Published on 05 April 2011 10:00 AM
Responding to the UK Government’s green paper on reforming the state pension, Age Cymru’s Head of Policy and Public Affairs Graeme Francis says:
“Age Cymru welcomes the introduction of a flat-rate state pension.
“The state pension system is one of the least generous in the developed world. It is also very complicated and is in dire need of reform.
“The current basic state pension is too low and thousands of older people are not getting the additional money they are entitled to because of the overly-complicated and ineffective means testing.
"Across the UK, more than 1.5 million eligible older people do not claim the additional pension credit allowance.
“A flat-rate state pension, paid at a higher rate, will take away the guesswork about how much income people will receive when they’re retired.
"Removing means testing should also encourage more people to save because they will no longer feel penalised for doing so.
“However, we are very concerned that current Welsh pensioners - particularly the 119,000 who are currently living in poverty - will not benefit from the new arrangements.
"Many current pensioners will feel that it is unfair to create a two-tier system pension system based on when a person reaches state pension age.”