They Are Coming For Our Pensions … And This Is How It Begins

work-till-you-dieUnpaid work experience and apprenticeships for pensioners could soon be on the way as a report released earlier this month lays the groundwork for an attack on pensions.

The report, entitled A New Vision For Older Workers, was produced by Dr Ros Altmann, a former banker who is occassionally on television.  To anyone who has followed the ongoing destruction of an adequate benefits system for sick and disabled people it is chillingly familiar.

“Encouraging and enabling those who want to work longer is an idea whose time has come” the report declares before trotting out the exact same assumptions that were used to justify the introduction of vicious assessments – and eventually forced training, job search and workfare – for sick and disabled claimants.  Older people want to work according to the report, and of course, work is good for your health.  It then goes on to make dire predictions about the future of the economy as people live longer than ever before – presumably because retiring is also quite good for your health.

The truth is that the research this report was based on shows that most people are pretty much happy to retire at 65, although some would like to work part time for a period first, and a much smaller number afterwards.  Only 10% of people wanted to work full time over the age of 65, whilst 26% would like some part time work.  The main reason people didn’t want to give up work was because they were worried about money.  Only 9% of people questioned said they wanted to stay in work because they liked their job.  Just 22% of retired people said they missed work, and of those most of them missed the money.  People like money, and they like retiring.  This is not a big fucking surprise.

It is also not what Ros Altmann, or the DWP wants to hear.  The report says we need to ‘rethink what retirement looks like’ and goes on to propose measures such a government funded Apprenticeships for older workers.  It also calls for similar ‘work placements’ to be made available to those inflicted on young people such as the unpaid Work Experience and Sector Based Work Academy schemes.  Despite spending much of the early section of the report arguing that more measures to keep older people in work will not affect youth unemployment she says that employment schemes aimed at the young disadvantage older workers.  She thinks pensioners should have the right to work in Poundland for no pay as well.

The report is discussing all workers over the age of 50, and Altmann doesn’t seem to know that older unemployed people can be sent on workfare right up until they draw a pension.  This doesn’t mean that pensioners are off the hook however, the report is adament that “age should not be a barrier to training opportunities”.

It is important to point out that Altmann talks about encouraging people to work longer or take up an apprenticeship, not forcing them.  They are not yet that confident. But this is exactly the kind of smiley faced rhetoric that was eventually used to justify workfare and benefit cuts for sick and disabled people.  Altmann even proposes an Age Confident campaign, modelled on the DWP’s current Disability Confident initiative, the shoddy PR programme introduced to provide soft cover for cutting disabled people’s benefits.

Workfare for your pension may be some way off but that is no reason to be complacent.  Reports like this are how it begins.  Encouraging people to work longer is presented as helping them, or ending age discrimination.  Liberals will cheer, the Labour Party will applaud.  Charities for older people will start thinking about all those juicy contracts to train pensioners in how to write a CV that might be on the way.  Middle-class professionals, who earn more in an hour than some do in a day, will think it’s just common sense to do a few hours work after you retire – as long as the money’s right of course.  And slowly those who choose to retire at 65 will be start to be criticised for not taking up all the exciting opportunites now available to work for the  minimum wage until the day you die.

Eventually anyone who doesn’t want to be worked to their death will be a scrounger and a drain on society.  They will need to be punished, by stopping their pensions to help ensure they make the right choices and that the system is fair.  Sounds far-fetched doesn’t it?  Yet that’s how people with cancer, MS, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia and other serious and sometimes terminal health conditions are treated every day by the DWP.  Who would have predicted that a couple of decades ago?

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129 responses to “They Are Coming For Our Pensions … And This Is How It Begins

  1. and for all those wondering where the £12 billion of welfare cuts are going to come from . . .

  2. 21st century work houses?

  3. Any one who votes Tory needs psychiatric treatment without a doubt,I have even met working class Tories.

    • Considering that ‘work for your pensions’ might become a reality under a Tory government, it’s highly ironic that the biggest percentage of Tory voters amongst any age group by far comes from the over 65s. They are also the most likely to vote so, young people, PLEASE get out there and vote on May 7th to give the Tories the kicking they deserve!

      • If the Tories lose the gray vote, they’ll end up suffering the Lib Dem’s fate.

      • It is too late for the youth vote, as 4 million are not registered to vote, but the poor grey vote could help the young as well as themselves.

        Over 50s disabled, chronic sick, working poor, poor pensioners only on the state pension (about the 4 per cent lowest income),
        are a massive poor grey vote
        that new parties of the left could win big in 2015.

        See how at:
        http://www.anastasia-england.me.uk

      • and this is the reason why the torys let in the fucking Romanians, becuse they will vote tory and then go back home once they have made some money from the tax payers of this country. they torys know that the young will not bother to vote, but the young need to vote after all its them who will be living with the tory government, crying like bitches about it too.

        so do something good and vote but who to vote for as they will all fuck it up eventualy, if you are hopeing for a ukip goverment you are dreaming.
        dont bother with labour either, they had a chance and drove the country into the ground with all that spending.

        • fulltimeperson

          Just to set the record straight:

          The Romanians who come here are NOT entitled to vote in a General Election (just local and devolved elections) – nor are any other EU citizens, except for those Irish who live here. Mostly you have to be British.

