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Closed petition Make the State Pension equal to Minimum Wage (40hr/wk 23+) to all from age 60

The State Pension is far too low. The Government must increase the basic State Pension to £21,673.60 a year (£416.80 pw) and extend this to everyone aged 60 or over. This should lift thousands out of poverty, give our elderly folk more power to survive, and help grow the real economy, bottom up.

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From April 2023 someone aged 23 or over working 40 hours a week would be entitled to a minimum of £416.80 a week.

A State Pension Age of 60 for all, based on 40 hours a week at the minimum wage, reflects that there has been a decline in improvements in life expectancy, and that health often deteriorates long before people are able to claim State Pension currently.

Today's young are tomorrows old, so removing the need for the means-tested Pension Credit, that discourages savers, is defending the future of all, and investing directly into the real economy via a much higher State Pension, universally paid.

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Government responded

This response was given on 10 October 2023

The Government has no plans to increase the basic State Pension to £21,673.60 a year (£416.80 pw) and extend this to everyone aged 60 or over.

There has been no policy change since this topic was debated on 12 December 2022 (https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/617603) and the e-petition response on 7 February 2023 (Increase State Pensions to £416.80 per week & lower Retirement Age to 60 for All - Petitions (parliament.uk))
We are committed to ensuring economic security for people at every stage of their life, including when they reach retirement. 

This year, the Government will spend over £151 billion directly on the State Pension and benefits for pensioners in Great Britain. In April, the State Pension saw its biggest ever rise, increasing by 10.1%. The full yearly rate of the new State Pension is now over £10,600 per year. In addition, the full yearly amount of the basic State Pension is over £3,050 higher, in cash terms, than in 2010. That’s £790 more than if it had been uprated by earnings and £945 more than if it had been uprated by inflation (since 2010).

We also provide additional support to older people, which includes the provision of free bus passes, free prescriptions, Winter Fuel Payments, and Cold Weather Payments. The Government is committed to alleviating pensioner poverty. There are 200,000 fewer pensioners in absolute poverty (both before and after housing costs) than in 2009/10.

The Government has also acted to support pensioners with rising living costs. This includes a £650 Cost of Living Payment to more than 8 million low-income households on qualifying means-tested benefits, including Pension Credit, with separate one-off payments of £300 to pensioner households (through and as an addition to the Winter Fuel Payment) and £150 to individuals receiving extra costs disability benefits.

Around 1.4 million of the most vulnerable pensioners also receive some £5 billion of Pension Credit, which tops up their retirement income and is a passport to other financial help such as support with housing costs, council tax, heating bills and a free TV licence for those over 75.

Pension Credit is a means tested benefit and provides a top up for people of State Pension age to a weekly minimum amount, (currently £201.05 for single people and £306.85 for couples. These amounts may be higher for those with caring responsibilities, a severe disability or certain housing costs. This approach ensures that spending is targeted at those most in need. Information about Pension Credit is available from the Government website – www.gov.uk - by entering ‘Pension Credit’ into the search bar.

We have reformed the State Pension system, introducing the new State Pension in 2016 as a simpler, clearer system as a sustainable foundation for private saving. The new State Pension is set above the means-test level of Pension Credit to encourage private saving.

Automatic enrolment into workplace pensions was introduced in 2012 to encourage more people to save for their retirement – over 10 million employees have already been automatically enrolled into a workplace pension. Together, the new State Pension and Automatic Enrolment to workplace pensions provide a robust system for retirement provision for decades to come.

We have no plans to reverse changes to State Pension age. Changes to State Pension age were made over a series of Acts by successive governments from 1995 onwards, following public consultations and extensive debates in both Houses of Parliament. Reforms have focused on maintaining the right balance between the affordability, sustainability of the State Pension, and fairness between generations. The current state pension age is 66.

The second Government Review of State Pension age was published on 30 March 2023. It reconfirmed that the planned increase in State Pension age from 66 to 67 will take place between 2026-2028. It also concluded that there will be a further review within two years of the next Parliament to consider age 68. This further review will be supported by the latest evidence including life expectancy projections, updated with the 2021 Census data, and the economic position.

Department for Work and Pensions