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The Difference Between The Best And Worst Pension Incomes Can Be Very Surprising

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‘Imaginative’ ideas needed to meet the cost of an ageing population

Lord Bichard, a former head of the Benefits Agency and top civil servant at the Education Department, has suggested a series of radical series measures to meet the cost of the Britain’s ageing population.

One such idea is using incentives to encourage retired people to ‘make a contribution’ to society, such as taking on community work or caring for the ‘very old’, with the result that if they are not working or contributing in some way there could be a penalty attached, such as losing their benefits.

Lord Bichard proposals, which he argued may go some way to stopping older people becoming a “negative burden on the state”, have already courted controversy from leading Pensioners' rights campaigners.

Dot Gibson, general secretary of the National Pensioners Convention, said: “This amounts to little more than national service for the over 60s and is absolutely outrageous.

“Those who have paid their national insurance contributions for 30 or more years are entitled to receive their state pension and there should be no attempt to put further barriers in their way.”

Dr Ros Altmann, director general of Saga, added: “This is a very strange idea indeed. Those who have retired have already made huge contributions to our society and are already the largest group of charity and community volunteers.”

However, Lord Bichard’s ideas weren’t entirely dismissed by Prof Martin Weale, a member of the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee, who said that although the proposal was "outside the normal range of what is discussed", it was an "interesting point".

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