November 17, 2005


State pension age 'should rise' (BBC, 11/17/05)

A rise in the basic state pension and an increase in the age at which it can be claimed is to be recommended by the Pensions Commission later this month.

The commission's report will call for a more generous state pension but a rise in the claimant age to 67, according to the Financial Times newspaper.

A new national savings plan, in which individuals will automatically have to enrol, will also be recommended.

The commission has been tasked with finding a blueprint for pension reform. [...]

The report will also call for the creation of a new national savings plan, modelled on a scheme currently being set up in New Zealand.

People would join when they started a new job, with contributions, possibly from both workers and employers, being collected by the Revenue & Customs through the PAYE scheme.

Laura Cronin, an adviser to the New Zealand minister of finance, told BBC Radio 4: "The scheme makes it easy for people to save because lots of us find it difficult to sign up to pension schemes even when we do want to save.

" A scheme like this works to encourage people to save by making it simple for them to do so. We need to find a way to supplement people's incomes in retirement."

KiwiSaver is being introduced because New Zealand has some of the same problem as the UK - low levels of savings combined with an ageing population.

Their new scheme will channel the extra contributions into investment funds, just like occupational pension schemes.

Ms Cronin pointed out that although individuals would be enrolled automatically, they would still retain the right to opt out:

"It does give people the opportunity to opt out if they've got a mortgage or other commitments or debts, or if they've already got other kinds of savings."

Funny how those radically conservative schemes of the President crop up everywhere in the Anglosphere (- Canada).

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 17, 2005 8:33 AM

I'm not sure how you meant it, but "scheme" is not a perjorative term in the UK.

Posted by: Rick T. at November 17, 2005 8:56 AM

Is it to anyone but Al Gore?

Posted by: oj at November 17, 2005 9:04 AM

This is starting to get embarrasing. Flat tax in eastern Europe and Russia, privatization of Social Security in New Zealand, Chile, etc. The US is supposed to be leading the world and yet the Dems have decided to act like conservatives and perversely obstruct rational reform. I don't know if that is first, second, or third way, but it will look juvenile in about two decades.

Posted by: h-man at November 17, 2005 9:23 AM

The Dems are now the reactionary party.

Posted by: David Cohen at November 17, 2005 10:15 AM

We Americans have our own [Ponzi] scheme for savings: Social Security. We can scheme with the best of them.

Posted by: John J. Coupal at November 17, 2005 10:42 AM

Orrin, I don't know how to break this to you, but you can't just will us out of the Anglosphere. Plus we invented private retirement savings.

Posted by: Peter B at November 17, 2005 12:59 PM

It's National Health and appeasement that makes you Francospherical.

Posted by: oj at November 17, 2005 1:19 PM

I was with you when you were singling out Australia, but you have lost all credibility since you started sucking up to New Zealand.

Posted by: Peter B at November 17, 2005 5:33 PM

Interestingly, the NZ left was the real trailblazer here, along with the Chileno Right.

Posted by: oj at November 17, 2005 6:07 PM


Are we fighting Iraq or the war of 1812? Oh, I get it. Both. At the same time.

Posted by: Peter B at November 17, 2005 6:37 PM