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Who is to blame for the UK pension debacle?

Proposals by the UK government to increase the retirement age in the UK have been met with a mixture of disdain and relief. While there is no doubt that more and more pensioners are struggling to make ends meet in their retirement years there is also no doubt that allowing people to work longer will reduce the potential employment opportunities, and promotions, for the young of today. So who is really to blame for the UK pension problem?

The truth is that while we can look back at changes introduced by Gordon Brown, such as the withdrawal of tax relief on certain pension assets, the fact is that miscalculations over the years are now coming home to roost. Only a few years ago we saw a massive change in annuity rates which was purely and simply because of the fact people are living longer and investment returns seen in the 80s have not been replicated in the 90s and the 2000s.

It is not the fact that investment returns over a short period have been less than "the average" but the fact that a lower return on investments leads to less money available to be reinvested and the vicious circle begins. While Gordon Brown has taken much of the flak regarding the pension debacle there is no doubt that this is a problem which has been growing for years, as we have seen on the continent.

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