UK - The GMB union has attacked proposals by the Pensions Policy Institute to introduce a minimum weekly pension of £105.
The union said the plan – aimed at ending the need for extensive means-testing – placed a greater burden on taxpayers rather than employers.
The PPI report, entitled Lessons from New Zealand and State Pension Reform, calls for a government-funded “Citizen’s Pension” to be introduced immediately, set at the guarantee credit level, formerly the minimum income guarantee.
In the longer-term, choices about its funding would include a combination of increased backing by the state, a two-year increase in the state pension age in 25 years’ time and tax relief on private pensions.
GMB general secretary Kevin Curran said the report raised some important issues, but “let employers off the hook”.
“It is unfair that pensions should be dependent on individuals to work until they drop in order to have a decent income in what remains of their retirement.”
He added: “In the aftermath of the Equitable Life report and the government’s continued refusal to compel employers to make decent contributions to occupational funds, it once again means the individual is an easy target.”
Compulsory employer contributions and greater regulation of the financial services industry was the only way of preventing pensioner poverty, he said.
PPI director Alison O’Connell said: “We haven’t answered all the questions yet, but there appears to be no ‘showstopper’ against the Citizen’s Pension.”
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