Pension Provision and Retirement Saving: Lessons from the United Kingdom
We describe the trajectory of pension reform in the United Kingdom, which has focussed on keeping the cost of public pension programmes down during a period of steady population ageing whilst attempting to maintain an adequate minimum level of income security for low income households in retirement. Instruments for achieving these aims have been to target public benefits on low income households, permitting individuals to opt out of the second tier of the public programme into private retirement accounts, and the use of tax incentives to encourage additional private retirement saving. Frequent reforms to the pension programme raise the question of whether households can make reasonable private retirement saving provision in the light of growing complexity and potential shortcomings in individual decision-making. This paper sheds some light on these issues.
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