'wealthy pensioners urged to give up benefits'

(158 Posts)
mirry2 Sun 28-Apr-13 22:54:22

How wealthy is wealthy?

lottieandmia Sun 28-Apr-13 22:57:34

The problem with making pensioner benefits means tested is that some people who need them and are entitled won't apply for them at all.

I do think pensioners deserve protection. Some old people have no family to look after their interests.

Dawndonna Mon 29-Apr-13 10:08:40

As wealthy as IDS who, I am damn sure, isn't going to give up his commons expenses. Despite the fact that he really doesn't need them.
hmm

Startail Mon 29-Apr-13 10:14:11

I think the idiots might actually find that 'wealthy' pensioners already do a great deal of good with their spare money. Supporting their own DCs and GC, giving directly to charity or indirectly in petrol etc. doing voluntary work.

I suspect my DFs in the WI might like to tell IDS where to go!

Squarepebbles Mon 29-Apr-13 10:15:43

I don't think it should be voluntary.

Any 'rich' pensioners who retire whilst earning 50k(the threshold for CB cuts) shouldn't be getting any benefits in the first place.

euwa Mon 29-Apr-13 10:25:10

Wouldn't be an unreasonable suggestion given the state of the country if they had been leading by example for at least a year! The cheek! Even though I am not, and unless a miracle occurs, never will be in a position to be considered a wealthy pensioner.

ChocolateCakePlease Mon 29-Apr-13 10:40:21

I suppose on the other hand they could say if you aim to work hard all your life, educate yourself and try to save you get penalised for it in retirement. Swings n roundabouts i guess.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 29-Apr-13 10:43:18

He wasn't 'urging' anyone just pointing out that if anyone wanted to hand back their winter fuel allowance or whatever there is the facility to do so. Heard him interviewed this morning.

shufflehopstep Mon 29-Apr-13 10:45:21

I saw a report presented by William G Stewart about 4 or 5 years ago talking about exactly this. He said that after years of working in television he and his wife had retired quite comfortably and didn't need the fuel allowance and wanted to give it back but there was no mechanism for doing it. They gave it to charity but I think there should be a system to allow people to give it back if they want to. I bet there are plenty of people out there who are fair and not greedy and would do it. There are so many who need it but there are also many who don't and they should be able to refuse it.

higgle Mon 29-Apr-13 10:47:42

I know Peter Stringfellow sent his back on the basis of his wealth - I suspect he doesn't like receiving anything that reminds him of his chronological age!

landofsoapandglory Mon 29-Apr-13 10:50:16

I don't think it should be voluntary, it should be compulsory.

Some pensioners do not need their WFA, TV license and bus pass, so they shouldn't receive them IMO. I am getting sick of hearing that they have paid in, so they are entitled to it! They haven't just paid in for their pensions, and it wasn't a savings account that they paid into.

Why should families who are having their tax credits cut, CB cut, housing benefit cut, DLA cut, be told they have to work longer, keep having their pay frozen, have to pay for these benefits? Look at all the people visiting food banks, it ain't pensioners!

skippedtheripeoldmango Mon 29-Apr-13 10:52:50

Seeing as 50% of the benefits budget from the DWP goes to pensioners I think the government should be making sure that only those who need additional help get it - everyone else is means tested.

SirChenjin Mon 29-Apr-13 10:53:44

I think there should be a mechanism for giving it back, yes, but don't agree it should be compulsory for all - I suspect the Govt's definition of wealthy is not the kind of wealthy I'm thinking about, so as usual the ones in the middle who have worked and saved will be hit hardest.

Squarepebbles Mon 29-Apr-13 10:56:20

They haven't paid enough in for the NHS and their pensions anyway,we'll be footing the bill for the shortfall.

gazzalw Mon 29-Apr-13 10:57:13

I think that the current pensioners generation(s) have all lived thro' relative hardship in their lives, if only with rationing during WW2 and the aftermath. I do not think that they are money-grasping at all so am entirely confident that many will do the right thing in returning unneeded benefits.

