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Pension Provision and Retirement Saving: Lessons from the United Kingdom

  • Richard Disney
  • Carl Emmerson
  • Matthew Wakefield

We describe the trajectory of pension reform in the United Kingdom, which focuses on restraining the cost of the public program as the population ages while maintaining adequate income security for low-income households in retirement. Methods for achieving these aims have been to target public benefits to lowincome households, to permit individuals to opt out of the second tier of the public program into private retirement accounts, and to offer tax incentives to encourage additional private retirement saving. Frequent program reforms raise concerns as to whether households can make reasonable private saving provision in light of the growing complexity and potential shortcomings of individual decision-making. This paper sheds some light on these issues.

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Article provided by University of Toronto Press in its journal Canadian Public Policy.

Volume (Year): 34 (2008)
Issue (Month): s1 (November)
Pages: 155-176

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Handle: RePEc:cpp:issued:v:34:y:2008:i:s1:p:155-176
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  1. Richard Disney & Carl Emmerson, 2005. "Public pension reform in the United Kingdom: what effect on the financial well-being of current and future pensioners?," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 26(1), pages 55-81, March.
  2. Richard Disney & Carl Emmerson & Matthew Wakefield, 2007. "Tax reform and retirement saving incentives: evidence from the introduction of stakeholder pensions in the UK," IFS Working Papers W07/19, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  3. Richard Disney & Edward Whitehouse, 1992. "Personal pensions and the review of the contracting-out terms," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 13(1), pages 38-53, February.
  4. R Disney & C Emmerson & M Wakefield, 2001. "Pension reform and saving in Britain," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(1), pages 70-94, Spring.
  5. Richard Disney, 2006. "Household Saving Rates and the Design of Public Pension Programmes: Cross–Country Evidence," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 198(1), pages 61-74, October.
  6. Milligan, Kevin, 2003. "How do contribution limits affect contributions to tax-preferred savings accounts?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 253-281, February.
  7. Woojin Chung & Richard Disney & Carl Emmerson & Matthew Wakefield, . "Public policy and retirement saving incentives in the UK," Discussion Papers 06/03, University of Nottingham, Centre for Finance, Credit and Macroeconomics (CFCM).
  8. John Karl Scholz & Ananth Seshadri & Surachai Khitatrakun, 2004. "Are Americans Saving "Optimally" for Retirement?," NBER Working Papers 10260, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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