In 2002, the British government announced the establishment of a Pensions Commission to assess the state of the country's pension system. In its first report, the Commission confirmed that the nation's pension system is in deep crisis. How come some offer better pension security than that in Britain? How do they cope with similar pressures? In its proposals for extensive reform, the Pensions Commission hopes to plug the holes in the current state system for those (mainly women) with interrupted careers and caring responsibilities. The Commission has three proposals: raising the state pension age to 67, or perhaps 69, by 2050; the creation of a more generous basic state pension by allowing the earnings-related second state pension to evolve into a flat-rate top-up to the present scheme; and the automatic enrolment of all workers into a National Pensions Savings Scheme. This introduction also looks at pension reforms abroad in areas such as Europe, including Germany and Sweden.
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