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Industry tells turner to abolish means test

A broad consensus of industry bodies is telling the Turner Commission that the basic state pension must be increased and means-testing scrapped.

There are also calls for incentives to be increased for employers to contribute to employees’ pensions.

Responses to the Turner report, due this week, display a remarkable commonality of approach from trade bodies and product providers to red-ucing the impact of the pen-sion timebomb.

The Association of Consulting Actuaries, Scottish Widows, Legal & General and Standard Life are calling for an end to means-testing.

ACA spokesman Adrian Waddingham says means-testing has helped many lower-income pensioners but, while it was originally introduced as a stop-gap measure, recent moves to increase the benefits it pays through indexation suggest the policy is here to stay.

Standard Life senior tech-nical manager John Lawson says means-testing discourages too many individuals from saving for retirement. He says it remains to be seen if the weight of opinion against meanstesting will change the Government’s mind.

The ACA and Pensions Policy Institute also claim that compulsion will not help reduce the savings gap.

Waddingham says: “The ACA says it should be stated public policy to phase out meanstesting over a period of years.”

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