'Decent' state pension could be £140 a week
The state pension could be increased to about £140 a week under Government plans to ensure everybody has a "decent" income in retirement.
Ministers are drawing up plans to sweep away the means-tested system and introduce a new flat-rate pension worth considerably more than at present.
The basic state pension is currently £97.65 for a single person and £156.15 for a couple.
Means-tested top-ups for the poorest ensure single pensioners have an income of at least £132.60 and couples get £202.40.
Scrapping the complicated and expensive system is expected to save enough money from reduced bureaucracy to pay for the £140-a-week pension.
The move would benefit everybody in retirement, including the better off.
But it would be a particular boost for women, many of whom lose out on the state pension after taking time out of work - and national insurance contributions - to bring up children.
Ministers hope to implement the new system before the next general election, scheduled for 2015.
It is being worked out by Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith and Pensions Minister Steve Webb. A Green Paper is to be published later this year.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said today that it was a Liberal Democrat idea that had been developed by the party over several years in opposition.
"This is a big idea that my colleague, the Pensions Minister Steve Webb, has been working on and indeed, we worked on it for years in opposition," Mr Cable told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
"It's to make sure people can look forward in retirement to a good state pension without means testing. We need something people can rely on.
"What he's proposing is very radical. It will take time to introduce."
A new "single tier" pension of £140 a week would give an income of £7,280 per year or £14,560 for a pensioner couple.
The new system would probably be based on residency in Britain and not on National Insurance contributions.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Work and Pensions said: "The Chancellor has confirmed that the Government will improve the quality and accessibility of pensions in the Spending Review period.
"We will be bringing forward proposals for reform in a Green Paper later this year.
"Our aim will be a simple, decent state pension for future pensioners, which is easy to understand, efficient to deliver and affordable."
- 1 Woman 'suffocates newborn baby in plastic bag and puts it in her desk minutes after giving birth'
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 Chinese student carries disabled friend to school every day for three years
Nepal earthquake in pictures: Photos show devastation caused by 7.8 magnitude earthquake
Royal baby: Live updates as superbug closes ward at St Mary's Hospital in London where Duchess of Cambridge is due to give birth
Nepal earthquake: Rescuers forced to dig with their bare hands in search for survivors as images show damage to historic buildings
Ed Miliband and Boris Johnson in angry clash live on BBC's Andrew Marr Show
Bali Nine executions: British grandmother on death row in Indonesia Lindsay Sandiford says she 'just wants to get it over with'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...
£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...