Age UK’s Responds To Queen’s Speech – Pensions And Social Care

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said:

On pensions

‘Age UK welcomes the Government’s commitment to innovation in pensions. Giving people greater flexibility and choice in how to access and spend their pension savings is the right approach, but the success of these radical reforms will rest on whether the financial guidance on offer will help people make informed decisions about using their savings wisely over the whole of their retirement.

‘The Government’s proposals to allow people to pool risk in Collective Defined Contribution pensions is an interesting idea for future generations of pensioners. These schemes offer the potential of more stable returns, but they are not risk free and even when legislation is passed it is unclear whether employers will want to develop them.

‘These new proposals must not distract us from the major changes happening now. The Government’s clear priority must be to deliver on its commitment to provide high-quality, impartial pensions guidance, to help people to be more secure in later life.’

On Social Care and lack of further legislation on safeguarding

‘We need immediate effective regulation to prevent abuse, poor management and neglect, and complaints and concerns also need to be investigated swiftly and efficiently. The safeguarding measures in the Care Act do not go far enough, we must raise standards and ensure that all older people and their families are involved in how NHS and vital care and support services are run and are able to raise concerns about the quality of care, confident that their views will be acted on.

‘We would like to see legislation making it an offence to neglect a vulnerable adult and ensuring that Directors of organisations that provide health or care services can be held accountable for neglect or abuse.

‘Older people in receipt of health and care services are among the most vulnerable members of society and they cannot afford to wait for legislation that could protect them from harm’