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Using UK survey data on labour force participation and earnings and a model developed by the Department for Work and Pensions, I describe the unique challenges women face…
Using UK survey data on labour force participation and earnings and a model developed by the Department for Work and Pensions, I describe the unique challenges women face in accruing private pension benefits and simulate likely outcomes for women under the Government's proposed system of personal accounts. Projections of savings in personal accounts for male and female full-time median earners with the same work histories reveal that women would have about 27 per cent less savings available for retirement due to their lower earnings. This gap would grow, to 31 per cent, upon annuititization because single-sex annuity rates are used. Additional modifications that take into account typical work patterns of women, such as extended periods of part-time work, further reduce the savings they would accumulate in personal accounts. Several key policy provisions could improve outcomes for women including allowing spousal contributions and requiring joint-life or unisex annuities.
The (de)regulation agenda of the Conservative government, led by Margaret Thatcher, elected in 1979 is an important change point that has attracted only limited attention…
The (de)regulation agenda of the Conservative government, led by Margaret Thatcher, elected in 1979 is an important change point that has attracted only limited attention from management and historical research scholars. Thus, how (de)regulation in this era influenced the evolution of product design remains ripe for exploration. The purpose of this paper is to examine the UK individual personal pensions product market between the mid-1980s and mid-1990s to examine the relationship between (de)regulation – an industry-level factor – and its impact on architectural choices of product design – a product-level factor.
A retrospective, oral history research design with 31 senior managers in product development firms with first-hand experience of the change period was adopted.
Findings indicate that the (de)regulation reforms and the context of the financialisation of product markets came to define how products were then designed, evolving product design from non-modular to near-modular, a trajectory that arguably continues until the present day.
The main contribution lies in examining the role of (de)regulation and financialisation as modularisation processes. The increasing modularisation of individual personal pension product design between the mid-1980s and mid-1990s provides further support for the body of scholarly work on modularisation processes and their relationship with industry change.
Despite major changes in the UK pensions scene, including policy initiatives by successive governments, very little is known about people’s attitudes towards many pensions…
Despite major changes in the UK pensions scene, including policy initiatives by successive governments, very little is known about people’s attitudes towards many pensions related issues. Reports the results of a survey of undergraduates, born on the threshold of the Thatcher era, who are themselves about to embark upon influential careers. The findings relate both to knowledge of pension and retirement details, and the students’ own pension and career plans. In the spirit of the 1980s, the students, especially the males, attached some importance to “individual choice” in pension arrangements. The need for a role for the State was acknowledged, whilst occupational pensions were not rated highly in employment choice terms. The overall pattern of responses allows for some tentative evaluation of recent Labour Government proposals and speculation of future developments in the field of provision for retirement.
The UK is one of the few countries in Europe that is not facing a serious pensions crisis. The reasons for this are straightforward: state pensions are among the lowest in…
The UK is one of the few countries in Europe that is not facing a serious pensions crisis. The reasons for this are straightforward: state pensions are among the lowest in Europe, the UK has a long‐standing funded private pension sector, its population is ageing less rapidly than elsewhere in Europe and its governments have, since the beginning of the 1980s, taken measures to prevent a pension crisis developing. This article reviews the policies that have been implemented over the last two decades. It describes and analyses the defects in the Thatcher‐Major governments’ reforms that brought us to the current system, examines and assesses the reforms of the Blair government, and then identifies the problems that remain unresolved and how they might be addressed. Concludes with an examination of the implications of these reforms for the future of occupational pension schemes.
An integral part of government policy is to encourage employees to make financial provision for retirement. This paper asks why eligible employees, particularly women, do…
An integral part of government policy is to encourage employees to make financial provision for retirement. This paper asks why eligible employees, particularly women, do not join their company schemes. This two‐stage study uses face to face interviews followed by a survey of 532 employees who have chosen not to become members of their company schemes. Findings highlight personal pension ownership and a requirement for flexibility and pension portability as the key reasons for non‐membership. The dominant reason given by women was the expectation that a partner would provide in retirement.
