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More pensions advice needed, say Age Concern

More advice and greater awareness about pensions is needed to prevent more and more people from falling into the poverty trap when they retire, according to Age Concern, a charity aiming to promote the well-being and independence of older people and to prevent poverty in retirement. Research carried out by the Institute of Fiscal Studies on behalf of another charity, Help the Aged, indicated that half a million pensioners could be taken out of poverty if there was full take-up of the means tested benefits including tax benefit, housing benefit and pension credit. Age Concern spokesman, Samuel Heath said that the people suffering the most now were those who had not been able to afford to pay into pension schemes during the 1970s and 80s or did not have the option open to them. He added: "People must get independent advice about what the best way is for them to save for their old age, but a pension is a really important thing to have and lots of other things too, but it is important to get advice. "It is a different situation for someone who is 20 and someone who is 60, so people should really try to get advice for their own personal situation - saving for the future is so important." He added: "Making sure that they understand what the pension system is and what it means to them is very important. "People should make sure they get a pension, but they should also understand what national insurance contribution is and what other ways of saving are available, just to understand the system and how it is relevant."

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