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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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Why Has It All Gone Wrong? The Past, Present, and Future of British Pensions

Why Has It All Gone Wrong? The Past, Present, and Future of British Pensions

(p.140) 9. Why Has It All Gone Wrong? The Past, Present, and Future of British Pensions
Britain's Pensions Crisis

Frank Field

British Academy

This chapter examines the political framework within which the debate about retirement income in Britain is conducted. It uses the lessons of the national minimum strategy, but takes into account today's political realities, to draw up a pensions reform programme. The Pensions Reform Group (PRG) advocates a new basic universal pension which guarantees an income in retirement above means-testing. This is to be achieved by keeping the current pay-as-you-go state pension and building alongside it a funded scheme so that in total a pension between 25–30 per cent of average earnings can be paid. This is a collective scheme but is not one run by the state as is today's national insurance retirement pension. Serious pension reform is far too big an issue for governments not to be interested in the outcome. That interest is accepted but balanced by the form of governance being proposed by the PRG.

Keywords:   Britain, Pensions Reform Group, retirement income, pension reform, state pension

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