Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Idiot Of The Day: Gregg McClymont

From The Daily Mail:

In a further blow, hundreds of thousands of women coming up to retirement will not be eligible for the new flat-rate pension – although men who are the same age will be.

Around 430,000 women born in 1952 and 1953 will not be eligible for the new pension since they are due to retire before 2017, before the reforms come into effect. Men born during the same period, however, will qualify because their State pension age is currently 65.

Shadow pensions minister Gregg McClymont said: "Ministers have been caught red-handed hiding the truth on pensions reforms. Almost half a million women will be nearly £2,000 worse off compared with men, but instead of being honest with the women that will lose out this government tried to bury the truth."

The article doesn't say how he calculated that £2,000 (is that per annum or over a lifetime?) and like most people he gleefully ignores the existence of the Pensions Credit, which tops up single women's retirement income to a minimum of £142.70 anyway. The Pensions Credit could very easily be re-jigged into a Citizen's Pension, giving our starting position, this would be the simplest way of doing it.

But what he merrily overlooks is the fact that those women will be retiring five years earlier than men born at the same time, so they are still ahead by five years' worth of old age pension, even if that's only £100 a week, that's still £26,000 in total, isn't it? If you like, you can add on another five years' worth because women live longer.

And there is nothing to stop them from working for another five years, the same as men (the old age pension itself is not means-tested). If we take those earnings into account, then we have ourselves a meaningful comparison and from where I'm sitting, women still come out miles ahead.


A K Haart said...

I tend to suspect these "mistakes" are sometimes deliberate in order to spin a story from nothing.

. said...

I "loved" the debate on Newsnight about this new pension arrangement. Someone "economist" or other was moaning that people just setting out on the journey of working life (or similar BS) will get less in pensions than the baby boomers.

Umm, I think that's the idea.


Mark Wadsworth said...

AKH, yes, that's what they do.

BE, all this pension reform is a mix of good and bad. Seeing as out pension system is pay-as-you-go welfare, the idea that every recipient gets the same is clearly a good idea.

They've just mixed in loads of other stuff (end contracting out of NIC) to enable all the whiners to do their diagonal comparisons to "prove" that everybody will somehow be worse off.

None of them consider the fact that the generation after that will be better off (all things being equal), as they have to pay out less in old age welfare payments.

Lola said...

"...and from where I'm sitting, women still come out miles ahead. Women always do. I know this. I have a wife and four daughters. They explain to me every day why it is right that I lose out as I am just a man. Even my dogs have no knackers. sigh

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