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Keep up to date with the news about our campaigning activity on behalf of civil service pensioners and issues affecting all pensioners in the UK.
Inflation - Latest changes in 2017Inflation - Latest changes in 2017
Added: 15 Sep 2017
The government’s preferred measure of inflation the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), rose by 2.9% in the 12 months to August 2017, compared to 2.6% in July. CPIH which has recently been restored as a national measure of inflation and includes some housing costs, rose by 2.7% in the 12 months to August 2017 compared with 2.6% in July.
The Retail Prices Index (RPI) no longer a national measure of inflation, but still used to value government gilts, to update certain direct benefit pension schemes and also used by the utility companies to increase their prices, rose by 3.9% in the 12 months to August compared with 3.5% in June.
 
Later Life Ambitions Early Day Motion tabled Later Life Ambitions Early Day Motion tabled
Added: 07 Sep 2017
Peter Aldous MP has tabled an Early Day Motion on behalf of Later Life Ambitions. Please encourage your MP to show their support for the EDM.It asks that the Government adopts policies to support older people to lead active idependent lives:

http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2017-19/281
 
Brexit NegotiationsBrexit Negotiations
Added: 29 Aug 2017
As negotiations re commence, we have received a further interim response from the Department for exiting the EU to Later Life Ambitions confirming that the Brexit negotiations have still to reach an agreement on the impacts of exiting the EU on the European Health insurance Card(EHIC) and State Pensions for those living and working in other EU member states. LLA will continue to press for a good outcome on these and other policy areas.
 
Making Tax Digital but keep the paper option please!Making Tax Digital but keep the paper option please!
Added: 21 Aug 2017
The Alliance has been concerned about how HMRC will deal with those who do not have access to the internet when "Making Tax Digital" is eventually launched. There have been several delays in the roll out for business and individuals and in the meantime we are ensuring that they do not forget those who prefer not to conduct financial matters online. The penultimate paragraph in this article from the Telegraph offers some hope
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/tax/income-tax/questions-making-tax-digital-hmrc-demands-83-year-old-7p/
 
Later Life Ambitions submits evidence to the CMA inquiry into care homesLater Life Ambitions submits evidence to the CMA inquiry into care homes
Added: 03 Aug 2017
Later Life Ambitions have submitted evidence to the Competition and Markets Authority enquiry into Care Homes. Thank you to those of you who shared your experiences
https://protect-eu.mimecast.com/s/4pLFBknEiZ

 
Older Women Poorer after Pension Age Change says IFSOlder Women Poorer after Pension Age Change says IFS
Added: 02 Aug 2017
We, together with our colleagues in Later Life Ambitions are supporting the campaign for a fair transition for those women who are affected by the decision to bring forward the equalisation of state pension age to 2018 with very little chance to make alternative plans for financing their retirement

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-40791216
 
Later Life Ambitions response to the Cridland Review on State Pension Age Later Life Ambitions response to the Cridland Review on State Pension Age
Added: 26 Jul 2017
The government has announced its intention to accept the key recommendation of the Cridland Review and increase the State Pension Age from 67 to 68 over two years from 2037. This is 7 years earlier than the current legislation which sees a rise between 2044 and 2046. The change will affect everyone born between 6 April 1970 and 5 April 1978.
We, together with our partners at Later Life Ambitions have published our response: https://connectpa.co.uk/later-life-ambitions-responds-state-pension-age-announcement-2/which calls for the Government to take account of variations in life expectancy, both in terms of geography and profession, and to go further to ensure current and future Pensioners have a dignified and secure retirement :

Consider if the new state pension age should apply to all, when life expectancy is known to vary widely across regions and occupations

Review of the current two tier old and new state pension system

Development of a better and fairer inflation measure


Measures to improve confidence in pension savings


Maintenance of the Triple Lock
 
Supreme Court Ruling - equal pension rights in same sex marriageSupreme Court Ruling - equal pension rights in same sex marriage
Added: 13 Jul 2017
On 12 July 2017, the Supreme Court ruled that the exemption in the 2010 Equality Act that allowed Occupational Pension Schemes to limit the survivor benefits for Civil Partnerships to reckonable service accrued from 2005, when the Civil Partnership Act was placed on the statute book, was discriminatory and in breach of EU equality law.

