£140 a week flat-rate state pension confirmed

Money piles

A new flat-rate state pension will be introduced, worth around £140 a week, the pensions minister has confirmed.

This will replace the current pension system and means testing will be scrapped so everyone will now be able to claim the same amount.

Women who currently miss out on receiving a full state pension because they've taken time out of work to look after children, low earners and the self-employed will benefit most from this news as they will now be able to receive the flat rate.

In the recent Budget, chancellor George Osborne confirmed that the 'unbelievably complex' state pension system currently in place is likely to be replaced with a weekly £140 flat-rate pension.

But the changes will not apply to current pensioners and Osborne admitted it would take 'years to come into effect'.

At present anyone over the age of 65 is entitled to a basic pension of £96.65 a week.

On top of this the is the means-tested element for lower earners - known as pension credit, boosts pensions up to £132.60 a week for a single person and £202.40 for couples.

The government has already brought forward the rise in the state pension age from 65 to 66 to 2020 from 2026.

Utterly confused

Criticising the current system, secretary of state for work and pensions, Iain Duncan Smith, said: "Over the years small changes to the state pension system have turned what started as a relatively simple contributory system into a complex mess, leaving people utterly confused as to what the state pension means for them."

Steve Webb, minister for pensions, says state pension reform would underpin existing plans to automatically enrol people into workplace pensions from 2012, bringing between 5-8 million people into saving for the first time

"I'm proud to bring forward proposals that will end the unfairness inherent in the system and secure a fair, decent and simple state pension fit for the 21st century. These reforms will transform pension saving in this country for millions of people," he adds.

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This government is not only leaving pensioners already claiming in the lurch but for some are going to get decrease payments of Pension Credit, check out the details below.

Welfare Reform Bill Explanatory Notes:

Page 22
145. Paragraph 64 amends the State Pension Credit Act 2002 so that a member of a couple who has attained the qualifying age for state pension credit may not receive state pension credit if the other member of the couple has not attained that qualifying age. This is to ensure that all claimants who have not attained the qualifying age for state pension credit are required to claim universal credit and, if appropriate, be subject to work-related conditions of entitlement.

And in the Welfare Reform Bill itself,

Page 113
State Pension Credit Act 2002 (c. 16)

Paragraph 64 In section 4 of the State Pension Credit Act 2002 (exclusions), after subsection
(1) there is inserted—

“(1A) A claimant is not entitled to state pension credit if he is a member of a couple the other member of which has not attained the qualifying age.”

But if you are single and reach the qualifiying age you can still claim Pension Credit without having to seek employment.

This of course will have a big impact for couples on Pension Credit who are already struggling with the winter fuel bills and rising costs, so let's start contacting our MP's now to protest before it gets passed.

This is good news for pensioners, howevr the statement that it will only be for new pensioners is really unfair to the many who are recieving their pension already or are due to in the next few years. How can the government rationalise this when it will mean some pensioners recieving quite a bit more than others.

So current pensioners will loose out. They still have the same bills to pay same amount of food and clothes to buy. I would never advise anyone to take out a pension as I did. No entitlements.Instead I still pay tax to keep others in benefit.

A question,not yet a comment but a comment will probably be forthcoming dependent on your answer. Pension Credit means tested element,what would the Lower Earnings amount have to be to qualify a couple to obtain £202.40p per week?

'Women who currently miss out on receiving a full state pension because they've taken time out of work to look after children'

as above, such women are protected by 'home responsibility' which as far as I am aware credits NI for the years when you are in receipt of Child Benefit.

i think it is thoroughly unfair to exclude existing pensioners it is discrimination in my opinion. i receive what was known as the married womans allowance of less than sixty pounds a week despite paying full insurance for fifteen years. as soon as my husband was sixty five my pension was ceased as the married allowance was greater. this new scheme would mean a big increase for me and my husband as we have saved all our working lives and receive no credits. i suspect there our thousands of people who are disgruntled but have to swallow this very unfair change

What happens if you are 61? Are we all being kept in limbo until someone decides to tell everyone what and when the new pension reforms will happen? My husband is 61 and will have a small private pension to draw when he is 65, if he stays in the system as it is, he has completely wasted his time saving into a private pension as he would have had his state pension made up if he did not have a private pension. If he makes it into the new system he may be better off. I would advise anyone thinking of paying into a private pension to find out whats happening before they start saving! The government should remember that people like my husband have paid NI for 46 years with another 4 years to go, yet people who have paid in for 30 years and less will be better off!

