Let’s start with a basic assertion; it’s difficult for any Chancellor to create a budget that pleases every single demographic in the UK.

Philip Hammond’s recent autumn statement offered a relevant example of this, as a clear focus on younger voters and the NHS left the older generation feeling slightly marginalised. There was no attempt to boost the ailing state pension in the UK, for example, while large-scale public spending outside of the NHS was conspicuous by its absence.

So, the real question is whether or not the renewed investment in the NHS is likely to have an adverse effect on the state pension?

How Much is Being Invested in the NHS?

As a key part of his autumn statement, Mr. Hammond revealed that the NHS would benefit from an immediate £350 million cash injection. The purpose of this was to help the health service cope better this winter, and ease the mounting pressure on its hard-working staff and managers.

In terms of the overall budget, there will be an additional spend of around £2.8 billion over the course of the nest three years, with £1.6 million included in the financial year ending 2019. The £1.2 billion balance will be spent in 2019/20, so there’s a clear focus on improving the performance of the health service in the years ahead.

With additional funding having also been made available for capital investment over the course of parliament, we may see he NHS receive even more funds as the government look to tackle a major issue.

Will This Place a Greater Squeeze on State Pensions?

Of course, the government is under pressure to invest heavily in the NHS, after significant promises were made in the build-up to the EU Referendum. The cumulative impact of this spend and the sizeable divorce bill that has been agreed between the UK and the EU is likely to be huge, however, and the suspicion remains that state pensions could bear the brunt of this.

The autumn statement made no reference to state pension legislation or allowances, and while some celebrated the lack of government interference it also meant that no attempt was made to invest in the well-being of older voters.

This is concerning, as recent studies have shown that British workers are only likely to receive 29% of their career earnings through their state pensions, which is well below the OECD benchmark of 63%. While private schemes and the use of the type of self-invested pension plan (SIPP) marketed by Bestinvest help to bring the UK figure up towards the European average, there’s no doubt that governments need to do more to protect the interests of the older generation.

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