The current arrangements for benefit entitlements for surviving civil partners of civil service pensioners do go beyond the exemption in the 2010 Equality Act and, generally, provide for a continuing pension based on service from 6 April 1988; however, it’s also the case that, currently and generally, a surviving husband of a female civil service pensioner will receive a pension based on service from 1 July 1987.

As the Supreme Court ruling stated that it is directly discriminatory, contrary to the Framework Directive, for an employer to treat a same-sex partner who is in a partnership less favourably than an opposite-sex spouse, a question has arisen whether, in order to comply with the Supreme Court ruling, the Cabinet Office will need to base the pensions of surviving civil partners of civil service pensioners on service from 1 July 1987 rather than 6 April 1988; the Alliance has raised this point with the Cabinet Office and will advise members, Groups & Branches when a response has been received.
For further details of the recent ruling click here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40580596
 
CQC publish State of Social Care report CQC publish State of Social Care report
Added: 07 Jul 2017
The Care Quality Commission has published The state of adult social care services 2014 to 2017. It finds that 32% of nursing homes are inadequate or in need of improvement, and 37% must improve. The Alliance will continue to lobby with its partners in Later Life Ambitions for a cross-party approach to tackling the problems in social care. We will also look to work with organisations such as AgeUK to continue to apply pressure on Parliamentarians of all political parties to find fair solutions

http://www.cqc.org.uk/publications/evaluation/state-adult-social-care-services-2014-2017
 
Can you help us? We need your experiences of social careCan you help us? We need your experiences of social care
Added: 07 Jul 2017
Six months ago, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched an investigation into the issues affecting the 430,000 older people in care and nursing homes in the UK. The CMA have been examining whether the care home industry is working well and treating residents and their families fairly. The CMA is now halfway through its process and has published an update report with its interim findings. The CMA has also opened a consumer protection case addressing concerns that some care homes may be breaking consumer law.
The Alliance has been working through Later Life Ambitions to support the CMA in its inquiry to ensure that care homes are upfront and transparent about the costs that will be charged to people at all stages of their care. We have met with the CMA and will be submitting our views to their inquiry. We would like to hear whether any of our members have had a negative experience with the care home market.

In particular, we would like to know whether you or a family member has experienced:


Large upfront payments charged for care home residents

Fees for extended periods after the death of a resident

Uncertainty about the care options available

Complexity of the complaints system

If you would like to help us with our submission to the CMA, please email your thoughts and experiences to Fenella at laterlife@connectpa.co.uk. All information will be treated in confidence, and your details will be anonymised.

 
The triple lock and state pensionThe triple lock and state pension
Added: 04 Jul 2017
Which? have published a useful summary of the Government’s current position on the triple lock on State Pensions
Which? Triple Lock
 
Added: 14 Jun 2017
The Alliance recently attended the AGE Europe General Assembly and Conference in Brussels. Although we are unsure of the shape that our future relationship with colleagues in Europe will take, there is much useful work still being done to ensure that the rights of older people are not neglected.

Age Europe press release
 
Which? video on how the party manifestos will affect the State Pension Which? video on how the party manifestos will affect the State Pension
Added: 30 May 2017
This short video from Which? covers how the different party manifestos deal with the future of the state pension;
https://protect-eu.mimecast.com/s/GgrsBE44HR
 
Blog from Later Life Ambitions - party Manifestos on the future of Social Care Blog from Later Life Ambitions - party Manifestos on the future of Social Care
Added: 26 May 2017
This Blog from Later Life Ambitions explores how cross-party working to secure a future for our social care system may be at last within reach LLA Social Care Blog
 
Message of Support from AGE Platform Europe Message of Support from AGE Platform Europe
Added: 24 May 2017
We have received a thoughful message of support from our friends at AGE platform Europe:

Dear AGE members in UK,
We are once again shocked by what happened yesterday evening in Manchester. On behalf of AGE members we wish to send you our most sincere condolences for the lost lives and our warm support to their families and those who were hurt in the attack.
Hoping that you, your loved ones and your colleagues are all safe, I assure you that all my thoughts are with you all after what happened yesterday.
It’s only barely a year ago that we went through a similar nightmare in Brussels, preceded and followed by too many other attacks.
We will never get used to such violence. Yet we will continue to believe that the only way forward is through an inclusive society where everyone feels valued.

