A secure retirement for all? Older people and New Labour

Maria Evandrou and Jane Falkingham

in A more equal society?

Published by Policy Press

Published in print January 2005 | ISBN: 9781861345783
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447301394 | DOI:
A secure retirement for all? Older people and New Labour

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  • Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility


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In 1979, Labour's Election Manifesto placed an emphasis on the party's long-standing objective of achieving a state pension of one third adult average earnings for single people and half average earnings for couples. However, in 1981, the Conservative government broke the link between pensions and earnings. When the Labour party rose to power, it restored the link between pensions and earnings and the basic state pension (BSP). It had promised to deliver more automatic help to the poorest of the pensioners. Fulfilling this promise, Labour put up systematic reviews of both pensions and long-term care provisions were established, in particular it introduced Opportunity for All, which served as the government's blueprint in its approach to poverty and social exclusion. This policy drew three priorities for older people: tackling the problems of low income and social exclusion among today's pensioners; improving opportunities for older people to live secure, fulfilling, and active lives; and ensuring that more of tomorrow's pensioners can retire on a decent income. This chapter examines the policy changes introduced to achieve the three priorities set by the New Labour government. It also assesses the success of these policies in terms of measurable outcomes, using both of the government's own monitoring data and other sources.

Keywords: state pension; earnings; basic state pension; pensions; long-term care; Opportunity for All; low income; social exclusion; opportunities; pensioners

Chapter.  8310 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility

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