In the United Kingdom a pension has been provided by the state since the 1920s. The state pension is a contribution-based benefit, payable from the state retirement age for life, the amount of pension payable depending on an individual's National Insurance contribution history1. The provision of a basic old age pension reduced the need for private sector provision, but in recent years the cost of providing the state pension has increased substantially as a result of such factors as increased life expectancy, a falling birth rate, and EU equal treatment legislation2. Accordingly, successive governments have attempted to shift the
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