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Pension reform, financial literacy and public information : a case study of the United Kingdom

  • Whitehouse, Edward

This paper, the first in a series on public information, and pension reform to explore issues examining a range of country experiences, looks at the experience in the United Kingdom (UK), where a number of initiatives to improve general, and individual pension information, are described, and assessed. The UK pension system is briefly described, to then focus on the consumer knowledge of pensions, and the lack of confidence in a complex and rapidly changing pension system, indifference to retirement-income planning, and problems in getting trustworthy advice. Current and planned initiatives to improve both general pensions, and financial knowledge and information about individual pension rights, - from government financial regulators, and the private sector - are then assessed. Pension reforms in the UK emphasize private funding, rather than state, pay-as-you-go provision, promote defined-contribution, rather than defined-benefit schemes, and in particular they should lead to lower administrative charges with private pensions, and greater flexibility in changing contribution levels as family finances require. The report highlights the importance of the role of public information in preparing for, and promoting reform, in ensuring people understand the choices open to them, and thedecisions they are expected to make, but mostly, public information should address, and ensure the understanding of the pension system.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Social Protection Discussion Papers with number 21312.

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Date of creation: 31 Jan 2000
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:hdnspu:21312
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  1. Palacios, Robert & Whitehouse, Edward, 1998. "The role of choice in the transition to a funded pension system," Social Protection Discussion Papers 20109, The World Bank.
  2. William N. Goetzmann & Stephen J. Brown, 2005. "Performance Persistence," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm451, Yale School of Management.
  3. Ronald Lee & Jonathan Skinner, 1999. "Will Aging Baby Boomers Bust the Federal Budget?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(1), pages 117-140, Winter.
  4. DeMarco, Gustavo & Rofman, Rafael & Whitehouse, Edward, 1998. "Supervising mandatory funded pension systems : issues and challenges," Social Protection Discussion Papers 20113, The World Bank.
  5. Armando Barrientos, 1998. "Supplementary pension coverage in Britain," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 19(4), pages 429-446, November.
  6. Whitehouse, Edward, 1998. "Pension Reform in Britain," MPRA Paper 14175, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Teresa Ghilarducci, 1992. "Labor's Capital: The Economics and Politics of Private Pensions," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262071398, August.
  8. Sarah Tanner, 1998. "The dynamics of male retirement behaviour," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 19(2), pages 175-196, May.
  9. Richard Disney & Robert Palacios & Edward Whitehouse, 1999. "Individual choice of pension arrangement as a pension reform strategy," IFS Working Papers W99/18, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  10. Dilnot, Andrew & Disney, Richard & Johnson, Paul & Whitehouse, Edward, 1994. "Pensions policy in the UK: An economic analysis," MPRA Paper 10478, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Blake, David & Lehmann, Bruce N & Timmermann, Allan G, 1997. "Performance Measurement using Multiple Asset Class Portfolio Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 1618, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Richard Disney, 1995. "Occupational pension schemes: prospects and reforms in the UK," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 16(3), pages 19-39, September.
  13. Costas Meghir & Whitehouse, E, 1995. "Labour market transitions and retirement of men in the UK," IFS Working Papers W95/10, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  14. Martha Starr-McCluer & Annika Sunden, 1999. "Workers' knowledge of their pension coverage: a reevaluation," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-05, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  15. Richard Disney & Sarah Tanner, 1999. "What can we learn from retirement expectations data?," IFS Working Papers W99/17, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  16. Gavin Brown & Paul Draper & Eddie McKenzie, 1997. "Consistency of UK Pension Fund Investment Performance," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(2), pages 155-178.
  17. Richard Disney & Costas Meghir & Edward Whitehouse, 1994. "Retirement behaviour in Britain," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 15(1), pages 24-43, February.
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