Universal pension may rise to £155 a week

The pension system is to be overhauled to make it simpler. Flat-rate pensions will be better for low earners and women who have taken time out of work to have children. A universal flat-rate pension of £155 a week may be revealed by pensions minister Steve Webb next week. Previous indications from the Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith outlined that the flat rate would stand at £140. However, with no changes set to be implemented for the next four years, the figure is likely to rise with inflation. Currently a single person receives a basic state pension of £97.65 a week and a couple receives £156.15. Extra benefits are provided to the poorest pensioners through a means-tested system. However, this aspect of pension provision will be scrapped to streamline the complex process.