People deferring their state pension for at least a year will from April 2005 be able to take their benefits as a lump sum, the Budget says.
Furthermore, deferral will NOT count against most pensioners when calculating their entitlements to other benefits.
For example, the lump sum will be treated as 'invisible' when calculating retirees' rights to housing and council tax benefits.
Adding to that, people still working will not see their deferred lump sums taken into account when calculating eligibility for work and child tax credits.
The Budget also reveals the Pension Credit, introduced by the government in October last year, will be strenghtened by extending the backdating provision. This means pensioners successfully claiming the benefit beyond October 2004 will see their claims backdated by up to twelve months.
Staying in the world of pensions, chancellor Gordon Brown reveals the cost of implementing the Inland Revenue's simplification proposals is likely to be about £250m by 2009-10.IFAonline
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