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Has the state pension white paper been delayed again?

Steve Webb 480 LibDems DWP

The Government is refusing to commit to publishing a long-awaited white paper on state pension reform in “the autumn”, fuelling speculation it is set for further delays.

In April 2011, the Department for Work and Pensions published a green paper outlining plans to introduce a flat-rate state pension worth £140 per week for future retirees.

The paper also proposed introducing a mechanism to link the state pension age to longevity.

In March’s Budget, Chancellor George Osborne said further details on the proposal would be published in the spring.

However, in a written statement published in July, pensions minister Steve Webb said: “Given the scale, complexity and importance of these two significant reforms we are still working on the details, to ensure we get them right.

“Therefore, we will set out further detail on both the single tier reform and state pension age review mechanism in a white paper in the autumn.”

The DWP is now refusing to commit to publishing the paper in autumn. Autumn in the UK officially ends on 20 December.

A spokesman says: “We are still working on the detail of our white paper on state pension reform, which will radically simplify the system.

“Clearly, with change on this scale and complexity it’s important we get it right, and we will announce a publication date in due course.”

Hargreaves Lansdown head of pensions research Tom McPhail says: “This is rubbish. Steve Webb told me in the summer that the paper was written and was just waiting for sign off from Number 10.

“This is turning into a bit of a shambles. Radical simplification of the state pension is necessary but there are clearly some substantial political problems in getting the reform through.”

This follows reports in September that prime minister David Cameron had insisted on a rethink of the proposals due to concerns the proposals may not find favour with core Conservative voters.

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Comments

There are 5 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. What can you expect from any UK government, regardless of its philosophy, it is always going to be the ones who have contributed for decades through their NI contributions who will be disadvantaged.

    It’s about time the UK government put together a comprehensive long term retirement income strategy for all UK taxpayers.

  2. Kevin Walker - Blackett Walker Ltd 13th December 2012 at 3:46 pm

    As always the government have done half a job ! They have announced the increase to the state pension age but not the promised abolition of the minimum income guarantee for pensioners ! When will they introduce the increased basic flat rate pension…just before 2015 election? Signs of tension within the coalition me thinks !

  3. The various ‘prongs’ to the long term ‘solution’ to UK retirement provision all interlink – increasing state pension age, flat rate pension plus Auto enrolment.

    By keeping a key part of this back means that the jigsaw isn’t complete and there may well be a disincentive to save for many of those about to be auto enrolled.

  4. Still no mention of the frozen pensioners. These are British citizens who have paid NI contributions for the requisite 40 years and just because of where they live they have no cost of living increases. This affects just 4% of expats, the rest have their rightful increases wherever they live in the world. Entitlement to an uprated pension depends on how much and how long one has paid into the scheme. Where one lives is irrelevant. When is this theft of pensioners own money going to end? It’s about time this government was shamed into doing the right thing, especially Cameron and Webb who assured these vulnerable seniors that they would end this injustice if they won the election, clearly they both lied to get votes.

  5. Andy Robertson-Fox 23rd December 2012 at 7:13 am

    I wonder if the reason for the delay is really because the Pensions Minister has realised how hypocritical he and his fellow cabinet colleagues are being in promising, when in the Opposition, to remedy the scandalous “frozen pension policy” and two and a half years later and done nothing “have no plans to change the policy”

    Do you think it has suddenly dawned on him that his credibility is in tatters and he needs time to amend the White Paper to redress the situation?

    Do you believe in Father Christmas…..

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