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Welfare Reform on the Web (July 2001): Pensions - UK

FALLING EQUITIES DAMAGE NEW-STYLE PENSIONS

S. Targett

Financial Times, Apr 20th 2001, p4

Falling equity markets have led to the average pension fund shrinking by 6 percent. The government's stakeholder pension scheme may suffer as a result, as people are reluctant to invest in them in the current financial climate. Article goes on to discuss the effect on members of final salary defined schemes and how the fall in technology and telecoms stocks are principally to blame for the damage to funds.

GET CREDIT FOR SAVING

Anon

New Review of the Low Pay Unit, no.68, 2001, p. 8-9

Article summarises the government's pension reforms, covering the Pension Credit, the Minimum Income Guarantee, the second state pension and stakeholder pensions.

UK STAKEHOLDER PENSIONS: TIDAL WAVE OR RIPPLE

D. Strattan

Pensions International, no.30, 2001, p.14-15

Predicts that stakeholder pensions will lead to most other UK pensions and savings vehicles becoming equally low-cost/efficient. However they are likely to be purchased by medium and high-paid employees and for the spouses and children of the better-off. Compulsion, if introduced, may rebalance this.

YOUR SINKING PENSION

D. Potter

Guardian, Apr. 18th 2001, p.17

Argues that the launch of stakeholders represents a massive transfer of risk from the state to the individual and is the first step in the elimination of the state pension. However, the bad news is that as current deflationary pressures drive down interest rates and investment yields, the value of annuities falls. This trend will force people to increase their savings rates.