Mothers who take time out of work to look after children will no longer be penalised when they retire, Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, has announced.
At present, women who do not work for 30 years fail to qualify for the full basic state pension. But under the new plans, millions of mothers, and carers, will be treated as if they had worked all their lives. Mr Duncan Smith said women would be the "major winners" in the reformed system, receiving at least £140 a week. The measure will apply to women who retire from 2015, giving an average of £40 extra a week to mothers who took time out of work. Currently, they receive a reduced entitlement for each year out of employment.
However, the changes will prevent people from "opting out" of the additional state pension and putting the extra money into a company scheme.
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