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A barrage of blows by Governments over the past 20 years – mainly motivated by political expediency or financial urgency – has left millions of ordinary savers dazed and confused.
There has been no coordinated savings policy; pensions have been persistently poleaxed by poor policymaking; and ham-fisted means-testing continues to bamboozle pensioners.
Britons who simply want to save for themselves, their families and their future – and be confident that their efforts will be rewarded with support and encouragement – have been woefully ignored, making a mockery of Government commitments to encourate its population so save for the long term.
What on earth happened to our savings culture and who is to blame?
To help make sense of what has happened, we have laid bare the savings landscape. It’s neither a pretty sight nor a path to saver salvation, but it does underline how it all went wrong and who is to blame – an unholy mix of poor Government, less-than-robust regulation and the eternal struggle between customers and financial institutions to try and grab “a decent deal”.
Giving savers an incentive to save does not sound like rocket science, yet it is a puzzle that has bested governments, regulators and think-tanks for decades. Today’s saving statistics show how far the rot has now set in. It must be stopped. Read more…
Final salary schemes, allowing you to retire on up to two-thirds of your last paycheque, are not long for this world. Neglected while the going was good and stock markets soared, their rapid – and now very public – disappearance thanks to ballooning costs, suffocating regulation and longer lifespans will be mourned by savers. Read more….
It’s not just pension performance that’s a major worry: a deadly mix of means-testing and untested Government policy could undo big plans for a new semi-compulsory pension saving scheme to go live in 2012. The deadweight of regulation is in danger of ruining decent pension provision. Read more…
One of the future’s most likely ferocious financial battles will be between the pensions “haves” and the “have-nots”. Retirement worries for public sector workers are generally scorned as risk-free, while private sector workers scrimp and save to try and create a modest pension pot. The truth is rather different, but Government failings have left a lot to answer for. Read more…
Who can forget the stupefying scenes outside Northern Rock branches in September 2007 when a run on the bank sent panicking savers scurrying for their cash? Never had anyone imagined their “money in the bank” would be under threat, nor their pension cash in peril. Read more…