          And mostly it was not Labour spending but the banking crisis which caused the depression and that crisis was only partly attributable to Labour, who didn’t control the banks. But the worst of the storm was triggered by a crisis in the US banking system – over which Labour had absolutely not influence. The “It was all Labour’s fault” is a lie which the Tory press have been shoving down our throats since 2010.

  4. A colleague of mine is 75 and has been working in the same place for over 20 years through choice. I thought I would be retiring at 65 but due to the recent pension age reforms I do not have the choice. Are there work programmes for MP’s – or are they an exception? I would love to see some of them doing some work for a change – the only time I see the House of Commons full to capacity is when there is a vote on either MP’s expenses or MP’s salaries. Rows of empty benches whenever any other debates are being aired.

  5. Reblogged this on Targett for Thanet North.

    • MPs managed to vote themselves an exemption when raising the pension age, no surprise.

      The harsh reality is that the working class die younger anyway – it’s part of a life time legacy of being poor at least part of your life. As usual it’s the middle classes, those most likely to have independent pensions and not relying on the state provision, who live longer. Perhaps, as JV says, it’s because money & retirement actually do ehlp people live longer.

  6. You’ve got this exactly right. First they came for etc…..

    • Exactly. This is how the Nazis implemented their policies. Whilst the stereotypical Nazi is a bootboy thug it is too often forgotten that they were very careful to make sure that their policies academic approval of some kind. And let’s not forget that one of the nastiest of the Nazis, Dr. Josef Menegele did some appalling pseudo-scientific studies on twins, and that their minister for propaganda, Dr Josef Goebbels. There are many others whose viewpoints served to give academic respectability to inhumane ideas.

      More recently, and certainly more tellingly for me, I watched (and enjoyed) a recent documentary by the actor Michael Sheen about the Chartists and their fight for democracy. After the programme there was a current affairs type discussion programme with a panel, one of whom was a young academic doctor, (in what I don’t know, but is seems likely to be in something like rolling down grass banks) who uttered that cliched rubbish about three generations of unemployment in some areas.

      The point I’m making is that whilst there are many academics who are on our side, there are also those who work for the enemy, and will endorse the regime’s ideologically driven policies regardless as to whether they are in the best interests of those affected by the intended measures.

      I can understand people being sceptical about academics, but there are some who do understand the plight of ordinary people, and who are extremely supportive of grass roots workers’ organisations. One such is Emeritus Professor Noam Chomsky, (look for Noam Chomsky on YouTube) who is not only scathing about neo-liberalism, but is also a member of the IWW – The Union for All Workers.

  7. The elderly have a pretty low status in our society as it is, I can’t think of a better way of lowering that status further than by tyrannising them into working for nothing, until they die.

    In the UK we don’t need anymore excuses to abuse the elderly and vulnerable.

  8. overburdenddonkey

    never mind the truth, feel the inheritance, for some….got a job work till you drop, for others don’t have a job it’s workhouse fare, well it’s making work pay init…soon be state pension age of 69….still @ least the satinic mills are m/t now?? bob, bob, bobbin’ along, the yarn of glorious imperialism….

  9. A-brightfuture

    Well, seeing that the state retiring age has now been put in to the realms of stupidity, there are going to be a heck of a lot of ESA and JSA folks over 60, and it will get worse when the retiring age goes up to 102 years of age.

    Gotta keep them short of money, JSA and ESA is a lot cheaper than a state pension. So it makes sense to the ignorant to have a much higher pension age.
    No more heating allowance, bus passes, Attendance Allowance, till your 70.

    • overburdenddonkey

      a-
      there no longer is a state retirement age…. https://www.gov.uk/retirement-age

      • overburdenddonkey

        yes imagine being on jsa (little over £70/wk) with esa being slightly above jsa rate (proposed 50p above it) until on is 69….oh yeah they have got it all worked out…just like a spent mine!

        • The Grim Reaper

          You wont’ make it through your sixties on the pittance that is JSA though…😀

          • overburdenddonkey

            grim
            yep…it comes to something that the only people with the prospect some/any kind of reasonable future are people like me @ 63…

      • Yes, my retirement age rose back in 2009 from 60 to 62, then 64, then from 2013 66.

        Now the flat rate state pension leaves me with nil state pension from 2020.

        But the retirement age is rising beyond 70 and beyond in the next parliament onwards.

  10. Just been watching another Oxbridge- educated toff ans Labour Workfare Shadow Minister Shabana-shag-athon Mahmood (yeah, never heard of her either), harping on BBC Parliament about how the ‘banker bonus tax’ will be used for “one thing and ONE thing only, the COMPULSORY Guaranteed Jobs Scheme [CWP by another name]”. What the fuck is the point in taking money off of bankers and giving it to cunts such as Learn fucking Direct, Working fucking Links, fucking Ingeus, fucking Seetec and the other exploiters of the unemployed. Rather than line the pockets of of workfare ‘providers’ it would be preferable and a lot less damaging to the health and well-being of the unemployed if the bankers were left to spunk their ‘hard-earned’ dough up against the wall on coke and fast cars. Leave the bankers and their bonuses alone you New Labour cunts!

