Tackling pensions crisis must be top priority for 2005, says IoD

Jan 06 2005 by Nic Paton Print This Article

Solving the UK’s looming pensions crisis must be the top priority for businesses this year, the Institute of Directors has said.

In a message to its 55,000 members, IoD director general Miles Templeman said it was vital employers, employees and the Government all worked together to get to grips with the problem.

The institute has announced a major consultation exercise with its members, seeking views and opinions from grass roots UK businesses, which will be published later in the year.

Templeman said: “Pensions are now very high on everyone’s lists of concerns. The issue is clearly complex and finding a solution will be a long-haul, but the IoD is keen to take a lead through consultation and dialogue.

“The starting point for any reform of pensions policy has to be simplification. The current system is hideously complicated and must be made transparent and comprehensible to everyone,” he added.

Central to any solution, the IoD has previously argued, are longer working lives, greater levels of saving and a higher state pension.

“Ultimately, we need to see a savings renaissance in the UK. The Government does have an important role to play, but ultimately it is a matter of individual choice. “Where the Government does have fundamental responsibility is in deciding the retirement age and the generosity of the state pension. And, here, the Government is going to have to make some tough choices,” Templeman said.

“Businesses do not want to see the overall tax burden rise. Indeed, there is a good argument that the current tax burden is one of the reasons why individuals and businesses cannot save more into pensions,” he added.

Other priorities for the year needed to be improving education and skills, he suggested..