State pension shake-up unveiled

17 January 2013 09:22

The new state pension plans are intended to simplify the present system by introducing a single flat rate pension from 2017

The new state pension plans are intended to simplify the present system by introducing a single flat rate pension from 2017

A new overhaul of the state pension could leave more than 50% of those who reach retirement age after 2060 less well-off, according to new research. The proposals are intended to simplify the present system by introducing a single flat rate pension from 2017, worth approximately £144 a week in today's currency.

While the Government's White Paper acknowledges that some groups will lose out, there has been fierce debate about who will be hit hardest by the reforms. The coalition claims the burden will largely be borne by high earners, while the changes will benefit women, low earners and the self-employed. However, Labour has warned that the plans will hit more than 400,000 women who are close to pension age, while men in the same position will be spared.

The proposals represent a cut in pension entitlements for the majority in the long-term, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said. Campaigners fear the changes could make it impossible for pensioners to enjoy their retirement by eating out or taking holidays, especially once extra costs like seniors' travel insurance are taken into consideration. However, pensions minister Steve Webb said there were "far more winners" under the new scheme.

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