Our local MP contact us in the middle of October to ask us if we could host a visit 2 days later by Dr Steve Webb – Pensions Minster. At short notice we rallied round all the Third Sector organisations, advocacy clients and volunteers to invite them to come along to a questions and answers session with the Minister. Around 20 people including the Cancer Advocate and a Volunteer Peer Advocate came along to hear Dr Webb talk about the proposed changes to Pensions and the plans to change the rules on the requirements for people with Defined Contribution Pensions to purchase annuities. Questions were asked about how people accessing their pensions would be able to use their pension pots and what advice would be available to them to make the best decisions for their future. Dr Webb explained that the changes will offer greater flexibility to all people due to take their pensions from next April to use their pension pot in the best way for them. He acknowledged that it was important that appropriate advice is available for people to help them make the best decisions. He announced at the meeting that the Citizens Advice Bureau have been given a contract to provide initial information and advice but he also said that more work needed to be done on giving people more detailed independent financial advice.
It was a lively and interesting debate and our volunteers got the chance to tell Dr Webb about their volunteering role and about our Cancer, Older People & Advocacy project and to highlight some of the good work they do.
Picture below is some of the people at the meeting with Dr Steve Webb (in centre of picture)
At the beginning of November Sefton Pensioners Advocacy Centre (SPAC) had a very welcome visit from the new Macmillan Involvement Co-ordinator Tessa Willow. Tessa came to introduce herself and to talk through how Macmillan and SPAC can work together to promote the Cancer Older Persons Advocacy Project in the Sefton area. It was great to be able to talk through our shared vision to make the Cancer journey as easy as possible for as many older people affected by Cancer in our area. Tessa is keen to help SPAC get access to as many people as possible to promote the service and to help increase the number of people affected by Cancer accessing our services. We both are looking forward to working more closely together in the future.
Karen Pierce, Operations Manager, Sefton Pensioners Advocacy Centre