UK - Pensions researchers say the Government must abandon its strategy of pushing private pension schemes to replace State provision.
For 40 years, British governments have sporadically pursued the chimera of private schemes replacing state provision, said Professor Noel Whiteside, University of Warwick, Zurich Financial Services Fellow.
This strategy must be abandoned and a permanent negotiated settlement between public and private obligations put in place, to restore confidence.
Her remarks come from a conference on March 8 organised by pensions researchers from the Universities of Warwick and Oxford, titled ‘Pension Security in the 21st Century: Redrawing the Public-Private Divide.’
Professor Whiteside went on to say: Informed discussion on alternative strategies is in short supply. We can only hope that our government is prepared to admit that current policy is unsustainable and to look for different policies and other remedies.
The event brought together European and American experts to discuss the lessons for British policy to be gleaned from overseas experience.
“Although recent market trends make their future today appear uncertain,” said Professor Gordon Clark of Oxford University, the workshop's co-organiser, “pension funds still have more resources to devote to old age security than most governments.”
The researchers also noted that aside from the issue of old age security, European governments are increasingly turning to funded schemes for other reasons. Pension funds are major players in global investment. Many European leaders believe that American advantage in the development of new technologies is partly explained by US companies' access to venture capital supplied by pension funds.
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