Public policy and retirement saving incentives in the UK
With ageing populations, OECD governments are searching for policies to increase retirement incomes. The UK government has introduced a series of policies, including the introduction of Personal Pensions from April 1988, of Stakeholder Pensions from April 2001, and the planned introduction of a National Pensions Saving Scheme (NPSS), designed to encourage individuals to save in retirement accounts rather than relying on state provision of social security in old age. These changes have been accompanied by changes in the tax treatment of private pensions. Arguably, the frequency and complexity of these reforms heightens the difficulties that households face in implementing consistent lifetime saving strategies. We examine some of these reform episodes in order to discover how households responded given the micro-incentives implied by this sequence of reforms – in particular those arising from the introduction of Personal and Stakeholder Pensions.
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