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UK state pension worst of developed nations

The UK's state pension is the least generous of all the most advanced nations in the world according to a report by the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). 

A UK worker on average earnings, who doesn't have a 'voluntary pension' (workplace or private), can expect on retirement to recieve a mere 29% of what they were earning at work. However, even for those with an extra pension the systems in Japan, Germany, France, Italy, the United States, Canada, the Netherlands and Ireland all pay out a higher proportion of working income (62% compared to 69% average).

Current poverty levels of those aged 75 and over are 18.5%, compared to 11% among the whole population  and just over 10% for the age group 66-75. Women are most affected by old-age poverty. The OECD report can be download here


Affordable housing for older people

Shared equity schemes increase access to housing and home ownership. 

For the first time, older people will be able to access a range of home ownership schemes offered by the Scottish Government. These can remove the requirement for a mortgage contribution and make older people a priority access group. It can also provide options that brings older people closer to family and care support, and are more affordable and suitable for their needs – including downsizing, or the option to buy a retirement or supported home.
For further information click here

GLASGOW UNITE CELEBRATES
UN DAY OF OLDER PERSONS

Bringing their voices, instruments and friends! This is precisely what the Glasgow Unite Retired Members’ and the Glasgow Community Branches did on Saturday 30th September to celebrate the annual United Nations International Day of Older Persons. The theme of this year’s big day was “Stepping into the Future: Tapping the Talents, Contributions and Participation of Older Persons in Society.” Unite members came together under the banners, “Older Persons’ Day” and “Hands off our Bus Passes” to illustrate the value of the travel concession in promoting and strengthening the participation of older people in community and civic life. Held in the Sauchiehall Street pedestrian precinct, one of Glasgow’s major business and commercial districts, the event attracted a huge number of local residents and visitors in the area.
Speakers addressed the crowds on issues affecting both young and old and the value of strong trade union involvement in civic life. Local musicians were on hand providing entertainment, while Unite members interacted with the public and distributed information leaflets. The centrepiece of the event consisted of petitions drawn up to demand that the Scottish Government must continue its programme of concessionary travel. The public very much supported this initiative. Hundreds of signatures supporting the travel scheme were collected to be forwarded to Holyrood.
Bus passes, and other concessionary programmes, have enabled both demographic groups to overcome many of the barriers that exclude them from active involvement in the political or cultural life of their local communities. Concessionary travel is an important pathway in minimising social isolation, a devastating aspect of life affecting many older residents in Scotland, especially those living in the vast rural areas of the country. In addition, thousands of jobs throughout Scotland in the transportation and food sectors, to name just two, would be lost if the scheme is either reduced or withdrawn.
The United Nations General Assembly designated 01 October as the International Day of Older Persons in December of 1990. Human rights remain the focus of all UN efforts regarding older people. According to the agency, by 2050 over 20 per cent of the world’s population will be 60 years of age or older. As well as the needs and challenges of an ageing population, the contributions that the older generations can continue to make to society, if supportive programmes are in place, must not be overlooked.

(Click here for pictures and video)
Anita Shelton
Unite Glasgow Retired Members’ Branch