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Is the UK on the brink of a pensions nightmare?

For many years we have heard the doom and gloom stories about the UK pension industry, how underfunded pensions are growing in number and the gold-plated arrangements available to the public sector are bleeding us dry. While many have dismissed these as scare stories there was a subtle movement this week when pension company Aviva announced significant changes in its own staff pension operations. When the pension companies start to make changes to their own arrangements it really is time to sit up and listen!

The last decade has seen a significant reduction in UK annuity rates and the realisation that we are all living longer and need larger and larger pension funds. Just a few years ago we saw the UK government confirm that mistakes had been made and actuary's forecasts were incorrect. These smaller but subtle announcements will have a significant impact upon the pension industry of the future and the funding required for a "decent standard of living".

Those with pension arrangements should ensure these are reviewed on a regular basis as a small increase in contributions some years before your retirement date can make a significant difference. Those who sit back and expect the pensions industry to sort out any problems arising today could be in for a very big shock.

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