Job losses are small price to pay for pension solution

 I read in Personnel Today (13 December) that a major reason for the pension industry’s opposition to Lord Turner’s suggested National Pensions Savings Scheme (NPSS) is the fact that the scheme would lead to 50,000 financial staff losing their jobs. It is a fact which suggests to me that, with associated savings, pension scheme members as a whole (using a modest £25,000 per employee) would be around £1.25bn per annum better off.

What other proposal offering such savings would be resisted? Is there any valid reason for trying to preserve the current state/private mix?

Employees joining their companies’ schemes have to place a lot of trust in scheme providers, with whom they are investing considerable sums of money.

Following the way pension schemes have been subject to tax raids and have seen underlying asset values fall during periods of stock market weakness, the only credible way for the pensions industry to regain the confidence of prospective members is for it to provide a universal, government-backed, guaranteed pension, and for those who can afford it to make additional provision for their retirement without relying on complicated tax and National Insurance breaks.

The government has to stop meddling. Should we burden people of retirement age with the need to understand complex systems and make means-tested claims, or should we provide an adequate basic state pension without complications to all of our older citizens?

Let’s not nanny people with social workers, special grants and administrative helpers; let’s give them the ability to pay their way by providing a decent pension for everyone.

Mike Barker
Finance director,
Hatcher Components

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