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Public 'backs single-tier pensions'

Employers and the public have signalled their approval for plans to introduce a flat-rate weekly pension payment of £140.


The results of a public consultation suggest that more than three quarters of organisations are in favour of the radical move to simplify the system by creating a single-tier pension.

The proposals would combine the basic state pension, which currently stands at £102.15 a week, with the state second pension which can top up retirement income to a maximum of £137.35.

It is hoped that the introduction of a flat-rate payment would dramatically reduce the need of low-income pensioners to apply for pension credit.

The consultation saw businesses, voluntary organisations, pensions administrators and members of the public asked whether they would prefer to see a single-tier pension or an accelerated transition to a two-tier flat-rate pension.

The feedback will now be considered by ministers in order to create a more detailed plan for the reform.

Pensions minister Steve Webb said: "It is this clarity and firm foundation that will help people make decisions about saving for retirement - a crucial step as we prepare to enrol 10 million people into workplace savings from 2012."

Copyright © Press Association 2011

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