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Confusion over Johnson move on citizen’s pension

Industry sources say there is confusion over what Work and Pensions Secretary Alan Johnson views as a citizen’s pension and it appears unlikely that it is the 105 a week universal flat-rate pension advocated by, among others, the NAPF and the Liberal Democrats.

In a vaguely worded statement, Johnson has promised, as part of his review of pension reform, to look at proposals from other bodies, including the Trades Union Congress, the Pension Reform Group and the Adam Smith Institute.

The NAPF has been a vocal advocate of a 105 a week flat-rate universal pension based on residency, replacing the basic state pension and absorbing S2P and pension credit.

Scottish Equitable pension development director Stewart Ritchie says: “If you accept that there are too many knock-on effects if you have the citizen’s pension at the guaranteed credit level, you would have to abolish contracting out and S2P. The sensible alternative is to look at greatly improving the lot of women within the existing system.”

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