Is a private pension worth having?

  canarieslover 13:48 17 May 2017
Answered

All my working life I contributed to a pension scheme to make my life in retirement possibly better than it would be otherwise. I was quite happy when I first retired as my health was still quite good so I was able to enjoy the things I liked doing. My private pension isn't huge but it is enough to have to pay fair bit of tax on it. I started having other thoughts about having the pension when my mobility started to deteriorate and I needed aids to make life easier. Because of my pension I find that I don't qualify for any assistance for any of the essentials that I need and to that end I have had to dig into my savings to the extent of £4000 in the last year alone for a stairlift, rise and recline chair and walking aids. Had I not paid into a pension scheme or saved anything for my old age I would have qualified for some benefits and would therefore have got these living aids for free. I now feel that all the money I'm paying out is now an additional tax on my pension and savings whereas I know of friends who haven't set anything aside and now get benefits without any problems. It makes me wonder if I did the right thing after all.

  Gordon Freeman 14:07 17 May 2017
Answer

Had I not paid into a pension scheme or saved anything for my old age I would have qualified for some benefits and would therefore have got these living aids for free.

Always seems to be the way, doesn't it?; you work hard, pay your dues, put a bit by, make (what you think are) all the right choices, then others who just have not bothered, or been able to, get a free ride. Annoying just doesn't describe it, but I know which camp I'd rather be in.

  Forum Editor 17:53 17 May 2017

"It makes me wonder if I did the right thing after all."

You couldn't possibly have known about your future mobility problems when you started contributing to a pension scheme - at the time it was the right thing to do.

"I know of friends who haven't set anything aside and now get benefits without any problems"

Yes, but they don't have the benefit of a private pension. You have paid £4000 for mobility aids because you can - are you saying that overall you would have been better off financially if you didn't have the private pension?

  BT 18:04 17 May 2017

canarieslover

Seriously makes you wonder doesn't it. Me and the Boss are in a similar situation. Too much income to qualify for any help at all. Cost me £6000 for an easy access shower in place of the bath after she got stuck in it one day. First question I was asked when I enquired about it was 'Are you on Benefits?' I suspect they hike the prices for people like me to help pay for the others.

I worked bloody hard for my Pensions!!

We know someone who though registered as disabled is much more mobile than we are and has everything provided. Stairlift, wetroom, various adaptations to their council house, Motorbility car, cash benefits.

  canarieslover 19:48 17 May 2017

FE I don't think I would be better off without my private pension but it does seem that I'm almost being penalised for making that provision for my retirement.

BT Your example is also one that applies to two couples that I know. It seems that when you qualify for any benefit it becomes so much easier to obtain the rest. Like you I had my bath taken out and a walk-in shower installed at a similar cost to yours but I didn't even think about making a case for assistance with it. One of the couples I know has just had a wet room installed courtesy of their benefits.

Probably if I had managed to contribute enough for a really large pension I wouldn't be moaning but at the moment I feel caught in a trap. I know I'm not paying VAT on my mobility aids but I would feel better if I could get tax relief on them!!

  bumpkin 20:23 17 May 2017

* it does seem that I'm almost being penalised for making that provision for my retirement.*

Yes it does but if everyone relied on benefits there would not be enough money available without tax increases. We now have the Compulsary Work Place Pension which is a starting point. Whichever way you look at it the money for pensions has to come from somewhere.

  Forum Editor 22:33 17 May 2017

Mobility benefits are for people who can't afford to buy wet rooms and suchlike. The whole point of having a benefits system is that the money goes to help the less fortunate members of our society.

There's absolutely no moral justification for claiming that society is penalising you because you can afford to pay - if you can pay, then you should.

  x123 00:20 18 May 2017

Be careful. Your winter fuel payment may be means tested.

Here

  Forum Editor 08:59 18 May 2017

x123

And it should be - there's no reason why the payment should go to people who can manage perfectly well without it.

  Govan1x 11:35 18 May 2017

[The value of someone's property would be included in the means test for receiving free care in their own home - currently only their income and savings are taken into account.]

Another one that is a bit worrying.

  wee eddie 11:54 18 May 2017

Much simpler that a means test.

At the present it is not taxable ~ Just make it taxable

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