Age Concern Exmouth backs pension increase

AGE Concern Exmouth’s chief officer has backed Government plans increase the state pension by a third but warned that unless existing pensioners were included a two-tier system could be created leaving some worse off.

AGE Concern Exmouth’s chief officer has backed Government plans increase the state pension by a third but warned that unless existing pensioners were included a two-tier system could be created leaving some worse off.

Whitehall has proposed an overhaul of the state pension, including an increase from �95.25 a week to �140 for a single person which would be paid to everyone.

This would replace the basic state pension and the Government hopes to produce a much simpler system with less means-testing.

But Steve Dace of Age Concern Exmouth said that while there was general support for a higher, simpler system there were concerns - including just how it would be paid for.


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He said: “We will need to wait for publication of the proposals for detailed information but Age Concern Exmouth’s understanding is that any changes are only likely to apply to people who reach state pension age in the future – probably not before 2015.

“This would mean that current pensioners will not be affected – so would not benefit from a higher pension nor would they lose any entitlements already built up such as the additional pension.

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“And while some media coverage has suggested that a higher state pension would replace means-tested support this does not mean that benefits such as pension credit would no longer be available.

He said he has long argued for better pensions and welcomed the debate over state pension reform: “We support the aim of a simpler, higher state pension and any improvements to state pensions should apply to current pensioners as well as those who reach state pension age after any changes are introduced.”

He said that any entitlements previously built up when any new system is introduced should be retained that means testing in retirement should be reduced by improving state and private pension provision.

This should not be done by cutting important current benefits such as pension credit, housing benefit and council tax benefit.

“There needs to be a public debate about the best and fairest way to fund any improvements.”

The Department for Work and Pensions said: “The chancellor has confirmed that the government will improve the quality and accessibility of pensions in the spending review period.

“We will be bringing forward proposals for reform later this year. Our aim will be a simple, decent state pension for future pensioners, which is easy to understand, efficient to deliver and affordable.”

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