scheme, which means members were earning pension in their employer’s pension scheme instead of the State Second Pension Scheme.

The briefing explains this in greater detail and lets members near to their State Pension Age know how they can get a pensions forecast  of their new State Pension.

The Pensions Unit also answer questions sent by email to: PensionsM@unison.co.uk

Source: Pension News Briefing May/June 2015

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