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DWP axes web service for pensions

The Department for Work and Pensions has dropped plans for a web-based pension service for people who cannot afford advice because it admits it does not know what future pen- sion provision will look like.

The Retirement Planning web service, costing the taxpayer £11m, was intended to provide advice on planning and saving for retirement for people on low to medium incomes.

The first element of the service, the provision of online state pension forecasts, was delivered in 2004 and the remainder was due this year.

But the DWP says it has suspended the plans due to the radical reforms made in the Pensions White Paper. It says delivering accurate online information about state pensions would become increasingly difficult given the uncertainty about the exact shape of future pension provision.

A spokesman says that the project was also deemed too expensive as it would have cost a further £14m to maintain and update between now and 2010.

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