Government Failing to Prevent Pensions Crisis – Jo Swinson

Jo Swinson MP today slammed the Government over new figures showing that pension saving has fallen since 1997, to the extent that more than half of the working age population (56%) are now relying on their partners or the state to provide for them in retirement.

The figures indicate that in East Dunbartonshire, 27,920 people are making no occupational or personal pension contributions.

While 52% of men are not saving, the problem is worse amongst women – 60% of whom are not saving. In East Dunbartonshire, that suggests that 14,400 women are not saving, compared with 13,520 men.

Jo said:

“This level of undersaving could prove very significant in future years as people become aware of how much they have to survive on in their retirement. Survey after survey shows that people overestimate the level of income they will have in retirement and underestimate how long they will live for.

“What is more disturbing is that the trend is worsening and the Government, rather than tackling the challenge head on, are making things worse.

“With the withering of the state pension and the spread of means-testing, people are no longer clear if it is worth their while saving or not. Also, with the growth in personal debt and the struggle to get on the housing ladder, pension saving inevitably takes on a low priority.

“The Government have said they are waiting for Adair Turner’s Pension Commission to report at the end of November. But come December they must join the growing consensus that the only long term solution is a Citizen’s Pension uprated in line with earnings and set at a level which would put an end to means-testing.”

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