UK pension system in dire need of reform


January 2014

UK pension system in dire need of reform

The issue of pensions has been dominating the headlines in the news at the moment, and rightly so because the reality at the moment is that the current generation need to act now or else risk being condemned to a financially unsecure retirement and serious problems for the average worker years down the line.
With medical facilities improving all time, the average lifespan of someone in Britain is always on the rise, and as such a greater amount of finance has to be raised over the course of your working life in order to have ample money to survive comfortably on retirement.
And it is fair to say that the current pension system is failing and will not be sustainable moving forward twenty years in the future. The key issue that needs to be addressed is finding a viable way for young workers aged fewer than 30 to save money right now, though this is extremely difficult for many considering the huge levels of youth unemployment and the post recession climate that most are being introduced to in the working world. 
Recent figures have indicated that just under 1 million individuals aged between 16 and 25 were unemployed last autumn, whilst the median salary of young workers has decreased by 12% since 2007. And whilst the growth in income remains stagnant, housing costs, whether rent or mortgage payments are rising all the time and leaving even less disposable income in the pocket of young workers. 
Student loans are also a significant financial burden on young workers, with data from the Office for National Statistics indicating that someone with a £45000 student loan debt, with an income of £20,000 could end up paying over £80,000 of interest over 30 years, with £600 monthly repayments in the near future. 
So clearly, young people have a disposable income problem, and the government has done little to the complexion of annuities and pension schemes to change things. So what exactly can we do to rescue our future?
A good idea would be considering an adoption of a Swedish style pension scheme, entailing the creation of giant funds to lower fees, simplify the savings process and help build a meaningful pension pot for workers in the future. Changing the manner in which are able to access their pension finance is also essential, as the current methodology will lead many to being short when they really need it. Allowing people to take money straight from their pension fund, rather than receive it in miniscule annuities will ensure that people are well placed to survive in their old age, and can at least utilise their money to improve financially if it arises that they have an insufficient amount by the time of retirement. 
It is also time that pension firmís start being more transparent about the overall costs of pensions, and start playing their part for a more sustainable and financially secure future for workers. For too long, hidden costs and poor service has let the elderly of this country down, and it is time that they either take responsibility for our futures, or be penalised and reformed manually by the government.

If we do not act now, then we are risking condemning a whole generation to a low quality of life in the future, and this is something that cannot be allowed to happen. 

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