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UK pensions commissioner to make final submission

Written by: Staff

LONDON, Apr 4 (Reuters) Reform of Britain's creaking state pension structure moves a step closer today when a government-appointed panel of experts makes its final submission.

In November, the Pensions Commission said in a report that the state retirement age should be raised to 67 from 65.

It also recommended all employees should be automatically enrolled into private pension schemes or into a new National Pensions Savings Scheme (NPSS).

The proposed NPSS would use tax systems to channel workers' and company contributions into a few large pots of money to reduce management fees.

But critics have said the NPSS would undermine the pensions sector by damaging existing plans and reducing the range of pension fund providers.

Commission chairman Adair Turner will release a 50-page document today restating the panel's conclusions and responding to comments on the November report.

His submission will also formally mark the end of his commission, set up over three years ago to look at how Britain could overhaul its 57 billion-pound shortfall in retirement savings.

The government will now press ahead with a white paper proposing legislative changes to state pension provision.

Last year, Work and Pensions Secretary John Hutton said the Commission's pension proposals were ''the right basis for the debate to come,'' adding that he was ''ruling nothing in and nothing out''.

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