Wednesday, January 02, 2013

New Pensions Crisis on Way...Millions will get Pension Boost

This morning (2 Jan 2013) I noticed that the entire front page of the Daily Express newspaper (see online page to right with picture of smiling grey haired pensioners) was taken up with this banner headline "Millions Will Get Pensions Boost".

I thought at the time that it was unusual for a tabloid to be saying anything positive about pensions. So I had a look tonight at the online version and found that due to the recovery (or sorts) in the price of shares that the deficits of pension funds had been reduced and the value of private pensions increased.

Which is good thing but hardly news since the recovery of the markets is well known. However, there was a link under the article to another Daily Express article written a whole 2 working days earlier (28 Dec 2012 see left with picture of unhappy grey haired pensioner) with the headline "New Pensions Crisis on Way". 

This alarmist article predicted the end of private pensions by 2050! Now I have posted on a similar misleading article on the "end of pensions" here.

But my point is no wonder people are genuinely confounded and confused by pensions when there is so much inaccurate and sensational misreporting by the media and in particular the tabloid press. Are pensions a good thing or a bad thing? How can you tell on the basis of this coverage. This is one of the reasons why so many give up on saving for their retirement and will end up dying in poverty.

The real problems with pensions is that employers either don't contribute anything or only grossly inadequate amounts and that many of the saving products on the market are simply rubbish. Bad value, insecure, nonsensical accounting and the final pension amount totally at the whim of the stock markets and government policy of the day.

The answer of course is decent modern defined benefits schemes for all. 
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