Over 1000 pensioners marched on Parliament calling for change
BBC Radio 4's Money Box Investigates was broadcast on Tuesday, 14 September, 2004 at 2000 BST.
The programme was repeated on Sunday, 19 September, 2004 at 1700 BST.
Is it time to pension-off the state pension?
As the new Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Alan Johnson takes over, Money Box has discovered he will find an extraordinary consensus calling for radical reform to an institution which dates back to the 1940s.
It is not just pensioner groups and unions. Employers, politicians, academics and the pensions industry itself all want a higher basic state pension and an end to means-testing.
CALL FOR ACTION
More than 1,000 people gathered in Westminster in September demanding a better state pension
Experts say the present system is "insultingly complex"; does not end poverty; does not tackle inequality; and undermines the government's plans to make us all save for our future. Paul Lewis investigated.
Producer: Jennifer Clarke
Presenter: Paul Lewis
Web producer: Nathalie Knowles