  11. Eating cake as instructed

    Seen this coming for last five years. It’s already started bedroom tax if one partner under pension age. Baby boomer generation prolific demand coming for pensions housing benefit NHS services so typical Tory move get rid of the demand. There’s insufficient housing services etc for that generation now in late 50’s onwards yet they paid in handsomely when employment and manufacturing industries were prolific. Reality is there’s insufficient youngsters to support burgeoning pension share of DWP expenditure so evil brigade come up with usual lines of flannel subterfuge dressed as ‘better for everyone’ no it’s not. If my home is on fire I don’t expect geriatric firefighters putting their lives at even greater risk dealing with it, nor do I expect doctors nurses to be so old and worn out they can’t care safely. I’m no gambler but my money is on charging orders for everything including the very air we breath against any property owned eliminating the Tory held ideal of ‘wealth cascading down the generations’. Try closing the borders and yes I’ve seen it first hand..no staff on ports immigration.

    • The Institute of Fiscal Studies long ago said that the 1950s Baby Boomers are worse off than their parents and grandparents for the first time since they were brn in the 1950s, even to a decade ago in the past.

      Pensioners and all ages on benefit still … pay in handsomely … to tax, from the 75 per cent of all tax from people to government that comes from stealth indirect taxes and VAT, we all pay, in or out of work, however long we live.

      The biggest myth is that only those who pay income tax pay tax, when income tax oinly brings in 25p in each pound of tax to government.

      A huge number of working poor, of all ages, pay nil income tax as far below the basic tax allowance. They too pay the same three quarters of taxation on people from indirect taxation.

      Everyday essentials are taxes, even food.

      ….Reality is there’s insufficient youngsters to support burgeoning pension share of DWP expenditure …

      This again is the myth used to bash pensioners with, as pensioners more than fund themselves, as do any age on benefit.

      In state pension and pensioners benefits, NHS care, social care and social housing.

      Pensioners in benefit poverty, and the half of over 60s in the working poor, plus all those losing disability / chronic sick benefits like all ages, now outnumber all other voters in much of the UK today.

      They do have parties to vote for, to push out Tory and Lib Dem sitting MPs in much of England, Scotland and Wales.

      See how / info / links / logos and ensuring registered to vote at:

      http://www.anastasia-england.me.uk

  12. Eating cake as instructed

    NHS tourism can be prevented by ‘entitlement cards biometric style’ I’ll fill the sandbags ready for defence. Each time I attend hospital I’m asked where I was born so what’s the problem in prove it cards? If nothing else it’ll clarify one way or another if NHS resources are being taken by non residents.

  13. GEOFF REYNOLDS

    ……………..hence the unique opportunity to gain access to your pension now and rue the day you ever did……….

    These bastards want to see you in desperation, slogging your guts out to prop up your crumbling frame before the cemetery calls time.

    The big initiative is to privatise everything that the welfare state is made from. Pensions are top of the list, handing your savings over to a privateer to blast at will while filling their pockets, quite similar to what they do now it would seem.

    If they can kill at will now, just think what the DWP can do with pensioners.

    “HAROLD SHIPMAN EAT YOUR HEART OUT”

  14. Put on thop of this the news that if the cuts continue on Adult eductauion, there will soon be NO Adult Education available over te age of 21 [Bet that gets lowered to 18 then 17, then… at Ten years old ts offo the work house for you Child and beware the Toffs who smile at you and offer to ‘help you’…]

    See:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-32017137
    “Colleges say ‘swathe of cuts’ threatens adult education”

    So, if under 21 get extra education [read workfare]
    Older than 21, screwed [welcome to workfare]

    Nice

    But remember …. wait for it … wait…

    “We’re all in it together!”

    • Just told this rubbish to my sister and her head rotated up to look at me like a gun Turret.

      This is all going to end badly for someone.

  15. GEOFF REYNOLDS

    “HOW UNUM PULL THE DWP’S STRINGS”

    Nancy Ames, HR director at Unum, commented:

    “Altmann’s report highlights the importance of recruiting, developing and retaining older workers, both now and in the future. Yet many employers aren’t addressing their needs in the workplace, especially when it comes to employee benefits.

    “Our research shows that the future workplace will increasingly be an ‘ageless workplace.’ Employers must understand what is needed to encourage older workers to remain or return to work, and make sure they feel energised to contribute their valuable expertise and experiences.

    “To do this, employers must understand the needs of older staff and addressing the increased likelihood of ill health. Wellbeing programming is an important preventative measure. Income Protection provides an important financial back-up plan for workers who do go on long-term sick leave and comes with rehabilitation services to support them if they are able to return to work.”

    • GEOFF REYNOLDS

      UNUM UNUM UNUM UNUM UNUM
      “THE PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE RACKETEERS STEER UK POLITICS”

      Research by Cass Business School, commissioned by Unum, suggests the number of people working past the traditional retirement age has almost doubled in the past 20 years. Health charity The King’s Fund predicts the number of over-60s in the workplace will grow by 41% to almost 20 million by 2030.

      http://www.reward-guide.co.uk/hubs/management/older-workers-come-of-age

      ……………….UNUM AND THE KINGS FUND (PRIVATISATION OF NHS SERVICES AND THE WELFARE STATE PROVISIONS)

      • This ideology has come from the US.black and white thinking,brutal treatment,bullying and intimidating people out the door,work work and more work,explotative conditions.govenments have no responsibility to those out of work.

