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Public polled on pensions reforms

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17/03/2006

The Government is holding a National Pensions Day to gauge people’s views on pensions reform. But will the Government take notice of their opinions? asks Andrew Partridge.

The Government is holding a National Pensions Day to gauge people’s views on pensions reform. But will the Government take notice of their opinions? asks Andrew Partridge.

The Department for Work and Pensions is to debate reform of the state system with members of the public on National Pensions Day on March 18th.

At a series of satellite-linked events in Belfast, Birmingham, Glasgow, London, Newcastle and Swansea, ordinary people will get the chance to give their opinions on the steps the government should take to reform the pensions system.

The events will each be attended by 1,000 members of the public, where they will see videos, hear speeches and vote on proposed changes to the pensions system.

The Government is set to put forward a white paper on pensions reform later this spring, and the events mark an attempt for it to gain feedback on the options it has open to it before it presents its proposals.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, John Hutton, said: “I look forward to hearing many different views over the coming weeks. Together we can build that enduring consensus and ensure that we take the right long-term decisions to deliver a lasting pensions settlement for our children and grandchildren – and for the generations to come.”

In addition to the National Pensions Day, the DWP is also holding an online pensions debate, a further opportunity for people to comment on pensions proposals.

There are some tough options on the table for the Government regarding pensions reform, after the publication of the Turner Report on pensions reform at the back end of last year.

The Turner Report, produced by the Pensions Commission, proposed a more generous state pension, and the establishment of a National Pensions Saving Scheme– to encourage people to save more for their retirement throughout their working lives. However it also said people would have to work longer.

And John Hutton has already said that an increase of the retirement age by 2020 is “inevitable”.

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