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.