Election 2010: Pensions must be tackled Go compare with our comparison table

Election 2010: Pensions must be tackled

16 April 2010 / by Lois Avery

Pensions must be tackled by whichever party wins the election, to deal with the demands of an ageing population, says insurance provider AEGON.

In its Pensions Manifesto, published today, AEGON sets out  recommendations for the next Government to adopt to deal with the challenges ahead, urging MP’s to think long-term.

It says that tackling the national debt should not come at the price of investing in long-term plans for pensions, which are more important than ever as Britain’s population gets older. The manifesto calls for a rethink of how to get people saving more for their later years and says that the current retirement framework is unsustainable for today's society.

The research also showed that more than four in five people (81%) think pensions are more important (38%) or of at least the same importance (43%) in this general election compared to the election five years ago.

The same research found around half of respondents thought it likely that, following recent restrictions for the better off, a new Government would restrict pension tax breaks for more people in future.

Otto Thoresen, AEGON UK chief executive, says: “Pensions policy is more important now than at any time before due to the pressures on the economy from an ageing population. Longevity isn't a choice for the UK, it's a certainty. And the question isn't whether or when we start to pay for it, but how we start to do so now.  But tackling the ‘Pension Crunch' shouldn't be seen as an unwelcome cost challenge, rather it's part of the solution to future fiscal and economic stability.

“That means making sure investment in providing for an ageing population is made as efficiently as possible, and shaping policy so it tackles the barriers to businesses, individuals and the public purse all paying a fair share. These barriers might be the signals people get from tax policy, the costs to the Exchequer of unfunded public sector pensions and the costs businesses face implementing the forthcoming pension reforms of automatic enrolment and mandatory employer contributions.

“Without action millions of people will continue to be condemned to poverty and State dependence in old age. That's unacceptable. There has been a degree of consensus around Turner's pension reform proposals. We need to build on that to create the framework for a sustainable savings culture in the UK.”

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