Pensioners to receive 2.1 billion more next year
Pensioners will receive 2.1 billion extra next year as a result of the increase in pensions and other benefits announced for the next financial year,
15:56 07 December 2004
Pensioners will receive 2.1 billion extra next year as a result of the increase in pensions and other benefits announced for the next financial year, secretary of state Alan Johnson has announced.
At the heart of the changes are proposals that the poorest pensioners will have their income lifted to a minimum of 109.45 (167.05 for couples) a week, an increase of nearly four per cent.
The basic state pension will be increased in line with increases in the Retail Price Index and will go up to 82.05 a week for single people and 131.20 a week for couples.
Mr Johnson said: "We will be spending over 2 billion extra next year on our pensioners. This is money that benefits everyone, providing invaluable support and additional security to people who deserve and need it most.
"Our commitment to tackling pensioner poverty remains absolute. By increasing pension credit in line with earnings it means 600,000 fewer pensioners in poverty than uprating in line with prices."
In his statement to the House of Commons, Mr Johnson also detailed the new higher rate of the state pension for those who choose to take their state pension later.
From next April men over 65 and women over 60 will be able to defer their state pension and get an increased weekly amount.
Mr Johnson said: "People can still get their basic state pension at 65 but if they want to keep working and take it later they can now get a better deal."