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Welfare Reform on the Web (August 2003): Pensions - UK

BETTER PENSIONS: THE STATE'S RESPONSIBILITY

B. Davies and others

London: Catalyst, 2003 (Working paper; 16)

Warns that the current shift towards private pension provision in the UK will increase the numbers of people spending their retirement in poverty. Personal and occupational pensions are too unreliable to replace state provision and will always be inaccessible to women with caring responsibilities and temporary, low paid and part-time workers. The authors do not deny a role for private pension schemes, but argue that they should be a complement to, not a substitute for, adequate state provision.

P(R)AY FOR YOUR PENSION: THE END OF THE CORPORATE SERMON

T. Roberts

Pensions, vol.8, 2003, p.323-329

Recent UK government proposals on occupational pension scheme reform introduce the concept of employee consultation over potential design changes. Article comments on the need for employers to consult with their staff, given the new pensions environment of industrial unrest and mistrust generated by accelerated change in pensions and poor investment returns. Presents case studies of how consultation has been used to avoid industrial action and gain acceptance of changes.

SIMPLICITY, SECURITY AND CHOICE: WHICH OPTION DO YOU CHOOSE?

B. Birmingham

Pensions, vol. 8, 2003, p.298-316

Article examines proposals put forward in the government's green paper "Simplicity, Security and Choice" for the reform of occupational pension schemes. It identifies suggested options for change and comments on the impact alternatives might have on future pension arrangements and design.

THE UK PENSION SYTEM: KEY ISSUES

D. Blake

Pensions, vol. 8, 2003, p.330-375

Article reviews the current system of pension provision in the UK and analyses the reforms since 1980. It examines the legal, regulatory and accounting framework for occupational pension schemes, assesses the risks and returns from membership of both defined benefit and defined contribution pension schemes, and investigates the management and investment performance of pension fund assets.

PENSIONS MAY BE LOWER FOR THOSE IN WEALTHY AREAS

A. Joliffe

Financial Times, July 8th 2003, p.7

People living in upmarket places are set to get lower pensions than those in downmarket areas, even if they save the same amount. Savers who live longer will get less money for their annuities under plans being considered by Aviva, Britain's biggest life assurer. The group is planning to use "postcode annuities" under which investors living in wealthy areas - who are expected to live longer - get a lower income.

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