Kindest regards,

Anne-Sophie

Anne-Sophie Parent

Secretary General


 
Manchester Arena Bombing- Charity for Civil Servants AssistanceManchester Arena Bombing- Charity for Civil Servants Assistance
Added: 23 May 2017
If you are or ever have been a civil servant - or know someone who is - and you or they have been affected by the horrific incident in Manchester, please contact The Charity for Civil Servants for support as they may be able to help.

Call their confidential Freephone helpline on 0800 056 2424 (Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5pm), contact them at help@foryoubyyou.org.uk or download their emergency application form

 
Manifesto Overview:what the parties are promising older people Manifesto Overview:what the parties are promising older people
Added: 19 May 2017
Later Life Ambitions have produced a useful blog "Manifesto overview: what the parties are promising older people"

The blog allows for easy comparison between the main party manifestos to help you decide which policies would work best for you.

click on this link: https://connectpa.co.uk/manifesto-overview-parties-promising-older-people/
 
Conservative Party Manifesto published Conservative Party Manifesto published
Added: 18 May 2017

The Conservative party have published their Manifesto. Areas of interest to the Alliance members include, their plan to remove the underpinning 2.5% from the triple lock after 2020, so that state pension will increase by either rate of inflation (currently CPI) or the rate of increase in earnings. They will also introduce means-testing for Winter Fuel Payments to focus on those most at risk of fuel poverty. All other pensioner benefits, including free bus passes, eye tests, prescriptions and TV licences for those over 75 will be maintained. The Conservatives say they will secure the entitlements of EU nationals in Britain and British nationals in the EU, but the uprating of state pensions overseas is not specifically mentioned .
https://www.conservatives.com/manifesto

 
Labour Party Manifesto published Labour Party Manifesto published
Added: 18 May 2017
The Labour Party have published their manifesto. We are very pleased to see that they have met many of our concerns by pledging to maintain the state pension ’Triple Lock’, Winter Fuel Allowance and free bus pass throughout the next Parliament, as well as protecting the state pension of those living overseas and seeking a fair settlement for those women affected by the rapid increase in state pension age.
http://www.labour.org.uk/index.php/manifesto2017
 
Liberal Democrat Party Manifesto published Liberal Democrat Party Manifesto published
Added: 18 May 2017
The Liberal Democrat Party have published their manifesto. We are very pleased to see that they have met our concerns by pledging to maintain and free bus pass throughout the next Parliament, as well as Maintaining the ‘triple lock’ of increasing the state pension each year by the highest of earnings growth, prices growth or 2.5%. They have also said that they will withdraw eligibility for the Winter Fuel Payment from pensioners who pay tax at the higher rate (40%). In addition the Liberal Democrats state that they will urge the government, and use their influence with Liberal leaders in European countries, to secure rights for UK citizens living in European Union countries, but uprating of state pension overseas is not specifically mentioned.
http://www.libdems.org.uk/manifesto

 
Make sure your parliamentary candidates commit to support older people if they are elected on 8 JuneMake sure your parliamentary candidates commit to support older people if they are elected on 8 June
Added: 12 May 2017
As members will know, the Alliance is part of Later Life Ambitions, a group that campaigns on issues to ensure that older people can lead an ambitious later life.

A general election is an important time for us to raise issues and make requests on politicians for policies that we feel can make a huge, positive difference to the lives of millions of older people.

