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

Outlook on 2010

Anon.

European Pensions, Jan-Feb 2010, p. 50-56

Twelve industry experts give their predictions for the main trends affecting pensions over the coming year, with an overview of the key factors affecting European pensions by Paul Kelly, Principal at Towers Watson. Topics include trends in global equities, the US market, property, environmental issues, technology and life settlements.

Public sector pension costs may reach 79bn a year

A. Grice

The Independent, Mar. 12th 2010, p. 2

According to a report by the National Audit Office (NAO) pension payments to retired public servants could rise by 200 per cent to 79bn a year in the next 50 years. This will increase pressure on politicians to rein in the final salary schemes for public sector workers as they seek to cut the deficit in public finances after the general election. However, unions argue that final salary pensions are justified because pay is lower in the public sector than the private sector.

State pensions: a race against the future

A. Sheen

Life & Pensions, Feb 2010, p. 10-13

This article examines the current state of European pensions following the credit crisis of late 2008 and the challenges of an ageing population. Includes useful comparison of UK pension policy with that of other European countries, including France, Hungary and Estonia.

Towards a new political economy of pensions? The implications for women

L. Foster

Critical Social Policy, vol.30, 2010, p. 27-47

This article employs a political economy approach to assess the changing nature of women's pension provision in the UK. Initially it provides an overview of the current context showing that many female pensioners are without access to significant pension entitlements in their own right. It then examines the history of women's pensions over the past 30 years, covering both state and private forms of provision. It considers the pension strategies of both Thatcher and New Labour governments and their impact on women's pension situation. This includes an evaluation of recent New Labour proposals, such as Personal Accounts, a raising the basic state pension age and reintroduction of the link to earnings. It is concluded that the New Labour government has largely continued on the same course as its predecessor and aims to minimise the role of the public sector in pension provision in favour of private schemes and means-testing. These moves towards individual provision for retirement through occupational and personal pensions will increase the income inequality between older women and men, due to the penalties arising from women's greater involvement in domestic and caring roles in earlier life.

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