        The 1960’s generation is going to start coming through soon at pension age,these are the thatcher generation.who leaving school found local manufactures closing,huge numbers being dumped on the dole queues and they to were forced to join.many these will have worked little as opportunities were few.a generation on the scrap heap took hold and many found theselves on out of work benefits and wil have to claim pension credit as they havent paid enough contributions. The government is going to have to cough up,they caused all of this.

        • @Ken
          Your arithmetic is a bit off. The current crop of pensioners is comprised of the 1940/50s Baby Boomers (I’m one). I was a teenager through the 1960s when jobs and prospects were spectacular. The dream started to fade in the early 70s thanks mostly to to the 1973 Oil Crisis. Then that Thatcher hag snatched power in 1979 when the seeds of all our current woes were sown. It’s the 80/90s generation that are the “Thatcher generation”.

  16. Dodgy Dave & The Dodgy Crew all have Mental Health Issues & need to seek help for non stop gibberish & gobbledygook. To be that far away from reality ends up with more gibberish & gobbledygook. The polite way of ripping people off & saying I`ve ripped you off what you gonna do about it !!!
    Bully goes with Bullydomdon. Seems like a dodgy bully trade at some fee paying crap bully house of rip off snobs. Standing don`t mean nothing when in a wheelchair. Standing & goodie goody standing is polite bullshit. It could only happen because the disabled are paying for it all to happen. But no the disabled have not gone away like Disability Hate Crime Law is a farse not worth the paper it`s written on. £50 Billion helping disabled people into work – Where has that gone Disability Confident PLC & any thing else the DWP put the word Disabled or disability. Disability Not Dead PLC or Disabled Still Alive PLC. Corpirate Genocide.

  17. Scotland would have lowered the pension age if we never had scummy no voters.

  18. Eating cake as instructed

    Cephalus quite right voting should be compulsory. Choice is hard to make but until sh1tty system we endure changes it’s what we’ve got. No vote no say regardless of political colours or not. Change starts by folk standing firm NO! WHY? Are good starters for ten

    • Voting is to be made compulsory!. The Voting (Civil Obligation) Bill. See here:
      http://services.parliament.uk/bills/2014-15/votingcivicobligation.html

    • Why should voting be made compulsory? Most people on here rightly disagree with being forced to work for nothing, and in the same vein forcing people to vote is equally wrong.

      People don’t vote for a whole load of reasons, but the biggest reason is that it makes no difference, whoever you vote for, the government gets in. Maybe if voting was worthwhile, i.e. if there were any politicians who gave a damn, and had a track record of having worked for and delivered for ordinary people then maybe people would turn out and vote.

      The Scottish Independence Referendum saw a massive turnout of just under 85%, and there was a massive turnout for the Greek elections in January because the issues of ordinary people were central to the campaigns – both were fought on the issues that people care about. There is a similar situation developing in Spain with Podemos.

      People in the UK have lost faith in the political establishment. Does anyone remember the euphoria immediately after the 1997 General Election when Labour got in after 18 years of Tory misrule? People were euphoric because finally the Tories were gone… Or so we initially thought. It didn’t take long before it was realised that Labour had morphed into Tory-Lite, and mass disillusionment set in. This has made it hard for any half-decent politician, or political party (and there are a few) to get a fair hearing, let alone canvas support. The reason the SNP has a lot of support is that they are in government in Scotland, and are widely seen to be making a real difference for the better in ordinary people’s lives, and want to go further, which was a major motivation behind the Independence Referendum. Okay, so the SNP are hardly radical enough for people like me, but I recognise that I am not in anything like a majority, and realise, as did the Thathcherites back in the mid-70s that it would take a long time to implement the hegemonic changes they desired. I have to give credit where credit it due, and if I was in Scotland I would vote SNP. As I am in Wales I will vote Plaid Cymru. Plaid Cymru are nowhere near radical enough for me, but they do espouse policies that would substantially improve the lives of ordinary people, and that has to be a good start.

      Compulsory voting is a bad idea, as it would indicate that there would be sanctions for non-compliance, and we here know a lot about that! Being legally required to register to vote is enough of an imposition as it is.

  19. Yes you are correct. No was a vote for more of the same. Yes was a vote for something different. Something that could have gave us all hope. The world is going to shit anyway so who gives a fuck about the risks. The risks are worth taking when it takes us away from the system that we are currently in, A system that is removing poor peoples benefits and leaving them to die.
    Fuck the no voters and fuck the tories and fuck anyone who doesn’t like this post.

