Government plans could mean pensions 'apartheid', ACA claims

04 June 2007
Pensions provision in the UK could be facing 'apartheid'-style partition of employees into the haves and have-nots, the Association of Consulting Actuaries (ACA) has warned.

The introduction of the government's personal pensions accounts in 2012 could entrench a widening gulf between Britons with good pensions provision and those less well off, its survey of employers suggested.

One in three employers surveyed agreed that companies may increasingly limit entry into occupational schemes, excluding lower-income savers, while those employed by smaller firms could be at a particular disadvantage, as firms cut back on scheme contributions.

Moreover, many existing employers' pensions schemes could close, three quarters of those surveyed warned.

Nevertheless, the survey did reveal that almost six in ten employers thought the state pension reforms would give ordinary savers better basic pensions.

"Real positive support for 'good' existing and new workplace arrangements is a vital element of reform" which "must be effective ahead of 2012", ACA chairman Ian Farr stressed.

Last week, work and pensions secretary John Hutton urged that members' interests would be "at the heart" of the new personal pensions schemes.

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