Government Announces Delay To Single-Tier State Pension Reform Paper

by Dr. Ros Altmann

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The DWP today announced that it is not going to release its proposals for radical state pension reform and increasing state pension age until Autumn 2012, having originally said these would be published in the Spring of 2012. As long as the reforms go ahead, and we do get rid of mass means-testing of pensioners, just waiting a little longer is not a cause for seriuos concern. It is more important to get the details right than to rush to release the White Paper. No changes will be taking place in this Parliament anyway.

Dr. Ros Altmann says:

"Radical reform of our pension system is vital and we welcome the commitment from Government to this agenda. The changes will not come fully into effect until 2016 so while it is good to inform people of what they can expect from the state pension as early as possible, it is important to make sure these changes are effective and not rushed.

"The new pension system will hopefully be far better for women and self-employed, fairer and simpler than the current arrangements and should ensure much-reduced means testing. It is a long overdue and much-needed change.

"But these are very difficult and complex issues and it is more important to get them right than to rush to release the White Paper before it is ready. The Government may also be looking at what to do about existing pensioners who will not be included in the new system and trying to work out the reaction of the public to these important reforms."

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