Protection of pensioner exemption from national insurance contributions

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2012 National Retired Members Conference
20 June 2012

In the 2011 budget, the Chancellor revealed plans to merge income tax and national insurance, asserting “It is time that we take this historic step to simplify our tax system and make it fit for the modern age”. At present, those who have reached state pension age are exempt from paying any further national insurance contributions. Although the Chancellor also stated, “I am not proposing that we extend national insurance to pensioners or other income”, there is serious concern that a merged and ‘simplified’ tax system could result in an increased overall rate of income tax being applied to everyone, including pensioners.

A preliminary consultation, to which the TUC submitted evedence, was completed during 2011, and the 2012 budget announced that a more detailed consultation would follow after the summer. Conference calls on UNISON to make representations aimed at ensuring that any eventual merged tax system would retain an appropriate level of exemption for pensioners, equivalent to the current exemption from national insurance contributions at then time of implementation.