  20. cephalus – The irony is, a lot of pensioners voted no, because they were scared their pensions were at risk if they voted yes

  21. Employers attending and recruiting directly from Burnley Jobcentre.

    15/12/2014 The Range
    16/12/2014 The Range
    18/12/2014 Key Appointments
    23/12/2014 Remploy
    29/12/2014 The Range
    30/12/2014 Remploy
    02/01/2015 The Range
    06/01/2015 Calico
    14/01/2015 Heads Recruitment
    15/01/2015 Poundland
    22/01/2015 Heads Recruitment
    29/01/2015 Mike Burrell and Heads Recruitment.
    03/02/2015 Heads Recruitment and Learn direct
    05/02/2015 Heads recruitment
    11/02/2015 Age UK
    11/02/2015 Army
    10/02/2015 Hays recruitment
    17/02/2015 Help Direct
    19/02/2015 Heads Recruitment
    26/02/2015 Burrell Enterprise
    24/02/2015 Army
    23/02/2015 Oaks Hotel
    19/03/2015 Key Appointments
    12/03/2015 Work Start

    The Army have attended every week on Tuesdays, since week commencing 6
    January 2015,
    Employers attending Job Fairs held at Burnley Jobcentre:

    31/01/2012
    RTT Group, North Lancs Training Group, Army, Princes Trust, Avenir,
    McDonalds, RLC, Lancashire County Council, Training 2000.

    27/07/2012
    Accent, Transline, Princes Trust, JHP Training, CVS, Calico, Youth Action

    01/10/2013
    Lancashire County Council, Veka, Burnley Telematics, Express Gifts,
    Lancashire County Council Young Peoples Service, Training 2000, Neville
    Gee, Pro Direct Soccer Academy.

    https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/employers_attending_and_recruiti#incoming-633028

  22. The Army have attended every week on Tuesdays, since week commencing 6
    January 2015,

    That’s it go fight illegal wars or face sanction…

  23. This is already happening.

    Retirement age rose for women from 60 to 66 in 2013, with men’s rising from 65 to 66.

    The flat rate state pension hits men and women older than those retiring from next year, 2016, threatening NIL STATE PENSION FOR LIFE.

    See why, under my petition, in my WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT section, at:
    https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/state-pension-at-60-now

    UNIVERSAL CREDIT AND THE OVER 60s
    Universal Credit hits the over 60s by the rise in retirement age, as liable for UC and cannot get Pension Credit if either partner is below the raised retirement age.

    UC rules means someone cannot access state pesnion til 73 or even 76, if partner below raised retirement age.

    NEW PENSIONERS FROM 6 APRIL 2016

    Guarantee credit Pension Credit becomes more complex conditional even for current pensioners.

    New claimant pensioners face the end of Pension Credit (savings)
    from the flat rate state pension on and from 6 April 2016.

    The Tories are beginning to talk of cutting the state pension even for current pensioners, calling the state penson a benefit, when it a contribution based pension like any works or private pension.

    National Insurance and the top up to the state pension of State Earnings Related Pension Scheme (became the State Second Pension from 2002) have been merged.

    This means from 2016 you need 35 years NI record and 35 years of SERPs / S2P to get a full state pension.

    See how this is bringing not even half or even nil state pension to new pensioners from 2016, under my petitition, in my
    WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT section, at:

    https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/state-pension-at-60-now

  24. Pingback: They Are Coming For Our Pensions … And This Is How It Begins | jacobusmcmxlvii

  25. another jobseeker

    Received a letter from WP inviting me to attend further sessions designed around employability etc. I had been working and did not sign on for 7 months. JCP said I had to go back to WP. I have been signing on for a month and got the letter from WP today. No mention of mandatory says at bottom of letter WP voluntary letter. The appointment is for Friday.

    • another jobseeker

      Can anyone advise. It will be nearly a year ago when I was sent on WP. I originally thought that if you had a break of 6 months you did not have to go back but JCP said I had to.

      • They make the rules up as they go along – common purpose leading beyond authority wing-nuts.

      • another jobseeker – No-one who has completed the full Work Programme of 104 weeks can be re-submitted for a second time, for any reason.
        If you have had a substantial period like 7 months in employment, or at least without claiming JSA, then your current claim counts as a completely new claim.
        The clock will start again from zero regarding when you can be compulsorily referred back to the WP to complete the remaining balance of the 104 weeks.
        When this is will depend on your age group, as follows:
        If you are aged 18-24 and have claimed jobseeker’s allowance for nine months ( in your new, current claim).
        If you are aged 25 or over and have claimed jobseeker’s allowance for 12 months ( also in your new, current claim).
        So you have either 9 or 12 months of claiming JSA before they can force you back to complete the balance of the Work Programme.
        It is possible to ‘volunteer’ for the Work Programme, and that is clearly what the Jobcentre are trying to get you to do in this case.
        This is why your referral letter does not include a Jobseekers Direction to re-start on a mandatory basis.
        Unfortunately by failing to inform you of this, the Jobcentre have made you an appointment based on your supposed consent to this meeting.
        If they say that you agreed to go when you last saw your Work Coach, and the letter is a confirmation of this, then you could have a problem if you deliberately miss the meeting. If you do go, then remember that you do not have to volunteer to complete your Work Programme, before the referral times listed as above, have been reached. You can say that you prefer to wait until you are referred on a mandatory basis, and do not wish to re-join the Work Programme on a voluntary basis.
        Hope this helps.

