Briefing Note 26 - Will spending on state pensions remain level?
The government considers that analysis of long-term trends is essential: 'Without this type of analysis there is a risk that unsustainable policies might be pursued, which require sharp corrective policy adjustments in future'. This is one reason why it has started to publish annual estimates of what the current pensions system will cost in future. The 2004 estimates showed that spending will remain roughly level over the next 50 years.
This Briefing Note raises two concerns: first, political pressure may mean increasing pension benefits and second, the cost of Pension Credit is uncertain and is likely to be higher than anticipated.
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