The claimants who were the Appellants in this case were a Mrs Gorham, widow of Mr Gorham, and her two young children. Mr Gorham had been employed by British…
The claimants who were the Appellants in this case were a Mrs Gorham, widow of Mr Gorham, and her two young children. Mr Gorham had been employed by British Telecommunications plc (BT) between 2nd April, 1991 until his death on 5th September, 1994. Upon joining BT, Mr Gorham was informed by BT that he was eligible to join the defined benefit occupational pension scheme. He was sent a booklet about the scheme, which contained an opting‐out form at the back and stated that if this form were not completed he would automatically be joined into the scheme. He did not complete the form but pension contributions were, at his oral instructions, never deducted from his salary and that fact was apparent from his monthly pay slip. The judge at first instance found as a matter of fact that Mr Gorham believed he was not a member of the BT scheme until October 1992 from which date onwards he believed that he was a member of it. In autumn 1991 Mr Gorham contacted Standard Life Assurance Company (Standard Life)and was contacted by a Mr Cornwell, a customer representative of Standard Life. The Gorhams completed and signed a Standard Life Personal Information Questionnaire which prioritised Family Protection followed by Retirement Planning and House Purchase. Mr Cornwell's recommendations based on the information supplied to him from the Gorhams (who were described in the Standard Life correspondence as client and spouse) included transfer of accrued pensions rights with Mr Gorham's previous employer to a personal pension contract and payment into that contract by Mr Gorham of monthly premiums of £80, along with a small amount of life cover at a cost of £5 per month. In November 1992 Mr Gorham, having read the BT pension booklet and discovering that he could not be a member of both the BT scheme and have a personal pension, telephoned the Standard Life helpline to be told that the BT pension scheme was preferable to a personal pension scheme. At that stage he stopped paying contributions into the Standard Life pension scheme. Despite his earlier belief that he had not been a member of the BT scheme the judge at first instance found as a matter of fact that from autumn 1992 onwards he believed he was now a member of the scheme because of his failure to return the opting‐out form at the back of the BT pension scheme booklet. In fact he was not and pension contributions were still not being deducted from his salary. As a result of his failure to join the scheme either in 1991 or in 1992 when he died in 1994 his widow and children received considerably less than if he had been a member. Mrs Gorham sued Standard Life for breach of tortuous duty of care owed to her and the children and was awarded £114,282.61 for her and the children on the basis that she would have been paid that sum, part of it as trustee for the children, if her husband had become a member of the BT occupational scheme. This sum represented the capital value of Mr Gorham's loss of pension rights but the judge at first instance declined to award a further £120,000 which would have represented lump sum death benefits payable to dependants of BT scheme members which would have been payable had Mr Gorham joined the scheme and had two years qualifying service.
THERE is still a very attractive way of saving for retirement open to a section of the business community. It is known as the self‐employed pension or personal retirement plan.
States that there was a time when nobody mentioned pensions unless someone had retired, but now pensions make headlines that affect people of all ages. Concludes that the…
States that there was a time when nobody mentioned pensions unless someone had retired, but now pensions make headlines that affect people of all ages. Concludes that the UK state pension is steadily shrinking, and regarding occupational schemes (defined benefit schemes) many employers are closing their final salary pension schemes.
The authors herein carry out a literature review of retirement planning and highlights that proper retirement planning starts by looking at the level of income an…
The authors herein carry out a literature review of retirement planning and highlights that proper retirement planning starts by looking at the level of income an individual is likely to continue receiving at retirement if they were to take no action, then comparing this to what they would need to lead the lifestyle they desire. The authors review the traditional economic theories that many are accustomed to when interpreting financial matters (i.e., rational behavior) and compares this to the various studies and articles found in literature. The authors then dig into retirement planning in Malta and the behavioral obstacles to proper planning and how these are tackled in different European countries.
The purpose of this paper is to explain how the current “crisis” in the UK pension system arose. I argue that it is a result of a combination of changes in government…
The purpose of this paper is to explain how the current “crisis” in the UK pension system arose. I argue that it is a result of a combination of changes in government policy and basic instabilities always inherent in the financial system. Policy changes increased the vulnerability of the pension system to those instabilities. The background to these changes and also the frame of reference in terms of which the “crisis” itself is now phrased is broadly neoliberal. Its theoretical roots are in ideas of the efficiency of free markets. Its policy roots are expressed in a series of similar neoliberal policy tendencies in other capitalist states. I further argue that neoliberal solutions to the pension crisis simply offer more of the very matters that created the problems in the first place. Moreover, the very terms of debate, based in markets, financialisation of saving and individualisation of risk, disguise a more basic debate about providing a living retirement income for all. This is a debate that New Labour is simply not prepared to constructively engage with in any concrete fashion.