"At present anyone over the age of 65 is entitled to a basic pension of £96.65 a week."

Only if you have the requesite number of Nation Insurance Contribution years.

The sad truth is that this proposal will leave many pensioners worse off. They will be the multitude who have already reached retirement age and are being forced into ever increasing poverty by the Government. This proposal is immoral and should be rejected by any right minded person. I can only hope that the parties currently in power get waht they deserve at the ballot box. I certainly am never voting again for either the Convservative or Lineral Democrat parties. It does leave me with a problem as the only way i can now vote locally is for 'none of the above'!

well said we need to lobby the goverment in some way

On yesterdays announcement I thought about time british pensioners were given a pension more in line with our Europeon friends but was disgusted when the announcement concluded that existing pensioners would not get the increase. We in this age group endured high mortgage interest rates when buying our properties in the 60s, 70s and 80s of up to 13%, saved hard for ouir retirement and are getting peanuts in interest on our savings now. This is discrimination and should not be allowed we pensioners should not just sit back and accept this its time for the grey brigade to immobilise.

On hearing the announcement on television last night that pensions were going to be increased I thought about time things were made fairer for all. However I was soon disgusted on hearing existing pensioners were not going to benefit from the increase. How can the government justify this outrageous discrimination, if they had said people who had never worked and lived off the state all their lives would not be eligible I would have said fair enough but to discriminate against those of us who have worked hard and contributed all our lives is totally wrong. Our age group sufferred high mortgage interest rates in the 60s, 70s and 80s of up to 13%, saved hard for our retirement and are now enduring exceptionally low interest rates on our savings which were meant to supplement our pensions and now the government are kicking us in the teeth again. Time for the pensioners affected to stand up and be heard!!!

I totally agree with all that has been said it is beyond belief what this government is up to, how can it be a fair system if one set of pensioners get one rate of pension and others a different rate it makes no scence at all. We are making a great mistake to allow this government to walk over the people of this country Old and Young, all walks of life are affected by their crazy policys, we need to affirm to this government that their policys are not acceptable to the British Public and there should be a no confidence march again to show them how we all feel. there must be savings yes but not in the way this government are doing things, we have not seen their worse yet belive me.
Get rid of them , that would be the best thing for all of us.

Why is everybody surprised.Did anybody seriously expect the Tories to get something like this right.It's all about cutting costs not helping people.
It's just the usual mess up from people who just don't know what they're doing.
Just like the NHS reforms.

As a female of 55 years I have seen my retirement age, and therefore my state pension age, increase from 60 to 65 and now 66 years. The last year's increase being at short notice. More unfortunate women have had their retirement ages increased more rapidly and by approximately an extra 2 years.

This increase from 60 to 66 years equates to a HUGE loss of income of £46,800 over the 6 years in today's terms as I have a current forecast of £150 a week, having earned extra from the state second pension.

Ladies in receipt of state pension now have not had to adjust their plans and keep working for another 6 years. They have not lost tens of thousands of pounds from the ages of 60 to 66 simply to receive the new proposed pension; an amount which I would have received anyway.

Those in retirement receive all the benefits that are associated with being retired at 60: bus passes,many and various concessions, and can even go to the Olympics for a flat rate of £16! They also don't have to concern themselves that before they reach retirement the age might go up again and therefore would need to keep working.

I would like to question why, when the new state pension age was passed in 1995, today's 60 year old women were not expected to work for perhaps a year or so extra so that the rest of us could retire at a slightly earlier age?

By the way, the difference between today's pension and the proposed one is about £52.35 a week. My loss of £46,800 caused by the 6 year retirement age increase will fund that difference for over 17 years so I believe that I and those due to receive the higher rate will have earned it!

myself & my pals all existing pensioners will not be voting for the party which leaves them out of the new pension reforms

Looks like another Tory scheme which has not been thought through. i.e. child benefit, sale of our forrests,Michael Gove`s schools,and now the NHS reforms,and we all thought the last lot were rubbish.

Steve Webb has said to quote your article 'proposals that will end the unfairnrss inherent in the system' - interesting that someone retiring in 2015 having possibly less NI contibutions recorded than someone already in retirement will receive a pension some 40% to 50% greater. Well done Steve Webb I am glad to see you are ending the unfairness in the system!!!

