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Welfare Reform on the Web (February 2010): Pensions - UK

Business to cut pension benefits as final salary schemes die out

N. Timmins

Financial Times, Jan. 4th 2010, p. 4

A survey of 300 UK companies by the Association of Consulting Actuaries has found 87 per cent have closed their defined benefit pension schemes to new entrants, with 18 per cent closed to further contributions from existing employees - double the number that were closed four years ago.

Retirement and age discrimination: managing retirement in higher education

S. Manfredi and L. Vickers

Industrial Law Journal, vol. 38, 2009, p. 343-364

The Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 were intended to root out discrimination against older workers. This article looks at age discrimination and retirement in the higher education sector in England and assesses whether the Regulations have achieved their aims generally and in the specific context of HE. The research suggests that staff expectations and wishes regarding retirement may not be met by the Age Regulations, in particular with regard to mandatory retirement. Many staff would like to work beyond retirement, but institutions are not generally speaking accepting requests to continue to work, as provided for in the Regulations.

Scrap forced retirement - it's ageist, says watchdog

R. Bennett

The Times, Jan. 25th 2010, p.5

The Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) will put pressure on all parties to pledge a reform of retirement age in preparation for the next election. The EHRC proposes that the compulsory retirement age of 65 be scrapped. The business community are concerned that businesses are being asked to implement new laws too quickly and suggest that such a proposal should not be rushed into law.

The tax timebomb

A Sheen

Life & Pensions, December 2009, p.14-18

This article examines the decision by Royal County of Berkshire's pension fund to do a longevity swap. This is the first time a local government scheme has signed a longevity hedge. Includes useful commentary on the state of the UK's Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS). (See also the Independent, Jan. 25th 2010, p.2)

What's the future for pensions?

Anon.

Labour Force Research, Jan. 2010, p. 16-18

More than 60% of the private sector workforce is not saving in an employer-supported pension scheme. However, from 2010 state provision for retirement is evolving, with measures in the pipeline for workers to accumulate a full basic state pension with fewer contributions, to restore the link with average earnings, and to abolish the compulsory retirement age. From 2012, employers will also have to 'auto-enrol' employees into occupational schemes instead of waiting for them to apply to join. However, government policy is still heavily reliant on means-tested benefits to top up state pensions.

Working better: the over 50s, the new work generation

A. Maitland

Equality and Human Rights Commission, 2010

Report argues that older workers should not be forced to retire at 65 and should be free to request flexible conditions, including reduced hours and working from home. If people were allowed to work for an extra 18 months, it would save 15bn a year in pension payments and reduce the national debt. In a survey of 1500 people, 59% of men and 62% of women aged between 50 and 75 said that they wanted to continue working beyond the default retirement age.

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