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Means-tested Benefits

Volume 455: debated on Monday 8 January 2007

14. What discussion his Department has held with interested parties on the number of people likely to be subject to means-tested benefits under the Government’s state pension reform proposals. (113160)

It is estimated that up to 45 per cent. of people will still qualify for pension credit, a means-tested benefit, by 2050. How can people be encouraged to save for retirement, when it seems that means-tested benefits will remain such a central part of the Government’s future pension strategy?

I do not think that any party in the House has a proposal to abolish means-testing in the system entirely. The proposals will reduce the level of means-testing to about a third. We are confident that those are the right figures. The proportion of people on 100 per cent. withdrawal rates is much lower now than under the previous Government, so real progress has been made. We believe that personal accounts will be a very good way for people to save.