Queen’s Speech 2012: what it means for you

At the State Opening of Parliament this morning, the Queen announced her Government would reform state and public sector pensions, increase parental leave and flexibility and reorganise employment tribunals.

Thousands of public sector union members planned to strike over their pensions tomorrow but this may be set to change after the Queen made clear that legislation will be introduced to reform public service pensions in line with recommendations of the independent commission.

Joanne Segars, NAPF chief executive, said: “This is another big step towards a simpler, more generous state pension that no longer penalises people for saving. A new system will take millions out of means-tested benefits and will encourage people to take control of their own age by saving towards it.

“We are all living longer, so it is inevitable that retirement ages move upwards to reflect that. The trade-off for working longer must be a better state pension come retirement.”

As her majesty outlined the Government’s legislative plans for the next session of Parliament, the Queen confirmed: “Measures will be proposed to make parental leave more flexible, so both parents may share parenting responsibilities and balance work and family commitments.”

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