Sunday, 9 June 2013

Proper Pension provision a casualty of an illiberal age

It gets insufficient media attention but to me one of the worst developments of the illiberal imperative Will Hutton writes about here in the Guardian is in regard to Pensions. As recently as ten to fifteen years ago final salary pensions were the norm in both the Public and the Private sector. Now the value of Public sector pensions has been eroded and decent Private sector pensions have vanished. Defined Benefit pension schemes offered comfort in retirement. Their replacement the Defined Contribution schemes are pathetic substitutes that offer little - certainly not enough to live on unless you are a very high earner. This switch did not happen because of Government action but because of inaction. Labour did not have it in its 1997 election manifesto. But they presided over this fundamental change to citizen rights (especially from 2003 to 2010) and must be roundly criticised for allowing it to happen. The companies couldn't believe their luck in being able to stop providing proper workplace pensions to their staff !