The Budget includes provision for a £140 flat rate state pension.
Simplifying the system to a standard single tier rate will be welcome news although at this stage there are no indications of implementation day and the announcement has been tempered by the fact existing pensioners will not be entitled to this flat rate.
And many more details are needed, not least – will it still be means-tested?
Also lurking in the shadows is the biggest hint yet that the state pension age will increase further.
The Government has already advanced the date of the rise in the state pension age (from 65 to 66) from 2026 to 2020 and the Chancellor has said in today’s Budget Speech that proposals to manage future increases in state pension age will be brought forward for earlier consideration.
As longevity increases the dilemma over the pension age grows. It is a dilemma for any Government trying to run an economy and at the same time trying to keep a ceiling on its ageing population – but equally a dilemma for every pensioner and every pensioner-to-be who will be directly affected by decisions taken.
Quite ironically, living longer is a state of life which appears to be becoming increasingly saddled with wider and more far-reaching issues financially as well as physically.
And on a financial note, there is some slightly better news from Mr Osborne today – there will be a 10% inheritance tax discount for those leaving 10% of their estate to charity. For a summary of the main Budget news, click here.
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