Campaigners mark 100 years of state pensionPensioner body calls for increase in basic pension

01 January 2009

A pensions campaigning organisation today launches a year-long campaign to mark a century of the state pension and to demand an increase of more than £40 a week for all in retirement.

Pensions and premium bonds

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Today, marking the state pension's centenary, the  National Pensioners Convention (NPC) is calling for an increase in today's state pension from its current £90.70 to at least £134 a week. To support its campaign, the NPC has launched a new website at

Old Age Pensions Act

The Old Age Pensions Act was passed in August 1908, and on 1 January 1909 the first state pensions of 5 shillings a week were paid to all men and women on reaching 70 years of age.

Throughout the year the NPC also plans to hold rallies in the cities where public meetings were held a century ago - Glasgow, Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and London - as well as organising a national petition and a lobby of parliament.

Pensioners living below the poverty line

Joe Harris, NPC general secretary, said: 'We owe the original pension pioneers a great debt of gratitude for securing the very first state pension, that sought to end the threat of the workhouse for millions of older people. But a hundred years on and we still have over two million pensioners living below the poverty line and many more struggle to make ends meet.'

He added: 'We must use this centenary year to put pressure on the government to raise the state pension, for all men and women, above the poverty level of £134 a week and restore its link to earnings as a matter of urgency.'




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