31 August 2017
From 1 October 2017, the Jersey Old Age Pension will increase by 2.8 per cent in line with the increase in the cost of living for pensioners.
Pensioners who currently have a full rate pension of £204.19 will see an increase of £5.74 per week, making the new full rate £209.93 per week. For a couple married before 2001 who receive a pension based on the husband’s contribution record, the maximum rate will rise by £9.52 each week, from £339.01 to £348.53.
Good news for pensioners
Deputy Susie Pinel, the Minister for Social Security, explains, "For pensioners, this is very good news. The cost of living for pensioners is currently running at 2.8 per cent. Since 2013, pensions always rise by at least the increase in prices, as measured for pensioners. This year this figure is higher than the increase in average earnings and so the increase in the pension is set at 2.8 per cent. This means that the value of the pension is maintained in real terms.”
Other contributory benefits, which are mainly paid to working age people, will be increasing by 2.6 per cent from 1 October 2017 in line with the earnings index. Contributory benefits include Short Term Incapacity Allowance, Long Term Incapacity Allowance, survivor’s benefits, death grants, maternity benefits and the Home Carer’s Allowance.
Steady rise in pension payments
The annual uprate in the value of the Old Age Pension is calculated using a system that takes into account both inflation in the cost of living (using the Retail Price Index for pensioners) and the average earnings index. This helps to ensure that the Island’s pensioners are protected during harder economic times and can share in the prosperity when the economy is growing.
The total cost of Old Age Pension payments made in 2016 was £172.9 million, compared to £166.7 million in 2015. This reflects a steady rise in pension payments due to the annual benefit uplift, the increasing number of pensioners and the fact that pensioners are living longer due to improved life expectancies. At the end of 2016, there were 30,880 people receiving the Jersey Old Age Pension; an increase of 758 compared to 2015, and 2750 since 2012.
Social Security Fund
Pensions are paid from contributions paid into the Social Security Fund. Last September, the Social Security Minister launched a major three year review of the fund, the contributions being paid into it and the value of the benefits going out, which asks Islanders to consider how the fund should be structured in the future. The second phase of this review will start soon and will focus on maternity and bereavement benefits.
Find out more information on our Social Security benefit rates page.