UK - The Liberal Democrats would increase the basic state pension from £82 to £109 per week in return for a later retirement age of 67.
Leader Charles Kennedy today unveiled his vision of a universal “Citizen's Pension” which would rise year-on-year in line with the increase in average earnings, paid to all those over state pension age.
But the reform would mean an end to the State Second Pension; cuts on means-tested benefits; and a controversial increase in the retirement age. This latter reform would follow after a 25-year lead-in.
The party has also spoken out in support of automatic enrolment in non-state pensions, with a right to opt out, an idea reportedly floated in the soon-to-be published Pensions Commission report.
Kennedy commented: “We need a pensions settlement which can last so people can plan for retirement. That means securing a political consensus first for change, then for long-term stability. After the Turner Report is released, we should seek to agree a new ‘Pensions Accord’.
“This should be a consensus not only on the details of a new settlement, but an agreement that cross-party consultation would be a part of any future attempt to change the pensions architecture.”
The Conservative Party criticised the timing of Kennedy’s proposals.
Shadow work and pensions secretary, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, said: “I am surprised that the Lib Dems have chosen to pre-empt the Turner Report by launching their response to it today...The Turner Report deserves careful study and a considered response – not this sort of pre-emption.”
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