I have made comments. on a number of forums re this proposed pension and to be truthful we existing pensioners should organise regional marches on Downing Street to demonstrate our utter contempt for this ill thought out two tier system. Each Region should demonstrate at different times over the next 12 months in order to keep the pressure on the Government. We should also send a letter directly to Mr Cameron requesting him to start " listening " (to quote his own favourite word). Who ever made the decision to exclude pensioners up to 2015/16 must be living on a different planet.

We are not responsible for the deficit the banks and the previous Government are the culprits and if there is not sufficient money in the pot then cancell the proposed pension or reduce the £155 to £125 per pensioner couples
and £155 for single pensioners then at least all pensioners will benifit. Then as the economy improves increse the annual increment to achieve the required level by 2020 ensuring inflation is taken into account.

This does not sound legal to me. Two sets of rules? I reckon existing pensioners could challenge this in a European court of law.

I am a 70 year old pensioner. I have worked 50 years paying for my pension,
but now new pensioners paying into their pensions for only 30 years will get £140
flat rate pension whilst I will get no extra!
I intend to take the Goverment to the European court of justice.
To try & get Justice
W. Borland

As a pensioner l am outraged by the fact that existing pensioers will not be included in the coming pension reform. I only acrued 27 years national insurance stamps because l only worked part time when my children were small which at todays rate of 30 years would have given me nearly a full state pension but because when l retired we had to have 38 years my pension is only £67 per week.

I am sure that this government is acting ellegally (certainly imorally) in not including existing pensioners in these reforms and justice will be felt at the next general election lm sure.

I think it is illegal and should be challenged!i will be £60.00 a week worse off under the new proposed flat week rule .i have just lost my husband recently at the age of 59 and he has worked since he was 15 ,i am 58 and have worked since i was 15 and have to wait until i am 62for my pension ...it seems that it has all been in vain .
we would have been better off letting the state take care of us and reaping the rewards i also think the increased pension age should be challenged .bring in the new rules by all means for people who are just starting out , but surely not the generation from the 50s 60s and even 70s.how did this all happen and that they got away with it .i am writing to my local MP and the Euro Courts .at least i will have my say .i am not responsible for the debt .and by the way ,i have paid 39 yr contributions ,so where is my refund and why can i not have my pension now?

I have worked all my life since 16yrs of age. I am still working at 48 and intend to work health permitting and if I am not made redunant. I work for the public sector and have lost many colleagues to voluntary redundancy.
I think this governement and previous ones have done little to "make work pay". This is yet another example.
I have paid Tax and Nino into the system for the past 32 years, yet I will get the same state pension as someone who has paid nought. How can this be fair?

In my job, I see people on benefits who have not worked nor intend to, as they are better of not working. They get their housing benefit/council tax benefit paid, receive healthy start vouchers, council houses, housing costs if owner occupiers, declare less income by working 16hrs only, so they can get the maximum Child Tax and Working Tax credits because they have children. I am also sure they have more than one property whilst claiming Income Suppport of Job Seekers Allowance.

The "system" stinks as it penalises people who work and pay their taxes. If my conscience would allow me, I feel like taking redundancy and doing the same. What is the point of me putting into a private/state pension when I cannnot retire unti 66yrs at least, could be more.
I will get the same State Pension that a person who has not done a single days work!!! What a system...............

I wonder if anyone has seen the other side of this new pension? you are all correct in stating that pensioners on pension credit will be worse off.but that will not apply to other pensioners on pension credits who recieve carer credits and SDP premions as top ups on top off thier pension credits,for being disabled, in future when the new pension comes in ,future disabled pensioners will not recieve these top ups,and will be worse off.

Is anyone organising an internet petition??????

You say this change does not apply to "current pensioners".

If I defer my state pension until the time this change comes in, do I qualify or not?

I do agree with the postings but I would rather take nearly £100 now and retire at 60 than like me have my pension age move to age 64 and then have another 18months slapped on top. I am all for pensions moving towards 65 for men and women but not in the short time scale that has been forced on some women. It is absolutely diabolical especially as some women are not even aware of it. I am surprised that this unfairness is not being taken to the European Court by Age UK or Saga as women born in the fifties are taking the brunt and will suffer the biggest increases, The concession being rolled out is that no one will work for longer than 18months but in my late fifties I now have to work till 65yrs and 6months, My feelings on that are UNPRINTABLE!!!!!

i no a couple who have never worked and have lived off the social all their life and also their three children they have help towards their mortgage and have their council tax paid they are always bragging how well off they are and can go on holidays several times a year im sick of struggling and have worked all my life and because my husband lost his job we are penalised because im claiming my pension and he had to claim pension credit to make our money up .we are really struggling after working all our life