This is why, ahead of the general election on 8 June 2017, we are asking members to write to their local parliamentary candidates to ask them to make commitments to support the following issues:

Urgently establish a cross-party solution to the long term funding of social care

Maintain the pensions triple-lock

Maintain universal pensioner benefits

Stand up for pensioners during the Brexit process

To secure the policy commitments we are seeking, we need MPs to advocate and campaign on these issues in the new parliament – and the ideal opportunity to do that is now, whilst they are campaigning to secure your vote.

This is why Later Life Ambitions has created a toolkit to help you write to your local candidates to put forward our policy proposals and ask them to commit to representing your views in Parliament should they be elected.

You can find and download the toolkit here; general-election-2017 toolkit where there is also additional information about how you find our who your local candidates are, and how you can raise older people’s issues with them.

We hope you will support Later Life Ambitions in building support for older people during this general election, and into the next parliament.

Thank You !!

 
Health Committee findings on Brexit and Staffing Health Committee findings on Brexit and Staffing
Added: 28 Apr 2017
The Alliance welcomes the latest report form the Health Committee which has been examining the possible impact of Brexit on staffing levels in the NHS and in Social Care in the UK. The report states that the future rights and entitlements of nationals from other EU countries must be assured so that workers will still choose to come to the UK, and that the UK’s exit from the EU working time directive must be considered with regards to future working practices.
 
We need your views on later life employment We need your views on later life employment
Added: 13 Apr 2017
Please take a few minutes to complete the survey online here:
https://connectpa.co.uk/need-views-later-life-employment/
 
Later Life Ambitions response to the Cridland Review on State Pension Age Later Life Ambitions response to the Cridland Review on State Pension Age
Added: 24 Mar 2017
Our response to the Cridland Review is at the link below:

https://connectpa.co.uk/later-life-ambitions-response-cridland/
 
 
Added: 24 Mar 2017
 
Cridland Review PublishedCridland Review Published
Added: 24 Mar 2017
The Cridland Review into the State Pension Age has been published. The review focus is on recommendations on State Pension age arrangements post-2028, when State Pension age will have reached 67.

The key finding of the review is that the State Pension age should rise to 68 over the two year period 2037–2039. This would provide a “greater measure of intergenerational fairness,” and would also make a contribution to the fiscal sustainability of the State Pension. Similarly, the review recommends that to ensure fiscal sustainability, uprating of the State Pension should be held to the earnings link and not the Triple Lock.
 
Help from the Charity for Civil ServantsHelp from the Charity for Civil Servants
Added: 08 Mar 2017
The Alliance is helping to spread the word about the support that the Charity for Civil Servants can offer. The video at the link below is a good illustration of some of the help they have given. The Charity may be able to help if you are a past or current Civil Servant.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqulegL-raQ
 
2017 Budget Survey2017 Budget Survey
Added: 27 Feb 2017
LLA has launched a member survey ahead of the 2017 Budget. Please take 5-minutes to share your views:
https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/FQJGJDG

If you were Chancellor, how would you use the Budget to best support pensions? Share your views
https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/FQJGJDG

Social Care, health, transport, pensions, universal benefits. Where would you prioritise if you were Chancellor?
https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/FQJGJDG

Thank you for taking part.


 
RPI/CPI and 2017 Pension IncreasesRPI/CPI and 2017 Pension Increases
Added: 23 Feb 2017
Since April 2011, public service (including civil service) pensions have been increased with reference to the previous September’s CPI rather than RPI figures. That means civil service pensions in April 2017 will increase by 1.0%

The basic state retirement pension and the new single-tier state pension, however, are increased in line with what is known as the triple-lock arrangement - the best of inflation (CPI) increases in average earnings or the underpinning minimum of 2.5%

Because for September 2016 the CPI figure was 1.0% and the increase in average earnings 2.3%, the basic state retirement pension and the new single-tier state pension, will be increased by 2.5% from April 2017.
 