        • Hi Jeff
          Many thanks for replying. I was told when I made my claim that I had to go back to the WP. I asked the girl at JCP to check this and she went off to confirm and came back stating that it was right that I had to go back to them. It has been around 4 weeks since I have been signing on. I received a letter from the WP provider only this week.
          It is definitely a new claim. I will go and tell them I do not want to go as voluntary.
          I was not appointed a work coach as they said I would be going back to the WP.
          Is there any way I can reference any of it?
          Thanks for your help.

          • Hi Liz,
            Two useful sites are @refuted.org.uk for general information, and also the Freedom of Information Request Site : whatdotheyknow.com. If you search here under DWP/ Work Programme you will find a number of useful items, such as
            FOI 5614 on Work Programme Eligibility and Linking Periods.
            This confirms the 12 month / 9 month rule, and also the fact that your new Work Programme Entry Point will have to calculated from the date of your new (current claim). These FOI requests are often printed-out at my local jobcentre, and presented by claimants to support their position as required. You could also of course make a request youself, though this will take a few weeks, so will not be immediately available.
            They are clearly trying to slide you back into the WP as a ‘volunteer’, earlier than you actually should be referred. Of course if you stay unemployed, you will sooner or later reach the point at which you can be referred again, to complete however much of the original 104 weeks is still outstanding from your first Work Programme.
            I would make it plain that you are only attending the meeting on an informal, voluntary basis. That you have now received advice regarding referral dates, and that you have no wish to volunteer early for the Work Programme.
            Remember if a Jobcentre request does not come with a Jobseekers Direction you do not have to do it. Be careful what you sign, as they may try and bluff through something on the basis that they will sort it out, but you will have inadvertently signed-back onto the WP.

            Good Luck,
            Jeff Smith

  26. The DWP will have to send me the letter 5 times. I am good at stalling or/& a bad cash cow.

  27. ITV want you to decide which topics the party leaders debate on 2nd April, email debate@itv.com with your suggestions. Then watch them promise you the earth only to snatch it away straight after the election. Shelter are doing a big campaign to ask everyone to email them about the future of social housing.

  28. Well, at least this might stop some on the left from describing pensioners as privileged characters who are to blame for the bad treatment of the young.

    We’ve been under attack from all quarters for some time, not only because of the benefit imbalance (the recommendation always being to cut pensioners’ benefits, not to raise that of younger people), but because we got born at the same time as a lot of other people, and having done that, we’ve compounded the felony by living too long.

    Not surprising that euthanasia (excuse me, I mean ‘death with dignity’) is so fashionable, and probably inevitable — though once they’ve established us as a source of free labour they might want to re-think that.

    It’s that wonderful thing, ‘choice’ — the choice in this case being work or die.

  29. We realy are in the age of ….the revenge of the public school boy…….even Thatcher of all the monsters wouldn’t have etonians in her government.Cameron,Osbourne ect are a snyde bunch of weak cruel narrow shouldered weak backed small cocked cowards and bullies …..typical ….inadaquates…..I don’t think I’ve ever met a good torie they have a mentality of if your not one of us or if your of no ….use….to us or we can’t profit either finnancialy or mattireialy ..than you are of no value and are worthless …this…is…how they think …they subhuman. Just look at the windsors…….the thing is the Tories are cowardly weaklings ….if the police just turned a blind eye ….we could just smash them to bits ….if only lol

  30. So the state pension age goes up and up and up and those who actually survive to eventually draw their state pension are expected to work for it! What do we pay in contributions all our working lives for? We’ll get nothing back at all once the NHS has gone and it will if the Tories or UKIP get into power in May. Those who have worked from 15 years old in menial jobs are tired, they suffer from age related complaints. Women of that generation have no private pension, there was no equality of pay with men those days, they have to work until they drop and then to be expected to work for their state pension too is just cruel. Let those in cushy jobs work longer if they want to, let those who feel up to volunteering do so, but let those in need of a bit of rest and prepared to cut their cloth to live on the state pension they paid in for, do so! Apprenticeships for the young and fit who want to work, YES ….. but not for older people who deserve a bit of life AFTER work!

  31. Inquiry calls for benefits watchdog after death of Stevenage soldier

    Hertfordshire Mercury – 25th March 2015

    An inquiry into benefit sanctions sparked by the death of a former soldier has published its findings, calling for a raft of reforms.

    The parliamentary inquiry was pushed for after ex-serviceman David Clapson, from Stevenage, was sanctioned and died in July 2013.

    In its findings, the inquiry said the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which administrates benefits, should form an independent watchdog to investigate when sanctioned claimants die.

    The inquiry also concluded that hardship payments – which would have been unavailable to Mr Clapson for two weeks after losing his benefits – should be accessible straight away.

    Read More:
    http://www.hertfordshiremercury.co.uk/Sanctions-watchdog-sought-benefits-death/story-26229666-detail/story.html

  32. I cancelled my only personal pension, shortly after Mrs Thatcher came to power and my industry took on new methods of operating. Greed came in to play, boxes on spread sheets where altered, wages where dropped. Then Mr Blair let in all the foriegn workers and the wages fell a lot more.
    Oddly in comparrison, my bosses have generally had more than one pension.

