Pension Minister confirms delay in rise of pension age at Welsh party conference

2011 Hydref 15 2:38 PM

Minister of State for Pensions, Steve Webb MP, speaking at the Welsh Liberal Democrat party conference, today confirmed that there are Government plans to delay a rise in the pension age by six months to address the concerns of thousands of women who are due to retire later. He also spoke of his plans to merge the two main pensions, ensuring a good, easy to obtain and simple pension for all.

Speaking in a debate titled 'Affording to live to old age in Wales' with Sarah Stone, Deputy Older People's Commissioner and Graeme Francis of Age Cymru, Steve Webb MP spoke to Welsh party members on Liberal Democrat achievements in Government.

Steve Webb, Pensions Minister commented:

"Since the link with earnings was broken at the start of the 1980s, the pension has fallen further and further behind the earnings that it was meant to replace. The Liberal Democrat manifesto said we would put a stop to that, and that is what we have done. We will increase the basic pension by the higher of the growth in earnings or consumer prices. If both earnings and prices are growing slowly, we will increase the pension by at least 2.5% - a 'Triple Lock' guarantee straight out of the Liberal Democrat manifesto.

"With life expectancy set to increase, the Government's aim is a decent State Pension which is easy to understand, efficient to deliver, and affordable. We will provide a firm foundation for workplace saving and a secure income in retirement.

"The UK Government has funded a £1.1 billion change which will reduce the delay in pension age from 24 months to 18 months, benefiting half a million people. Raising state pension ages has to be done but we have looked at the individuals who are being affected and tried to make sure the increases are not too sharp. The Liberal Democrats have pushed hard to ensure a fairer deal for women."

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