By all means call on the well-off elderly (although quite what constitutes 'well-off' is anyone's guess) to give up their benefits but do the same for the well-off MPs who don't need to be penny-pinching about reclaiming everything on expenses.

I think it's a slightly silly suggestion, mainly because as Startail says many wealthy pensioners already do a lot for society, their community, and their families, for example giving to charity and supporting worthy causes. A pensioner I saw interviewed said she does already give her winter fuel allowance to charity, and I think that's a nice gesture that others could copy, I expect quite a few either do so, or give more than that to charity already. The other things such as a bus pass and TV license I can't really see people giving up and then going out of their way to pay for - and the rich probably don't often travel by bus anyway. I think it's really good that older people are helped to have some basic entertainment (TV) and the ability to get about more easily. This improves quality of life for many I'm sure.
If I was ever fortunate enough to be that rich I just don't think I would voluntarily go through the extra hassle of rescinding such benefits.I'd just do more for charity if I could. And if I needed a prescription, which let's face it is always due to ill health of some description, I'd be grateful that society was showing me some respect in my later years.

ValentineWiggins Mon 29-Apr-13 10:58:39

Actually there is a very simple way to do it - put it on the tax return. If you are a wealthy pensioner you will already be filling one in so just include it there. If you are then in the upper tax bracket the value if these things gets taken back in tax. No means testing forms or particularly extra paperwork.

Squarepebbles Mon 29-Apr-13 11:10:11

I don't think voluntary would work,clearly many think they're entitled.

I also think poorer pensioners who never earned enough in low paid jobs to get a gold plated pension should be protected and given more.

Soooo if 50k is deemed as wealthy by DC for CB cuts anybody lucky enough to be on 50k pre retirement shouldn't be getting anything.

Either 50k is wealthy or it isn't.

shufflehopstep Mon 29-Apr-13 11:13:25

Means testing is always a tricky one as people in the middle often lose out. The report I saw said that (at the time) there were many MPs who were receiving it too and they should be the ones leading by example.

Squarepebbles Mon 29-Apr-13 11:14:54

So how is it ok for middle income families to continuously lose out then?

Seems to me the definition of 'wealthy' changes to suit DC whenever he feels like protecting his core voters.

larry5 Mon 29-Apr-13 11:43:15

Dh is now a pensioner and is getting WFA and has a bus pass. He does not get a free TV licence as you have to be over 75 to get one. Dh has a fairly good state pension because of the amount of NI and graduated pension/serps etc. that he paid in over the years. We also have a small amount of savings.

Why should we not receive the WFA? We don't make much use of the free bus pass at the moment as bus fares here are very expensive but when I get my pension next year we will be using buses more to cut down on our expenses. By the way you have to apply for a bus pass so it only costs money if you use buses and most pensioners we know are still driving as it is easier to get around if you can afford to run a car.

CloudsAndTrees Mon 29-Apr-13 11:43:34

IDS was on telly this morning saying that he neither encouraged or discouraged pensioners to give up their benefits if they didn't need it. He said he was just answering a question, it's entirely up to the recipients of said benefits to do what they want with them, and there is a mechanism to pay back these benefits for their people who want to.

I can't see the problem.

I agree with there being some universal benefits, and I think old age is the right time to receive those.

infamouspoo Mon 29-Apr-13 11:53:53

I think WFA should be linked to pension tax credits then those who need it would get it.

MrsMarigold Mon 29-Apr-13 11:59:46

I think this is outrageous and pensioners should be entitled to benefits 'wealthy' or not. Although with the ageing population I agree that it is a problem we need to think about.

My DH reckons that there won't be any benefits by the time we go on pension so to enjoy a decent old age, our generation will need savings of at least £1million, (not tied up in your home either). It keeps us up at night a lot as we don't have those sort of savings and even if we work our socks off we won't.

Squarepebbles Mon 29-Apr-13 12:00:27

So do I infamous.

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