Plans to increase the state pension age will be unveiled in a White Paper next week, Work and Pensions Secretary John Hutton has indicated.
In a speech paving the way for the announcement of radical reforms, he also hinted that businesses will be expected to help foot the bill for sorting out Britain's pensions crisis.
The Government is to reveal its proposals after Tony Blair and the Chancellor reportedly ended months of argument and reached agreement earlier this month.
They have agreed to restore the link between the value of the weekly state pension and the annual rise in earnings, scrapped by Margaret Thatcher in 1981.
It follows a series of reports by the Pensions Commission, chaired by Lord Turner, which recommended the link be restored. But employees will be expected to work longer to pay for the change.
Mr Hutton began the task of making the case for the reforms, which are certain to be controversial, in a speech to the Fabian Women's Network in Africa.
He said the changes were prompted but three things. People are living longer, and by 2050 there will be 50 per cent more pensioners than today.
We are also failing to save enough. The Pensions Commission has calculated that between nine and 12 million people are not saving enough for their retirement.
And finally, the current system is too complex, he said.
The reforms needed had been "mapped out" by Lord Turner's commission, he said.
"A new low-cost savings scheme to give people an effective vehicle to save for their own retirement.
"A higher state pension in return for a higher pension age as a means to allow all pensioners to share in the growing prosperity of the nation, promoting personal saving by giving people confidence that this will always be worthwhile.
"And a fairer system that properly rewards the contributions made by women and carers."
He hinted that the Government had accepted Lord Hutton's calls for a proposed new p ension scheme which employers will contribute to.
"Next week's White Paper will strike a new balance of responsibility between the employer, the State and the individual," he said.
Mr Hutton described the planned reforms as "the biggest renewal of our pension system since Clement Attlee's post war Labour Government implemented the Beveridge reforms".
He added: "Our proposals will be underpinned by a new deal for women that tackles the inequalities of a system that reflects an outdated view of family relationships, prop-erly recognising the different ways in which people contribute to our modern society today."
Black Country MP Ian Austin (Lab Dudley North) said: "What we need is a package which not just the Labour Party but the whole country can unite around, which rewards hard work and savings and is affordable to the taxpayer."
Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Philip Hammond said the Conservatives backed reform in principle.
He said: "A sustainable solution to the pensions crisis must be fair to all generations and all sectors of society."