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Study reveals ignorance of state pension reforms

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Almost half of people are unaware how changes to the state pension will affect them with just over 500 days to go until historic reforms are introduced, research suggests.
Study reveals ignorance of state pension reforms

A poll of more than 2,200 adults conducted on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) found 44 per cent do not know what impact the reforms could have on them, with just a fifth (22 per cent) stating they did know.

Only 60 per cent of all adults surveyed realised it was possible to take action to increase their state pension, while 38 per cent conceded they “try to avoid thinking about” what will happen when they stop working.

From April 2016, the current basic and additional state pension will be replaced by a new state pension, which aims to simplify the system and make it easier for people to plan for later life.

The reforms are designed to “tackle inequalities of the past”, with women, carers, lower earners and the self-employed set to benefit the most.

DWP analysis suggests that, in the first ten years following the introduction of the changes, about 650,000 women will benefit from the transition valuation, receiving on average £8 a week more in state pension.

Under the new system, pensioners would in time receive about £150 a week or over if they have 35 years of full-rate national insurance contributions, but those soon to retire will need to check what it means for them, with transitional arrangements in place as the system switches over.

The government is beginning a campaign aimed at increasing knowledge of the changes. It will include weekly radio phone-in surgeries with pensions minister Steve Webb and the launch of an online hub – PensionTube – within video sharing site YouTube.

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