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Budget 2013 - Flat-rate pension

The government has announced the new flat-rate pension will be brought forward to as early as 2016.

The new flat-rate pension will provide for £144 per week and the Chancellor also took the opportunity to announce a cap on the cost of social care at £72,000.

The pension move will address the injustice suffered by 80,000 women born between April 6 and July 5, 1953. The women lost out because of a double-whammy of policy changes that pushed them out of reach of the flat-rate pension.

They were led to believe that they would be eligible for the new single-tier pension in return for having their pension age increased twice.

But because the introduction of the new State pension was delayed to at least April 2017, they would have reached their state pension age by that date, excluding them from the improved pension.

However, this has now changed following the Chancellor's confirmation today that the new state pension would be brought in a year earlier than first planned.

The cap on social care will also mean that medical and care costs beyond £72,000 will be paid by the state which provides reassurance for elderly people who might develop diseases later in life.

Charity director general at Age UK, Michelle Mitchell, called the reforms 'welcome' but 'modest'.

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