Pension reforms brought forward

THE NEW simplified state pension will be introduced a year ahead of schedule in 2016, George Osborne announced yesterday.

He will also bring forward the cap on social care costs. Originally due to be introduced in 2017 with a cap of £75,000, it will now be implemented in 2016 at the £72,000 level.

The single-tier state pension is set to provide a guaranteed income of around £144-a-week to all retirees by combining all existing benefits and credits.

The decision to implement the new pension system earlier than planned will mean thousands more retirees are able to enjoy the new system, which the chancellor hopes will please elderly voters.

“That is a generous pension for pensioners. It is a huge boost for people who want to save for their retirement,” he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show. “That is another example of how this government is helping people who want to save, people who want to leave something to their children like their home – people who do the right thing.”

Osborne also said there would be measures in Wednesday’s Budget to please backbench MPs who want the government to focus on the needs of so-called strivers.

“I want this Budget to back people who work hard and want to get on. I want to back people who aspire to own their own home, to start their own business, people who aspire to a better retirement and a better pension. These are the things that we will support.”

The Budget is also expected to include measures to boost housebuilding by releasing public land for development.