UK - The Trade Union Congress (TUC) said a permanent pensions commission would restore the public faith in pensions it claimed the government had "destroyed".
The commission would oversee the future of the UK pensions system, and provide government with research and recommendations on a four-yearly basis.
TUC accused the government of destroying public faith in pensions through repeated reductions in future pensions promises “without this being clearly explained to the public.
The union also pointed to the fall in the value of the basic state pension as an unstated way of containing cost pressures, and the miss-selling scandals of the 1980s, driven by a misguided attempt to extend personal provision.
TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber [pictured] described the future of pensions as a big political test for the government. “We do not underestimate the strength of the employer and industry lobbying that is trying to get ministers to scrap compulsion or increase costs to give pensions companies a cut of a guaranteed market,” said Barber.
“But Adair Turner and his colleagues have won the intellectual argument for their proposals. The government should make clear they will implement them and then establish a broad but independent Pensions Commission that can help ensure a continuing consensus.
The TUC also spoke out against raising the mandatory retirement age, which it claimed would be detrimental to those in the lower income brackets.
“There is a four-year gap in life expectancy at age 65 between men in the highest socio-economic groups and men in the lowest socio-economic group,” the TUC said. “Among women the gap has increased over the past twenty years. Moreover, those from lower socio-economic groups are less likely to enjoy good-health in retirement.
The TUC said it “strongly backed” the new pensions architecture recommended by Turner's report for a National Pensions Savings Scheme, which included a restored link to earnings when updating the state retirement pension and a universal state pension that provided particular help to women.
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