As of yesterday, Wednesday 6 April 2011, every pensioner will get a guaranteed rise in their state pension matching the highest of inflation, increase in average earning or 2.5%.
This is the start of pension reform under this Government. On Monday 4 April 2011, Liberal Democrat Pension Minister, Steve Webb announced that the Government will be introducing a flat-rate pension of £140.
Commenting, Ceredigion's Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly candidate Elizabeth Evans said:
“During these difficult times, Liberal Democrats in Government are making a real difference for today’s pensioners.
“Many pensioners will remember Labour’s pitiful rise in the state pension of 75p, which was frankly insulting. This Coalition Government has given pensioners a guaranteed rise of inflation, an increase in average earning or 2.5%, whichever is the highest, from this year on
“I know this will be a great help for the 10.927 pensioners in Ceredigion as a pensioner retiring today can expect to receive around £15,000 more in basic pension over the course of their retirement than they would have done under Labour.”
Commenting further, Liberal Democrat Pensions Minister, Steve Webb said:
“The bold commitment of triple guarantee of a rise in the state pension by the highest of inflation, the rise in earnings or 2.5% will make the pension system fairer – but Liberal Democrats in Government will not stop there. That is why I have announced the Government will be bringing in a single flat-rate pension of £140 a week.
“We will replace a complex pension system, in which many people don’t know to what they are entitled and so are losing out, with a single, simple, decent flat-rate state pension.
“This will make life simpler for people who are at work today, making choices about savings for tomorrow. People who save at work will know that they are better off, not means-tested as a result.”
“This new flat rate will particularly benefit women and will ensure future pensioners have the guarantee of a decent future, something the Liberal Democrats have been campaigning on for years and are now delivering in Government.”
Again, this demonstrates that the Liberal Democrats are having a significant impact on government policy in the coalition. Because remember, it was the Tories who broke the pensions link with earnings and it was Labour who refused in 13 years to re-instate it. It is now a Liberal Democrat Pensions Minister who has finally righted that wrong and on behalf of Ceredigion's pensioners, I salute him for doing so.