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Britain's Pensions CrisisHistory and Policy$
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Hugh Pemberton, Pat Thane, and Noel Whiteside

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780197263853

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197263853.001.0001

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Financing UK Pensions

Financing UK Pensions

(p.184) 12. Financing UK Pensions
Britain's Pensions Crisis

John Hills

British Academy

A key feature of the pension challenges currently facing Britain is the decline of the system of occupational pensions, particularly the decline of defined-benefit pensions. Here, it is often argued that the villain has been the government (in fact a succession of governments). In this view, over the past decades successive governments have delivered a catalogue of regulation and legislation that, though often well intentioned, has ultimately worked to the detriment of occupational pension provision. Alternatively, one might argue that we could have seen it all coming. It is important that future policy should be set up in a way that is sustainable and robust enough to cope with the huge uncertainty around the increase in life expectancy which we are hoping for. This chapter examines why, and when, things began to go wrong with the financing of British pensions.

Keywords:   Britain, pensions, financing, life expectancy, defined-benefit pensions, occupational pensions, regulation, legislation

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