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Welfare Reform on the Web (August 2004): Pensions - UK

ONS REVISES DOWN FIGURE DONATED TO PENSION'S POT

N. Timmins

The Financial Times, July 1st 2004, p. 2

Britons are saving half the amount in funded pension schemes that the government estimated only two years ago, according to figures released by the Office for National Statistics. Tens of billions of pounds less than originally thought are going into pension funds, the ONS said, as it cut an estimate that £53bn a year is being saved by another £12bn, reducing the figure to £41bn a year in value.

WILLETTS SEES BLEAK FUTURE ON PENSIONS

N. Timmins

Financial Times, July 5th 2004, p.1

Britain's pensions crisis is as big a threat to society as terrorism or global warming, David Willetts, the Conservative Work and Pensions spokesman, warned today. The scale of the crisis and its implications are still not understood, he will argue, as he forecasts companies going bankrupt, taxes going up and local government in crisis. The size of deficits, driven by growing life expectancy, is bringing a new uncertainty to the British economy and society, particularly company finances. Already the potential takeover of W.H.Smith has failed because of the size of its pension deficit

(See also Financial Times, July 5th 2004. p.3)

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