- 2021 Virtual Retired Members Conference
- 29 June 2021
- Carried as Amended
Conference notes that many pensioners live in poverty and have a precarious existence. Many pensioners did not have access to an occupational pension and many remain unaware that they can claim pension credit to increase their income.
The UK state pension is one of the lowest in the developed world. Women are particularly affected by low income on retirement. In a speech in the House of Lords in February 2020 Baroness Janke stated ‘There is a significant pensions gender gap. The average pension pot of a woman aged 65 is one-fifth that of a 65-year-old man’s, and over 20 years, women receive £29,000 less in state pension than men. This deficit is set to continue, with all else being equal, closing by only 3% by 2060. Women are often most acutely disadvantaged by divorce.’
One example of increasing poverty amongst older women, in particular is the significant increase in the number filing for bankruptcy. From 2008 to 2018 the number of women over 65 entering bankruptcy doubled.
Conference is aware that the Triple Lock was introduced to counter pensioner poverty. Conference reiterates its support for a living pension and pension equality.
Therefore, Conference calls upon the National Retired Members’ Committee (NRMC) to work with the National Executive Council (NEC), the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and organisations representing pensioners to: –
1)Oppose the lifting of the Triple Lock even temporarily;
2. Promote the take up of pension credit;
3. Press the Government to establish a working party including representatives of the TUC, organisations representing pensioners in the UK and the Commissioners for Older People in Northern Ireland and Wales. The Working Party will make recommendations on measures to eliminate pensioner poverty and the gender pensions gap;
4. Press for the appointment of a Commissioner for Older People in every part of the UK in addition to those already in post in Northern Ireland and Wales.