Thursday, 7 September 2006

Pensions a stain on capitalism

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/5319636.stm

Tony Blair has a lot to answer for on this issue. By increasing taxation on pensions he has effected a huge reduction in UK pension saving, moreover most organisations have used this as an excuse to close their final salary schemes to new members.

This has perpetrated a huge crime of the current 50+ generation on their own children. The article above reflects this in its attack on Executive pensions. Current directors of companies have realised how important retirement pay is to them and so have gone out of the way to boost their packets. At the same time staff have reduced prospects. For a Labour government this is a total travesty of their values, enfeebling workers whilst the bosses make hay!

Blair started this, but business greed has made the situation much worse than it needed to be. There are many spurious reasons as to why companies have closed pension schemes for younger members; fundamentally it has helped current corporate earnings to reach record highs in the US and UK. I think this a terrible situation to have arisen as I am a firm believer in the market.

However the lack of regulation and lack of power that the staff or shareholders have over executives has led to this situation. Now only the government of the future can try to reverse this development with hefty tax incentives for saving. Directors too should have the humility to tie their pay packets and pensions to performance too and the investors need to shout more often than the rare occasions they have managed in recent years. Otherwise the Unions will rise back once more with a valid case of exploitation and we all know the price the UK paid for Union power plays in the post war economy.

Let's see something from Mr Brown on this; but then his pension is a very cushy number so don't hold your breath.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

What about women like me who gave up their not-very-well-paid job to be a full-time mother and has lost out on a pension? My husband said his pension is now worth next to nothing and I have two sons who want to go to university, pensions is a very worrying issue, something I never cared about in the past, but as that bus pass gets closer each day, it gets increasingly worrying.

CityUnslicker said...

My wife is in the same position, albeit at an earlier stage in Life.

We never worried about pensions because until 1997 we had the best funded system in the whole world. Brown and BLair recked this to pay for extra spending and the results are there for all to see now

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