Pensioners face ‘threat’ in new tax year as inflation ‘eats away’ at state pension

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The new tax year begins in just a few days, but for a large number of pensioners, the financial pressures they experienced in 2021/22 will remain. With inflation at staggering levels and the nation engulfed in a cost of living crisis, many of Britain’s retirees are still crying out for relief.

Claire Trott, Divisional Director of Retirement and Holistic Planning at St James’s Place, spoke exclusively to and discussed the predicament many pensioners are in entering the next tax year.

She said: “There is a lot of concern, understandably, with regards to inflation and the fact that pensions may not be keeping pace with it.

“The timing of pension increases is often an issue as the calculations are usually based on figures from September-September, but only implemented in the following April, meaning that they’re not always completely reflective of the current economic environment.

“This can sometimes work in the pensioners favour or, as we have seen this year, against them.”

The state pension increase for the 2022/23 tax year was locked in from September 2021, when inflation registered at 3.1 percent.

Since then, inflation has doubled to 6.2 percent, putting a squeeze on the finances of Britain’s pensioners.

Had the Government honoured the triple lock policy, the state pension would be rising by more than eight percent on April 11.

However, the consistent increases in inflation could offer a glimmer of hope relating to next year’s state pension boost.

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Ms Trott said: “Although no comfort now, given we have been assured that the triple lock will be back in force in 2022/23, we will see pensions ‘catch-up’ with inflation next year because they will reflect September 2021 to September 2022.”

Emma Chee, Head of Wealth Management and Insurance Strategic Services at HSBC UK, spoke exclusively to and detailed how pensioners have been hit especially hard by these difficult economic times.

She said: “The threat of rising inflation and increased cost of living means it’s more important than ever for people to understand where their money is going. From increases in energy and food, to petrol and big-ticket items, we’ve all felt the sharp increases in costs.

“Pensioners are very likely to feel the impact of this rise, as many don’t have the means to top up their income once in retirement. Recent inflation means the state pension is struggling to keep pace, which many pensioners will find challenging.

“Our research revealed that seven percent of pensioners cannot afford to pay their household bills and 26 percent can’t afford to run a car, so inflation can potentially further eat away at your nest egg.”

She also offered some tips on how pensioners can ease their financial worries.

Ms Chee said: “My first piece of advice for those in retirement entering the new tax year is to create a budget, or review your existing budget. With uncertainty around costs, it’s important to have a clear understanding of where your money is going.

“Plan out your regular outgoings, and review where you’re spending most.

“If you’re approaching retirement, you might want to consider entering what we’re calling ‘semi-retirement,’ which offers you the opportunity to keep earning money for a few more years until you’re in a more comfortable position.

“This will allow you to keep saving a bit longer, or to defer taking your pension for a few years.”

She also suggested pensioners may want to consider investing as another option to boost their savings.

Ms Chee concluded: “It’s crucial to remember that everyone’s financial situation is different, which will impact the next steps you take. HSBC UK has one-to-one support available, as well as live chat options and articles to support your journey.

“Though it may feel unpredictable and intimidating at times, there is still so much you can do to get on top of your financial situation.”

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