The Government’s green paper outlining proposals for a universal, flat-rate state pension has been delayed.
In October, the Government announced plans to introduce a universal pension and said a green paper would be unveiled this year. However, the Department for Work and Pensions will now not commit to a publication date.
A DWP spokeswoman says officials need to write to the economic affairs committee before the paper is brought forward. However the EAC, a House of Lords investigative committee charged with considering economic affairs, has yet to be contacted.
A DWP spokeswoman insists the Government remains committed to delivering the reform, which will see a universal pension introduced above the current level of pension credit. However, she refused to confirm when the consultation will eventually be published.
When the reforms were announced, industry experts suggested the Government would need to introduce proposals to deal with individuals who have contracted out. Money Marketing understands the Treasury is still grappling with the implications this will have for public sector workers and other funding issues associated with the reforms.
In a response to a question from Labour MP Kate Green in November on whether he would introduce a flat-rate state pension as quickly as possible, Chancellor George Osborne (pictured) replied: “Yes, absolutely. The Treasury is working with the Department for Work and Pensions on potential pension reform that could simplify pensions and provide a boost to pensioners for many years to come.”
Saga director general Ros Altmann says: “We absolutely need this radical state pension reform. I do not see how we can go ahead with auto-enrolment and Nest without it.”