Pensions are hugely important. In the UK alone, £2.2 trillion is invested in pension funds and around one-third of our adult lives are spent in retirement. Yet, most people have very little understanding of the pensions system. This is even more extraordinary when one considers that over 10 million people are saving into pension schemes where they are responsible for deciding how much to pay in and how to invest their funds.
This book is intended to help. Whether you are an individual with no prior knowledge of pensions, or an industry expert, this book should provide some interesting and useful insight into the wonderful world of UK pensions.
It starts with a brief history of how the system has developed over time, covering the different arrangements provided by the private and public sectors, as well as the State. It then looks into the system in more detail, explaining some of the complexities and why pensions so often make news headlines. The book uses real life examples and stories to bring the explanations to life - from Maxwell and the Mirror Pension Scandal, to Philip Green and BHS.
- A brief history of the rise of occupational pension schemes in the UK, the Maxwell scandal and subsequent legislative changes
- The decline in defined benefit provision, via benefit changes and industrial disputes
- The public sector pension arrangements and changes made to these
- Money purchase (defined contribution) schemes and member disengagement
- The State Pension
- How schemes are run (Trustees, advisers, actuaries etc)
- Pension scheme deficits / black holes
- The role of the Pensions Regulator and Pension Protection Fund (PPF), including the BHS case
- How the Rules of pension schemes can lead to different outcomes - such as whether RPI or CPI inflation applies
- Pensions taxation and how this caused a problem in the NHS
- Some of the problems faced by schemes - from gender equalisation, to the British Steel pension transfer scandal
- What the future may have in store - Pension Dashboards, Collective Defined Contribution (CDC), consolidation and more
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