CBI wants pensions rethink

The Confederation of British Industry is set to press for the return of an old policy on pensions which was ditched by the Labour Party in the run-up to the general election in May. Delegates at the CBI's annual pensions conference were told members overwhelmingly favoured a means- tested top-up to the basic state pension or "minimum pension guarantee".

Deputy director general Peter Agar said: "Raising the basic state pension is an expensive way to help pensioners. Rather than an inadequate basic pension provided for all, a minimum pension guarantee would provide a decent level below which no pensioners would be allowed to fall." But the idea will meet opposition from Frank Field, the minister for welfare reform at the DSS, who is ardently opposed to means-testing.