  33. typical cameron going after the over 50s i had to retire on medical grounds told i wont work again him and ros altman get their pensions so go after the workshy and stop penalising the 50 plus age group and let the over 50s have some dignity

  34. at least at nearly 53 ive worked till my health packed in more than some workshy who should work

    • Workshy – definition technicality any bio GDP unit that is not self-sustainable is an unsustainable life-form and is to be eliminated.

      Are you self-sufficient in vegetables?

  35. Stop and think about all of this! Who let this happen? We did. Who tried to stop it? No-one. Who is going to let this carry on? We are of course.
    This last 5 years especially have been the most awful time for the majority of people. It’s going to get worse until the elderly and infirm are gone or locked away and it will not stop until they have the “plebs” under control and working as servants for no pay – maybe a scrap here and there to keep their strength up. They’ll do what they did in the workhouses – take away the children from the parent at a certain age and then beat them into submission.
    This next election is seriously a live or die one and it’s also a huge chance to change politics completely – but will we all fight and stand together for it? Probably not…

  36. Reblogged this on Jay's Journal and commented:
    Retirement? When?

  37. Well said Ruth (above). If you feel that people should be retiring at 60, not later and later, then please sign my petition: https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/let-men-and-women-retire-at-60-with-a-state-pension

    • overburdenddonkey

      laura
      yes, that would certainly bring massive benefits our culture and put income where it ought to be spread among the people…the principle of pensions for all @ 60, really shows up the intent of the establishment’s to harvest all wealth from economic process, for themselves, in that they resist this and indeed move further away from this ideal…

  38. Personally, I take on board and agree with pretty much everything you say in your review of this lunatic’s report. His findings are and will always be utter bollocks. The trouble is, as with most “Independent reports” they are sponsored by politicians of one stripe or another and as such will be biased to whichever ethos they are currently subscribing to. The political henchmen will trot out the same dogma day in and day out repeating it so often in so many different ways that whatever absurdity they are trying to promote eventually becomes normal to the ears of anyone who happens to be listening. (Bank bonuses, HS2, Trident . . . the list of the brainwashing madness is virtually endless).

    The root of the problem is that our politicians don’t work for us, they believe they have carte blanche to do exactly as they please to satisfy their corporate masters. It doesn’t matter the colour of party, they are all subserviant to big business. All of them.

    Less than 50% of the elegible electorate are likely to vote in the upcoming British elections if some of the pundits are to be believed so where is the democratic consensus in that. We seem to forget that Parliament governs the citizens of England by statute, not by law. Will people in this country ever get angry enough, disappointed enough, frustrated enough to do something marvellous?

    RR

  39. If Mp’s were paid by their knowledge – they would probably require income support – everything they seem to do – well, in my opinion, requires the need for reviews. Why is this and how much taxpayer’s cash do they spend on reviews?

  40. another jobseeker

    Jeff
    Many thanks for the advice very much appreciated. I think rhey might try to stitch me up swith an electronic sign on which I thought was compulsory. I think I can withdraw that as I was not advised that it was voluntory. It is alll really difficult when these people are supposed to be helpful but clearly they are not.

  41. Well what a Surprise! ConCon Cameron admits he couldn’t live on a Zero Hour Contract… [but under his breath mutters, “but I’ll drive all the poor peons to one…”]

  42. Elephant in the room Alert:

    Has the good Dr Altmann suggested where the jobs for everyone are going to come from? With the current rate of technological advancement, there will be a significant decrease in the numbers of humans required to carry out the “work” needed to keep everything running.

    The rate of progress is similar to Moore’s Law, but the abilities of the new tech doubles roughly every 10 months – rather than the 18 months that computer power was doubling at from the late 70’s to today.

    • robinmcburnie,

      You have to understand the mindset of Zoombie Smith and his “Asperations”… “There are sufficient Zero Hours Contracts out there for the taking because I have an asperation [read delusion here] that they exist – why is that? Because, my Aperation tells ‘Im right.”
      Why is this? Well when the new regulations kick in 6th April 2016, for the extra 10million people being dragged into this mess, where are the jobs DWP is going to insist they find going to come from? What rabbits hat are they going to emerge from? If they don’t exist except in Prentious Smiths fantasy unverse ….
      How they’ll sell it I have no idea.
      Question is is who’ll buy it?
      over 16 but under 21? off to workfare for you [free labour]
      over 21, off to workfare for you[free labour]
      not retired , off to workfare for you[free labour]
      not 70? , off to workfare for you[free labour]

    • It also seems to have escaped most people that automation has massively increased the profits enjoyed by the business elite – so far from there being a shortage of money there is in fact a superabundance. However, what those idiots don’t seem to realise is that their wealth won’t increase of the many of us are too impoverished to by the products and services they provide, and I wouldn’t like to be in their shoes when the inevitable corollary of that happens.

  43. Reblogged this on The Heckler and commented:
    The morons who come up with this shite about getting pensioners back into work must be walking round with their eyes closed. Have they not walked into a supermarket or a bank and noticed self service tills replacing check out workers and counter staff? That’s just two examples, there’s loads more. It’s not just un-skilled and semi-skilled jobs that are being swept away by automation – developments in software are threatening skilled workers now as well. Workers are increasingly seen as a cost to be eliminated. Which begs the question of where all of the jobs are going to come from for pensioners being bullied back into ‘work’?

