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Will our children ever be able to retire?

The National Pensioners’ Annual Convention will ask why millions of today’s – and tomorrow’s – older people face poverty, hardship and the loss of vital services.

The NPC, the UK’s largest campaign group for older people, is bringing together expert speakers to examine the problems and debate the possible solutions at our first Convention – our annual conference – post-Covid, in Blackpool on 28th and 29th June 2023.

Older people’s ‘parliament’ returns to debate

the many problems facing UK’s older people

Delegates representing the NPC’s 1.1 million UK members will converge on The Imperial Hotel on Blackpool seafront for a packed programme of discussion – and you don’t have to be an NPC member to attend!

Tickets are priced £5 for a day or £10 for two days, and NPC General Secretary Jan Shortt hopes older people in Blackpool and surrounding areas will also come along to take part in the Convention sessions.

Jan said: “The last few years have been particularly tough on our oldest and most vulnerable. Hundreds of thousands died in the pandemic, and millions now struggle to make ends meet as prices rocket, while the real value of pensions drop. Older people are having to choose between eating and heating, while the essential services they rely upon, from health and care to housing and transport, continue to decline or disappear completely.

“This isn’t just a problem for older people now, it is a major issue for today’s workers who wonder if they’ll ever be able to afford to retire. Especially if the government pushes back the retirement age to 68 and threatens to scrap the Triple Lock that should guarantee state pension cost of living increases.”

Will our children ever be able to retire?

Convention speakers will include Robert Palmer from Tax Justice, Simon Francis from End Fuel Poverty, John Lister from Keep Our NHS Public, Lord Davies of Brixton on the future of the state pension, and Tom Lowe from the Digital Poverty Alliance on the exclusion of older people from our increasingly online world. Plus, there will be leaders from national organisations like Age UK, Independent Age, Ageing Better, as well as the TUC, Unite and UNISON.

NPC General Secretary Jan Shortt added: “We are really looking forward to returning to Blackpool to meet up for what should be a very special event. There is so much in the programme that will interest and inform pensioners of today and tomorrow. We hope to enthuse members and other attendees to return to their regions and groups with a renewed commitment to grow the NPC, and fight for the rights of tomorrow’s older people.”

The full 2023 Annual Convention programme is below. Venue: The Lancastrian Suite, The Imperial Hotel, The Promenade, Blackpool FY1 2HB

Tickets* are just £10 for the two days, or £5 for one day. You can pay on the day (cash / card) or return the form to the NPC with payment – link here:

Annual Convention (2)
Download PDF • 94KB

*Your tickets also cover the cost of entry to our social evening on Wednesday 28th June at The Imperial Hotel with entertainment from Stars in Your Eyes-winning tribute artiste Jacky Webb as Diana Ross.



The Imperial Hotel, The Promenade, Blackpool FY1 2HB

AGENDA: DAY 1 – Wednesday, 28th June

*REGISTRATION: 10.00 – 10.30am - Lancastrian Suite*

OPENING RALLY: 10.30 – 12.30pm - Lancastrian Suite

‘AGEING IN THE UK: How Do We Make It Better?’

CHAIR: Rosie MacGregor, NPC President – Welcome

· Robert Palmer, CEO, Tax Justice

· Joel Kosminsky, NPC Transport WP

· Simon Francis: End Fuel Poverty Coalition

· Jack Jones, TUC, Pensions’ Policy Officer

· Jan Shortt, NPC Gen. Secretary

LUNCH – 12.30pm to 1.30pm

LUNCHTIME SESSION: 12.30 – 1.30pm – Louis Room

‘EXCHANGE LIVE’ – NPC Women’s Working Party

· Delegates are invited to join a special session of the NPC Women’s WP

AFTERNOON – 1.30pm to 4.45pm

SESSION: 1.30 – 2.40pm – Lancastrian Suite

‘A CHAMPION FOR OLDER PEOPLE: The Case for Commissioners’

CHAIR: Norman Jemison, NPC Vice President

· Jan Shortt, General Secretary, NPC

· Morgan Vine, Head of Policy and Influencing, Independent Age

· Chloe Wright, Head of External Affairs, Age UK

· Christos Tuton, Parliamentary & Public Affairs Officer, Ageing Better

· Audience Q & A

BREAK – 10 minutes

SESSION: 2.50pm – 4.45pm – Lancastrian Suite


CHAIR: Jan Shortt, General Secretary, NPC

· Gavin Edwards, Senior National Officer, Social Care, UNISON

· John Lister, Director, & Sec., Keep Our NHS Public

· Judy Downey, Care Leader

· Dr Jean Hardiman-Smith, Chair, NPC Health & Social Care WP

· Audience Q & A

7pm – NPC Social Evening, The Lancastrian Suite, The Imperial Hotel

NPC AGENDA – Day 2 – Thursday, 29th June

SESSION: 10am-12pm – Lancastrian Suite – PENSIONS & INCOME


CHAIR: Brian Sturtevant, NPC PIWP

· Lord Davies of Brixton, Bryn Davies – Future of the State Pension

· Joe Rollins, Unite the Union - Today’s Workers, Tomorrow’s Pensioners

· Josh Berlyne, Unite the Union – ‘68 is Too Late’

· Audience Q & A

SESSION: 10am – 12pm – Louis Room

THE FUTURE IS DIGITAL: Making It Work for Us All’

CHAIR: Sandra Durkin, Vice President

· Thomas Lowe, Head of Policy & Comms, Digital Poverty Alliance

· Sarah Parkes, Programme Manager, Digital Champions, Age UK

· Jenny Sims, Chair, Digital Working Party

· Audience Q & A


LUNCHTIME SESSION: 12pm – 1pm – Louis Room

HOME SWEET HOME? Housing Working Party’

CHAIR: Tony O’Brien, Housing WP Chair

· Delegates are invited to join a special session of the NPC Housing WP


SESSION: 1.15pm – 2.30pm – Lancastrian Suite

BUILDING THE NPC: Campaigning, Recruitment & Diversity’

CHAIR: Jan Shortt, General Secretary, NPC

· George Stanbury, Independent Age, ‘How to Campaign’ Toolkit

· Tina Rothery, Nanas Against Fracking

· Ellen Lebethe, NPC Vice-President; Chair, NPC Ethnic Minority WP

· Audience Q & A

FINAL SESSION: 2.30pm – 3pm - Lancastrian Suite

CONCLUDING SPEECHES: Onwards and Upwards!

· Jan Shortt, NPC General Secretary & Rosie MacGregor, NPC President

CLOSE: 3pm


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