Saturday, 21 April 2007

Did Gordon really screw up our pensions?

Given Gordon is soon (one hopes, anyway) to ascend to the throne, one cannot help think that the timing of the recent objections to his abolition of tax credits for pension funds is partly political. Still, it is worth examining whether the objectors have a point: is Gordon partially responsible for the pensions crisis? Clearly the answer is no: if scheme actuaries had thought that reduced dividend income would have caused a problem, they should have increased contributions when it happened in 1997. Broadly, they didn't: some even gave employers a contributions holiday. With tax credits the holidays would have been longer and more widespread. The only people then who would have profited had El Gordo been less aggressive would have been employers. But I guess 'It was the actuaries wot dunnit' doesn't make for such a good headline.

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