    • I was in industrial electronics until I was forcibly retired by a stroke, but even then the work was drying up because all of the gear i looked after was replaced by crappy, DISPOSABLE 21st Century tat made in the Far East. Engineers with my skills are literally dying out. What if Western capitalism implodes and we need our skills to restart and skill-up our own industries?

      • It will implode. It’s only just starting, but what has happened in Greece has already started happening in places as diverse as India and the USA. It’s early days, but the kinds of ideas formulated by movements such as Occupy are starting to take root. The biggest problem at this moment in time is imagining the economic system that will replace capitalism.

        Google Commons Paradigm for articles about ideas being discussed for an economic model that could replace capitalism.

        If capitalism does implode, (which seems likely) then these guys have got it pretty much covered!

        http://opensourceecology.org/

      • Pete,
        I think the rot set in with Thatcher,the country would become rich on the “sevice sector”,insurance and banking was going to be the country’s saviour,that was her way of thinking.
        Forget engineering,we would all become white collar workers.
        Forward to recent times and we all know where we are with banking.When I go into Halfords and the like it breaks my heart to see young men serving behind counters when in the past they would be serving apprenticeships.

  44. If they lowered the retirement age then this would leave more jobs for younger people. I, for one, will NOT be working for my pension. If I could give up my job right now I would not hesitate. Everyone is being persecuted by this Government.

  45. In its findings, the inquiry said the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which administrates benefits, should form an independent watchdog to investigate when sanctioned claimants die.

    The independent watchdog will be overseeing the fact that sanctioned claimants die, what exactly will they then be watchdogging how efficiently the sanctioned claimants die?

  46. Heard it all now — apprenticeships for retired people !

    Message to the people who dreamed up this insanity : ask your drug dealers what the f*ck are they mixing in with your stash.

  47. Well Truth will out – Benifit Cuts leaked.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-32084722

    Tax Disability… hhhhmmm
    regional benefits cap…. hhhhmmmmmm
    reducing eligibility for the carers’ allowance…. hhhhhhhmmmmmmmmm
    NI contributins taken away from families …………
    Limit child benifit to 2 children

    List created by Civil Servants on orders of Head Conmen Conservatives HQ.

    Yes, all will be very popular policies with those affected and left picking up the pieces

  48. stitchedupandbroken

    I recently finished the bio on Cyril Smith: Smlle for the Camera. Its first chapters deal with the CS,his upbringing and the late 20s and 30s. Revisit that age. It’s where the army was sent out onto the street to control and keep order on the starving masses. The police were smashing the teeth out of starving protestors. Remember the Generals and Police were getting ready for civil unrest with Harold Wilson and,it’s said,were plotting to get rid of him and Labour(The Top Table at it again!) Right now I see the Conservatives planning massive cuts to Welfare! You got a friend or a relative who can help you,and they have some ££: the state dictates they have no obligation to help you,but your friend or relative should!!

    Maybe it will come to this: you have to take your unwell friend or relative or mother and father down to your local hospital…and leave them. With or without their consent,they ‘cannot’ or ‘will no’t give details of themselves. The further from ‘home’ the better. IDS is then forced to pick up all the additional £££,the structure collapses. The unwanted,’confused’,friend then should have accommodation and endless investigations into themselves…all costing £££

    I must,at this time,state I do not condone the above. (Hi embeds and Mr Snoopdog!)

    I guess you visit your friend or relative in hospital…in disguise(Burka)? Any wrongdoing in lack of care,investigations you have to report. It’s called Blowback. And its repercussions came from Greenspan,Thatcher and When Atlas Shrugged

  49. Pingback: They Are Coming For Our Pensions ... And This I...

  50. Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    Johnny Void here reports on the plans, presented by a former banker, for forcing the elderly to return to work. Mr Void presents the statistics actually showing that only a very few pensioners actually want to return to full-time work, while only about a quarter are interested in finding part-time work.

    This isn’t about tapping into the elderly’s particular skills, or showing that senior citizens are still productive members of society. It’s simply about cutting down on pensions. The right has been arguing since the 1990s that the falling birth rate means that there are too few young people to support ‘generous’ pensions for the elderly. Hence the elderly must have their pensions cut.

    They also realise that this is political suicide, and so are trying desperately to hide what they are intending to do. Iain Duncan Smith has been on TV this Sunday denying that they have plans to cut anywhere particularly yet, while simultaneously saying they need to make more cuts. And so this piece of research comes along, talking about encouraging old people to take up work voluntarily. Just as so many of the government’s workfare schemes are also supposed to be voluntary.

  51. Arbeit macht frei

  52. Pingback: The Old Parties Versus The New. | bloodtearsoftheredfox

  53. Pingback: New Unelected Pensions Minister Ros Altmann Wants Us To Work Till We Drop | the void

  54. Pingback: New Unelected Pensions Minister Ros Altmann Wants Us To Work Till We Drop | Alternative News Network

  55. Pingback: George Osborne Declares War On The Working Class. Are We Fucking Up For It? | the void

  56. It’s a familiar story here in Australia, with the retirement age set to go up to 70. Pensions seem to be going the way of the dodo.

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