State pension: Private sector saving prososals for over 50s blasted | Personal Finance | Finance

Before resigning in protest against Boris Johnson, former Minister of Pensions and Financial Inclusion Guy Opperman suggested that Britons could be given a boost earlier in their adult lives to help their wealth and general well-being.

Mr Opperman was speaking at the Labor and Pensions Committee’s inquiry into saving for later life on Wednesday when he suggested “early intervention” by the private sector.

He said: “The blunt truth is that what we have mainly focused on is the period between 50 and 65.

“This is what successive governments have been looking at in this space.”

The former minister added: “I am trying to develop some private sector-led positive interventions from really different ways of looking at early interventions.

“And the purpose of that is that I want people to look at their work, wealth and well-being before the age of 50.

“There’s a commissioning process going on, as you can imagine that is tortuous. If I do nothing else, I want to do an earlier intervention before the age of 50.

“Yes, of course I care about retirement, but I am also interested in well-being at work and the holistic view.”

Dennis Reed, of Silver Voices, told Mr. Opperman “misses the point by concentrating on private pensions”.

He said: “It is our state pension system that needs urgent attention, along with national insurance and tax contributions to ensure free social care in later life.

“When the Welfare State was established after the Second World War, it was envisaged that the state would provide a living state pension through lifelong National Insurance contributions. Private pensions will be a supplement.

“Instead, national insurance contributions were used for other purposes and the state pension was allowed to decline to the worst in the developed world.

“No one can live on the basic state pension rate of £ 140 per week without relying on benefits.

“It is a national disgrace, and the low pensions that can be achieved through automatic enrollment are not the answer.

“There must be a new arrangement for state pensions, with sufficient contributions to provide a living pension of two-thirds average earnings.”

Jan Shortt, general secretary of the National Pensioners’ Convention, also spoke to and said the group agrees “in principle” with encouraging earlier savings for pensions.

She told the store: “It is difficult to persuade young people who have many demands on their income to save for when they are older.

“It will therefore depend on how this proposal is presented to them – they must help them understand why it is so important to plan ahead.

“However, many in low-paid positions today may never be able to afford to save enough in a private pension to supplement the state pension properly.

“Meanwhile, the proposal is no help for the millions of older people who are currently living on poor, and unequal pensions, as well as those, largely low-paid workers over 50 who are approaching an impoverished retirement.

“As it stands now, one in three who are currently in their 50s will not have enough to retire.

“The government must start easing the various state pension levels to ensure that everyone receives a decent income upon retirement.”

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