Simplified state pension launched
The state pension will undergo a radical overhaul from today, as a new "simplified" system aims to give people more certainty about the retirement income they are likely to end up with.
The new system will have winners as well as losers. While in the long run it aims to be easier to understand by sweeping away complex rules, concerns have been raised that some people could be in for a nasty surprise as the scheme beds in.
The state pension will change for people who reach pension age on or after Wednesday. To get the new state pension, men must have been born on or after April 6, 1951 and women must have been born on or after April 6, 1953.
The previous system was made up of two parts - the basic state pension as well as the additional state pension, which is extra money on top of the basic state pension.
The full new state pension has a single-tier rate of £155.65 a week. Usually, people will need at least 10 years of qualifying National Insurance (NI) contributions to get any state pension - and 35 years of contributions to get the full amount.
But analysis from the Institute for Fiscal Studies found that fewer than one in five people reaching state pension age over the next four years would get the £155.65 per week. It said nearly one in four retirees will get more - but most will get less.
On the upside, the new state pension promises to be more generous to many people who have been self-employed or have taken time out of work to care for family members.