» Monday, September 13, 2004


Asked for a reaction to today’s Times report suggesting that taxpayers would have to pay more in National Insurance in order to fund bigger state pensions, the PMOS said that the Pensions Commission, under the chairmanship of Adair Turner, was currently producing a report on pensions policy. It was therefore inevitable that the media would speculate on what its conclusions might be. However, until the report was actually published – it was due in the autumn – he did not think it would be helpful to get drawn into discussions about individual issues – and that should be taken neither as a confirmation or denial. On a more general point, it was important to recognise that the Government had addressed, and was addressing, both the immediate and longer term issues on pensions, which Governments worldwide were having to deal with. For example, under the terms of the Pensions Bill, a Pension Protection Fund was being set up to guarantee protection if a company went bust. We had also set aside £400m for the Financial Assistance Scheme to help those who were already victims of this problem. The Turner Commission was also looking at how to address the longer term pension issues and would publish its conclusions in the autumn.

Asked about the prospect of compulsory pensions, the PMOS said that journalists should exercise a little patience and wait for the Turner review to be published. He took the opportunity to underline the new DWP Secretary of State’s point yesterday that there was no plan to increase the state pension age from 65.

Briefing took place at 11:00 | Search for related news

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