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State pensions shake-up

State pensions shake-up

Younger generations and women will lose out from a radical shake-up of pensions outlined by ministers today, the Institute for Fiscal Studies has warned.

The Coalition's proposals include a single flat rate state pension, which will be introduced for new pensioners from 2017. The weekly payment will be £144, plus inflation rises between now and 2017.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith insisted the changes would be “good news" for self-employed people and mothers.

Pensions Minister Steve Webb also told MPs that the higher National Insurance payments would be offset by a higher pension payment for the "vast majority" of people.

But the IFS said women who take time out to care for children would not benefit from the changes.

"In fact, in common with almost everyone else, these groups would end up with a lower pension at the state pension age under the new system than they would do under the current system," the think-tank said.

IFS director Paul Johnson this afternoon said in the longer run "pretty much everyone" would be worse of as a result of the changes.

"Women retiring in the 2020s, some of them will be better off as a result of this, but in the longer run, they won’t be," he told BBC News.

"Along with everybody else, women who are retiring in the 2030s and 2040s will be worse off."

Downing Street said the move was an attempt to simplify the system and will not save the Government money.

"This is not about Exchequer savings or raising additional revenue for the Treasury," a spokesperson said today.

The plans have also been condemned by the National Pensioners Convention as a "con trick" played on future generations.

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