Employment and Pensions Law (11 June - 25 June)

Feature of the Fortnight

According to the Professional Adviser, 12,000 people have now signed a petition to reverse the government’s plans to raise the state pension retirement age (SPA) to 68 between 2037 and 2039. These dates are seven years ahead of what the government had initially proposed, and will affect numerous employees when it comes to their retirement planning. As the petition has received over 10,000 signatures, the government will now have to supply a formal response. According to Pensions Director of Aegon, Steven Cameron: ‘The main justification for increasing the SPA is to make it (the state pension) affordable as average life expectancy increases.’ However, People Management has also suggested the government’s plans need a rethink as figures suggest increases in longevity are slowing down. There has been a recent spike in deaths, with the first quarter of this year recording over 18,000 above the five-year average. Helen Morrissey, a personal finance specialist at Royal London, has stated that ‘if the figures repeatedly show that something has changed then policymakers need to do more to understand the underlying drivers and their implication for policy making going forward’.

Employment News

75% of employers believe their industry does not view the gender pay gap as a problem

Employee Benefits – 18 June

Research by global professional services organisation Lockton has revealed that 75% of the 800 people surveyed believe their industry does not perceive the gender pay gap to be an issue. However, 73% also believed that their organisation did not have a gender pay gap. The respondents were made up of 400 HR directors and 400 employees at multi-national companies of over 1,000 employees.

Supreme Court says Pimlico Plumbers are workers

Lewis Silkin – 13 June

Lewis Silkin discuss the case of Pimlico Plumbers and Mullins v Gary Smith, whereby the Supreme Court has upheld the Employment Tribunal’s decision that Mr Smith, a ‘self-employed’ plumber working for Pimlico Plumbers should be classed as a ‘worker’. Mr Smith was obliged to wear a Pimlico Plumbers uniform and drive a branded van, and ‘was obliged to work minimum hours’. Therefore, the Employment Tribunal concluded that he could not be considered ‘self-employed’.

Pensions News

38% are not confident about their ability to retire comfortably

Employee Benefits – 15 June

According to a recent poll of nearly 1,000 people, carried out by Aegon, 38% of respondents do not feel confident about their ability to ‘retire comfortably’. 13% do not have any pension savings at all, and 26% of people do not know how much they have in their pension savings.

Tens of thousands of people are being paid WRONG state pension due to massive data bungle

This Money – 14 June

According to a report by the Financial Times, a clean up of old pensions data has revealed that tens of thousands of people are being paid the wrong amount of state pensions. Those who were overpaid will not have to pay the difference back, but will now face cuts to their pension. Meanwhile, those who have been underpaid will receive an increased amount and back payments for what they have missed out on, but will not receive any interest.

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