Why contracting out of the state pension should remain

Prof Philip Booth writes for ConservativeHome

The recently published Green Paper on pensions was widely welcomed. Indeed, it contained some reasonable ideas. However, it also contained a proposal to abolish contracting out of state pensions. This could lead to possibly the biggest tax increase in history as well as the reversal of one of the most important post-war privatisations.

The three reasonable proposals were identical to those in a paper published by the IEA: Sharing the burden - How the older generation should suffer its share of the cuts.

These proposals were:

  1. To move to a position where there is only one state pension.
  2. To retain the contributory principle. There are serious dangers in undermining the contributory principle yet further so this is welcome.
  3. To link the pension age to improvements in life expectancy with the government ap