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UK needs '10m migrants for pension crisis'

UK - The UK needs up to 10 million migrant workers by 2025 to maintain the basic state pension, according to new academic research.

"Up to 10 million migrant workers might need to enter the UK between now and 2025 in order to ensure that pensioners can continue to receive 80 pounds (115 euros) a week from the basic state pension," said the Cass Business School.

"This could be the only way that pensioners can expect to receive their current level of pension if we continue to retire at the same age, we fail to increase national insurance contributions, productivity levels remain static and we continue to live longer.”

"The UK is facing some tough decisions in terms of state pension provision," said Professor Les Mayhew, primary researcher and director of the Risk Institute at Cass. "We can increase our work force via migration, we can work longer or we can increase contribution payments - even if we do this it only keeps the current state pension system stable until 2030."

Professor David Blake, director of Cass' Pensions Institute, added: "The only other option is to combine these factors - work longer, increase migration and increase contribution levels.

"Expecting everybody to work longer may be unrealistic as activity rates among the over 50s have hardly changed in 25 years, and to make any difference there would have to be a significant change in working habits."

'Immigration or bust: Securing the future viability of the basic state pension' by David Blake and Les Mayhew is available on request from Cass.

Separately, the UK government is to hold a consultation meeting on the proposed Financial Assistance Scheme for pensions on November 24. The Department of Work and Pensions said: "We are particularly interested in listening to the views of those most affected, consequently, we would like to invite scheme members to attend a meeting with DWP officials.”

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