Basic State Pension Payment Increase Requests: The Push to Raise Weekly Payments to £221

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Over 12,760 people have signed an online petition urging the UK Government to increase the Basic State Pension to £221.20 per week. However, the government has stated that it has “no plans to provide all pensioners born before 6 April 1951 with the New State Pension.”

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State Pensions increased by 8.5% on April 8, resulting in an increase in the Basic State Pension from £156.20 to £169.50 per week, amounting to £678 every four-week pay period. In contrast, the New State Pension increased to £221.20 per week, or £884.80 per pay period.

The petition, created by Andrew Mills, seeks parity between the two pension systems. But the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) issued a written response, explaining that direct comparisons between the Basic State Pension and the New State Pension are not straightforward.

DWP’s response highlighted that it is committed to providing a decent State Pension, spending over £151.1 billion on pension benefits in 2023-24, with £124.1 billion allocated for State Pension alone. The response further noted that due to the government’s Triple Lock policy, the basic State Pension is now worth over £3,700 more in cash terms than in 2010. Additionally, there were 200,000 fewer pensioners living in absolute poverty in 2021/22 compared to 2009/10, which they attribute to this policy.

The DWP noted that the State Pension systems differ in how they reflect an individual’s National Insurance contributions. The pre-2016 system allowed people to qualify for an additional State Pension based on the years they paid full National Insurance rates, which could result in a State Pension exceeding £200 per week, depending on their contributions.

The department also stated that the New State Pension age has been 66 since 2020 and will increase to 67 by 2028, while those under the pre-2016 system generally received their pensions at age 65 or below, resulting in more years of pension benefits.

Despite the DWP’s explanation, the petition has gained momentum. If it reaches 100,000 signatures, it will be considered by the Petitions Committee for debate in Parliament, offering an opportunity to further explore the disparities between the pension systems and the impact on pensioners.

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