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Welfare Reform on the Web (September 2007): Pensions - UK

Closing the gender gap in retirement income: what difference will recent UK pension reform make?

D. Price

Journal of Social Policy, vol. 36, 2007, p. 561-583

The present UK pension system disadvantages women because they are more likely than men to undertake unpaid care work, and to work part-time and for low pay, and are less likely than men to be in the paid workforce as they approach retirement. The UK government established the Pensions Commission in 2002 to investigate a new pensions settlement for the 21st century and largely accepted its recommendations in the 2006 White Paper, Security in Retirement. This article investigates the impact of the Pension Commission's reform proposals on women currently of working age if their working lives continue to be interrupted by caring responsibilities. It uses unpublished data generated by Pensim2, a pensions' simulator developed by the Department for Work and Pensions. If women follow traditional paths of combining part-time work with looking after children and elderly relatives, outcomes will depend on partnering arrangements. If they are married or cohabiting they will be better off, but if they live alone in later life, the principal advantage of the proposals will be a reduction in means testing rather than an improvement in levels of income.

Couples hit by fall in pensions income

B. Carlin

The Daily Telegraph, Aug. 6th, 2007, p.1

Figures published in a parliamentary answer show a drop in retired couples' income from company schemes. Independent research attributes the lowered income for couples on occupational schemes compared to 2003-04 to Gordon Brown's decision as Chancellor to remove tax credits on pension funds.

Postcodes to determine size of pension payout

J. Bolger

The Times, Aug. 31st, 2007, p.11

A pilot project put together by Legal & General and Hargreaves Lansdown, the financial services companies, will add postcodes to a range of criteria that help to determine how long a pension holder is likely to live. In practice this would mean those living in wealthier postcodes will receive less generous payouts than those who live in less desirable areas because they are expected to live longer. This represents a sustained shift in the future annuities market.

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