CSPA and Later Life Ambitions response to Report on Intergenerational Fairness CSPA and Later Life Ambitions response to Report on Intergenerational Fairness
Added: 13 Feb 2017
The Resolution Foundation’s Intergenerational Commission has published a new report on incomes and inequality between and within generations which claims that average pensioner incomes have overtaken typical working-age incomes for the first time, and pensioners are now disproportionately unlikely to be in poverty.
Read our response to the report in the blog from Later Life Ambitions at the link below:
http://connectpa.co.uk/end-zero-sum-game-pensioners-millennials/
 
Grandparents may be missing out on NI contributionsGrandparents may be missing out on NI contributions
Added: 23 Jan 2017
If you are below state pension age, and have given up work to look after your Grandchildren, you may qualify for National Insurance Credits. See the link below and tell your friends too!http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38654321
 
Later Life Ambitions response to crisis in NHS and Social Care Later Life Ambitions response to crisis in NHS and Social Care
Added: 10 Jan 2017
Later Life Ambitions- our campaign with the National Association of Retired Police Officers and the National Federation of Occupational Pensioners, together represents over 250,000 pensioners. We have issued a press release in response to the worsening crisis in the NHS and Adult Social Care. We all need to keep up the pressure on decision makers!
The press release can be found online here: https://protect-eu.mimecast.com/s/ek0hBQp8Iv
 
Can Civil Servants Top Up the value of their Single Tier State Pension? Can Civil Servants Top Up the value of their Single Tier State Pension?
Added: 14 Dec 2016
Steve Webb, ex- pensions Minister has replied to the above question on the This is Money Website. Members may find his response useful ;
http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/pensions/article-3838476/Can-pay-new-state-pension-Steve-Webb-replies.html
 
LLA responds to the House of Lords Inquiry into Financial ExclusionLLA responds to the House of Lords Inquiry into Financial Exclusion
Added: 23 Sep 2016
The Later Life Ambitions Campaign (CSPA with NARPO and NFOP respresenting over a quarter of a million pensioners ) have sent a response to the House of Lords Financial Exclusion Committee. We raised important points on behalf of our members about the need to offer an alternative to online banking and the closure of Bank Branches and Post Offices meaning that counter banking facilities are becoming more rare. Difficulties in reaching bank branches are exacerbated by poor transport services, especially in rural areas. This also increases social isolation and impacts on an older persons’ independence. Thank you to those of you who helped with this by submitting your stories!
 
Costs of Social Care Costs of Social Care
Added: 15 Sep 2016
Many people do not realise that they will have to pay for social care if they dont meet increasingly strict criteria. The BBC have published this useful tool which allows you to see costs and provison of care in your area.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-37307856#gssid=E09000008
 
State Pension Age is changing in 2020State Pension Age is changing in 2020
Added: 14 Sep 2016
No longer in Government Baroness Altmann has once again become more vocal on Pensions issues. She is calling on the Government to make sure that changes in the State Pension Age, due from October 2020, are widely publicised.

http://www.pensionsage.com/pa/Altmann-urges-DWP-to-run-national-SPA-advertising-campaign.php
 
Brexit- What happens next?Brexit- What happens next?
Added: 08 Aug 2016
Following the vote to leave the EU there are still lots of questions about the process and impact the referendum will have on the future of the UK. This useful briefing paper from the House of Commons Library may be of interest if you are wondering ’What next?’

http://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-7632
 
To be aware when switching energy supplier To be aware when switching energy supplier
Added: 05 Aug 2016
Thinking of switching energy supplier? Members who are in receipt of an energy rebate should check if their intended supplier also provides this most helpful assistance before making the change.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/05/09/elderly-at-risk-of-losing-140-energy-rebate-if-they-switch-suppl/


 
The New Single Tier State Pension from 6 April  2016The New Single Tier State Pension from 6 April 2016
Added: 07 Apr 2016
From April 6th 2016 a new state pension comes into operation. This applies only to those who reach retirement age ON or AFTER that date. If this will affect you, we think it is worth having a look at the Information Pages on the new Single Tier State Pension at this link:
https://www.gov.uk/new-state-pension/overview
 
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