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Reports and Briefing Notes

Maintaining consensus: long-term goals for the UK pensions system and options for ongoing policy review

While there has been much debate in recent years about the details of different pensions policy proposals and the unavoidable trade-offs that must be made, there has been less debate about the long-term goals for the UK pensions system and the options for ongoing review of policy in the future.

Pensions policy deals with long-term issues and the consequences of decisions made by today’s political decision makers will have ramifications for many years to come. Given this long-term nature, pensions policy often involves trade-offs and decisions between different generations, for example, between today’s workers and today’s pensioners. The nature of pensions creates a need for a long-term approach and continuity in the direction of pensions policy that can endure changes in Government and changes in political direction. But there is also a need for flexibility in the precise direction of policy, because the social and economic conditions that affect pensions policy will change over time.  

This paper explores the long-term goals for the pensions system and the options for monitoring key trends and reviewing policy in the future.

This research was sponsored by the Nuffield Foundation. PPI is grateful to The Nuffield Foundation for their support in producing this work.

Chapter one considers the balance between continuity and flexibility in relation to pensions policy.

Chapter two looks at the long-term vision of the pensions system and how to maintain a consensus regarding the vision and goals for the UK pensions system.

Chapter three explores the features that are important for enabling a strong review process. It also considers the options for monitoring trends and for the ongoing review of pensions policy. 

Chapter four discusses two alternative options that have been proposed for monitoring trends and review of pensions policy: a permanent Independent Pensions Commission, and periodic independent reviews commissioned by Government.

Executive Summary

Executive Summary
Related Briefing/Publications
  • Briefing Note 43 - Maintaining consensus: the long-term goals for the UK pensions system and options for ongoing policy review

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