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IDS: coalition committed to flat-rate state pension

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Iain Duncan Smith has confirmed plans for a flat-rate state pension are still going ahead.

The secretary of state for work and pensions told the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham the previous Labour administration had “almost destroyed” the pension system through the introduction of means testing, leaving many pensioners who had saved on a lower income than if they had not planned for retirement.

He told delegates: “We are introducing a single tier pension, which means that if you contribute, you will have an income above the means test level.”

Later he added: “You don’t penalise pensioners for saving. That’s not welfare, that’s unfair and we are going to change it.”

Duncan Smith also took the opportunity to highlight the fact that mothers and carers will be given full contribution credits for time spent raising children or looking after elderly relatives and last week’s introduction of auto-enrolment.


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