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Child maintenance fees 'give stronger incentive to pay'

New child maintenance fees will force parents trying to get out of paying for their youngster to cough up, a work and pensions minister has told Good Morning Britain.

Steve Webb dismissed claims the Government would make money by charging rowing parents for use of the child maintenance service, and said the fees were about "getting people to pay to benefit children".

Govt: Older workers 'a vast untapped talent'

Workers over 55 are "a vast untapped talent" with a "huge amount" to contribute to any workforce, the Pensions Minister said.

Announcing measures designed to help older people in the workplace, Steve Webb said:

We are living longer and can expect many more years of healthy life. It's great news - but it's something that as a society and as an economy we need to respond to.

The business case is compelling and the research we are launching today sets out clearly the advantages for individuals, employers and the state.

As part of building a fairer society, I am determined we boost our support for older workers and help employers challenge outdated perceptions to see the real strengths of this important section of the workforce.

– Steve Webb


Huge gaps in life expectancy revealed across UK

Female life expectancy (left) and male life expectancy (right) at age 65 in 2010-2012. Credit: ONS

Life expectancy remains much higher in areas of southern England than parts of the north and Scotland, new figures show.

Office for National Statistics (ONS) data indicates that life expectancy at birth for men in East Dorset is 82.9 years, while men in Glasgow are expected to live on average ten years less, to 72.6 years.

However, the gap between areas with the lowest life expectancy and those with the highest reduced between 2000-02 and 2010-12, the ONS said.

Pensioners could be given death date estimate

Steve Webb said insurers could use a number of factors to make the estimates. Credit: David Jones/PA Wire

Pensioners could be given an estimate of when they might die to help them manage their finances, according to ministers.

As part of Government guidance intended to help pensioners plan how much to spend and save, pensions minister Steve Webb said insurance companies could look at factors such as smoking, eating habits and socio-economic background when determining approximate life expectancy.

The guidance, which could be rolled out in April next year, may form part of a major shake-up of the pensions system.

The reforms also include measures to allow the withdrawal of money directly from a pension savings pot, without leaving them tied up in annuities.

Minister: 'Enough is enough' on pension charges

Pensions Minister Steve Webb said the Government believes "enough is enough on charges".

Pensions Minister Steve Webb said 'enough is enough' when it comes to charges on pensions. Credit: Chris Ison/PA Wire

He said people "need to know they are getting value for money" when they save into a pension and that they are "not being ripped off by excessive charges."

"I'm confident that we will make the system fairer for anyone being automatically enrolled into a workplace pension and will finally address the issue of charges which has been neglected for far too long," Mr Webb said.

Government: 'We know people are not saving enough'

Pensions Minister Steve Webb said the Government is aware that people are not saving enough for their retirement.

He added: "Only 30% of private sector workers are members of a pensions scheme and this must change.

Pensions minister Steve Webb said Credit: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

"We have introduced automatic enrolment to help take the hassle out of saving and opened it up to those aged 22 and over to ensure the habit of saving starts early," he said.

"We are restoring clarity to the state pension so people will know exactly what they will get in retirement and how much they need to save on top to achieve the kind of lifestyle they want in the future."