Labour has confirmed its pension policies in its manifesto after a leaked version was published last week.
These include the widely published plans to guarantee the triple lock throughout the next parliament, as well as other benefits such as the winter fuel allowance and free bus passes. The party has also vowed to protect the pensions of UK citizens living overseas in the EU or further afield and find a solution for women born in the 1950s who have had their state pension age changed without “fair notification”.
It is looking into extending pension credit to hundreds and thousands of the most vulnerable women and other transitional protections, to ensure that these “women have security and dignity in old age”.
Furthermore, Labour plans to legislate so that accrued rights to the basic state pension cannot be changed, but future benefits can. The party will put on hold any further increases to the state pension age beyond 66 and instead commission a new review of the pension age, which will look at developing a flexible retirement policy to “reflect the contributions made by people, the wide variations in life expectancy, and the arduous conditions of some work”.
With regards to workplace pensions, Labour has pledged to “restore confidence” in the workplace system. It will end “rip-off hidden fees and charges”, and enable the development of large efficient pensions funds, which it said will mean more cash for scheme members and lower costs for employers.
Labour also plans to amend the takeover regime to ensure that businesses identified as being systematically important have a clear plan in place to protect workers and pensioners when a company is taken over because “workers shouldn’t suffer when a company is sold”.
A Labour government will also commit to an immediate review of the mineworkers’ pension scheme and British Coal superannuation scheme surplus, sharing arrangements between government and scheme beneficiaries. It will also give members of the Local Government Pension Scheme full trustee status to help control investments, and reduce fees and charges. It also said it will protect nuclear workers’ jobs and pensions.