New calls to give State Pension payments of £221 each week to every person over retirement age

A new online petition is calling for all people over the official age of retirement (66) to be paid the New State Pension weekly rate of £221.20, some £884.80 every four-week pay period. At present, those who reached retirement age before April 6, 2016 are only eligible for the Basic State Pension, which is worth up to £169.50 each week, some £678 every pay period.

The State Pension currently provides regular financial support for nearly 12.7 million older people across the country, including over one million retirees living in Scotland. How much someone receives depends on the number of qualifying National Insurance years they have made - at least 10 are needed for any State Pension payment and around 35 for the full rate, although people who have been ‘contracted out’ may need more.

Petition creator, WASPI woman Elaine Whatmough, believes that “it is not right that pensioners who are on the new pension can get over £200 a month more”.

The ‘Give all state pensioners the new State Pension’ petition states: “I’m a WASPI woman that was affected by State Pension change like plenty of other Women and also missed out on the new State Pension on the 6th April 2016. I believe it is not right that pensioners who are on the new pension can get over £200 a month more.

“I think it’s not right that people who have worked all their lives and some who have been on benefits all of their lives get more pension. We believe this is unfair.”

At 10,000 signatures the petition would be entitled to a written response from the UK Government. You can view it on the petitions-parliament website here.

Separately, more than 13,225 people have signed an online petition also proposing that Basic State Pension payments rise to £221.20 each week even though the UK Government has already said it has “no plans to provide all pensioners born before 6 April 1951 with the New State Pension”.

In a written response to the petition created by Andrew Mills, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) said it is “committed to a decent State Pension as the foundation of support for people in retirement” but that “it is not possible to make direct, like for like comparisons between State Pension amounts”.

The DWP response states: “In 2023-24 we will spend over £151.1 billion on benefits for pensioners. This includes spending on the State Pension which is forecast to be £124.1 billion in 2023-24.

“As a result of the Government's Triple Lock policy, from April 2024, the full yearly amount of the basic State Pension will be worth over £3,700 more, in cash terms, than in 2010. That is around £990 more than if it had been uprated by prices, and around £1,000 more than if it had been uprated by earnings (since 2010). In 2021/22, there were 200 thousand fewer pensioners in absolute poverty after housing costs than in 2009/10.”

Addressing the proposal to match the Basic and New State Pensions directly, DWP said: “It is not possible to make direct, like for like comparisons between State Pension amounts under the pre-2016 State pension system and the new State Pension. Comparing the headline full rates alone is misleading: this does not reflect the full position for people under each system.

“Although the systems are different, they both reflect the National Insurance contributions an individual has made over their lifetimes. It is not the case that everybody who receives the new State Pension will immediately receive the full rate of £221.20 per week. Nor is it the case that everyone in the pre-2016 system only receives the basic State Pension.”

The DWP also clarified that under the pre-2016 State Pension system, people receive different amounts depending on the National Insurance contributions they made.

DWP said: “In addition to the Basic State Pension, people could also have qualified for the additional State Pension for the years that they paid the full rate of National Insurance. This means that the State could pay them in excess of £200 a week on top of the Basic State Pension, which may result in a much higher State Pension amount than the New State Pension.”

DWP also said there are other reasons why it is not possible to make direct comparisons between the pre-2016 and new State Pension systems.

It said: “For example, people in the new system will, in general, have to wait longer for their State Pension than those under the pre 2016 system. The State Pension age has been 66 since 2020 and is rising to 67 by 2028.

“By contrast, those who receive their State Pension under the pre 2016 system will generally have received their State Pension at 65 or below, and therefore will in comparison with people on the new system, receive it for more years in total.”

At 100,000 signatures, the petition would be considered by the Petitions Committee for debate in Parliament. You can read the full DWP response online here.

New State Pension payment rates 2024/25

  • Full payment rate: £221.20

  • Every four-week pay period: £884.80

Basic State Pension payment rates 2024/25

  • Category A or B Basic State Pension (full rate): £169.50

  • Every four-week pay period: £678.00

  • Category B (lower) Basic State Pension - spouse or civil partner's insurance: £101.55

  • Category C or D - non-contributory: £101.55

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