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‘Citizen’s pension to take 10 million out of testing’

A simple, fair citizen’s pension would remove 10 million future pensioners from means-testing, says the National Association of Pension Funds.

It claims it would reduce poverty by providing a simple state pension system on which to build additional savings and would be fairer to women, carers and others who miss out in the current system.

The NAPF says Mori research shows four out of five people support the idea of equal payments for men and women, even where women have taken work breaks or worked part-time on low salaries.

Chief executive Christine Farnish says: “The principle of a simple, adequate, first-tier state pension, available to all, has become the basis for a growing consensus among opinion-formers in the pension, polit- ical and academic arenas. People want a simpler, fairer system, which does not penalise women who have taken work breaks and which does not subject millions of pensions to means-testing.”

Pension Transfer Solutions managing director Carl Melvin says: “The state pension is so complex that most people do not have a clue how it works so this new regime should be looked at closely.”

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England vs Australia: pensions

Well, the cricket season is here, and England and Australia are stepping up to the wicket. Although we compete with each other in the sporting world, when it comes to pensions, Australia’s pension programme is held up as a model for our auto-enrolment initiative. Auto-enrolment was introduced because people weren’t saving enough into their pensions, and it is still early days but signs are positive. However, in Australia, saving into a pension is compulsory, and in fact employers are the ones who have to pay in. Employees in Australia can make additional contributions into their pensions, but they don’t have to. Should the onus be on the employer or employee to save? Well in the UK we think it’s both, but to get ‘adequate’ savings for retirement it’s the employee who has to pay more in.

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