Today will see old adversaries Boris Johnson, incumbent London Mayor, and Ken Livingstone, London's first ever Mayor, go head to head with Green candidate Jenny Jones and Lib Dem contender Brian Paddick.
As 5.8 million Londoners head to the polling stations, IFAonline's sister title Professional Pensions asked the four candidates their views on pensions policy.
The current Mayor (pictured) focused mainly on keeping down living costs for hard-pressed London pensioners and workers trying to save.
"As Mayor, I have been proud to represent the hundreds of thousands of public sector workers who keep our trains running, classrooms learning and hospitals working," Johnson said.
"The Mayor must be able to ensure Londoners are getting real value for money while keeping the cost of living down as much as possible, and my nine-point plan sets out a clear strategy for securing Greater London's future," he said.
Johnson added: "This includes securing a better deal for London from No 10, with £300m from the government for primary school places, £22bn for transport, £90m for police, and £2bn for housing.
"I will continue to lobby over the London Living Wage after increasing the number of companies offering it and the wage itself by a record amount, pushing private and public sector employers, as well as Whitehall, to pay at least this level to all their workers in London."
Livingstone, London Mayor from 2000 to 2008 and leader of the Greater London Council from 1981 until its abolition in 1986, stuck hard to Labour's favoured line on the ‘granny tax', and the reduced top rate of income tax, both brought in by this year's Budget (PP Online 22 March).
"I believe all Londoners are entitled to a decent pension, whatever sector they have worked in," Livingstone told PP.
"By the time they retire, older Londoners will have contributed a huge amount to the well-being of all of us, and yet too many live in poverty.
"The Tory-led government has a responsibility to listen to people's concerns on this issue and the mayor has a role to play in lobbying to bring people together rather than causing industrial action," he said, referring to strikes over public sector pension reform on 30 June and 30 November last year, as well as further industrial action planned by Unite and PCS on 10 May (PP Online 18 April).
Livingstone added: "But the Tory Mayor Boris Johnson campaigned for the abolition of the 50p tax rate, which was paid for by the imposition of the 'granny tax', making over 400,000 of London's pensioners worse off."
Livingstone has also voiced his support for the call for London council pension funds to invest in infrastructure projects in the capital (PP Online, 18 April).
Paddick, who was previously deputy assistant commissioner in the London Metropolitan Police, first stood for London Mayor in the 2008 election.
He came third behind Livingstone in the vote, securing 9.8% of the vote (236,685 out of 2,415,958). Paddick focused on the achievements of his fellow Lib Dem Steve Webb, the pensions minister.
"Londoners recognise that the previous Labour government left a massive black hole in the country's finances, and had already planned for £48bn of public spending cuts," Paddick told PP.
"In these circumstances it is the responsibility of all politicians to engage sensibly about how to deliver the best public service with the available resources."
He continued: "Liberal Democrats in government have already taken action to protect pensions. We believe the state pension should not just increase in line with inflation but should match whichever is highest of earnings, prices or 2.5%.
"This year, under our triple lock, we have seen the biggest cash increase in the state pension and we will never again see a return to the insulting increases of 75p under the previous Labour government.
"Liberal Democrats have long campaigned for a clearer and more transparent benefits and pensions payment system.
"Labour introduced so many top-ups and sleights of hand that no-one truly knew what payments they were eligible for.
"£155 clearly represents a far higher basic pension than ever before and I think most people will benefit from a more simplified system as this will help them when planning their finances and budgeting, even if the changes are cost-neutral overall."
On auto-enrolment, Paddick added: "The automatic enrolment policy was first announced in 2008 under the Labour government, following recommendations from Lord Turner's Pensions Commission to boost the low level of pension savings especially among private sector workers.
"The coalition government has made changes to the earnings thresholds to reflect changes in income since then."
The Green party candidate, former deputy Mayor of London (2003-04), explained the party's radical approach to state retirement provision.
"We need a new system of Citizen's Pensions," Jones told PP.
"The Citizen's Pension would be paid unconditionally to all pensioners in the UK, independent of contribution record, at the rate of the official poverty line, which is currently £170 per week for someone living alone, or £300 per week for couples."
Jones explained: "It would be linked to average earnings. It would also be paid to and up-rated for the one million pensioners living abroad."
Last year, MPs launched an early day motion urging the government to equalise the pension rights of expatriates, spurred on by a court case brought by the International Consortium of British Pensioners (PP Online, 20 June 2011).
"Housing Benefit and disability benefits would continue to be paid. The demeaning Pension Credits would be abolished," Jones continued.
"We would support moves towards workplace democracy and ensure that workers and former workers control their pension funds," she said.
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