Pensions,Quality of Life,Work and Retirement

24th April 2012 16:15 to 19:00 ILC-UK, 11 Tufton Street

The UK has a chronic under-saving problem, which has been exacerbated by the financial crisis and economic downturn.  A high proportion of UK households have little or no saving or investment wealth, and these households are concentrated among those with the lowest incomes. The under-saving problem is compounded by indebtedness, especially for young people, and particularly acute in relation to saving for retirement. Relatively few households are setting aside sufficient funds for retirement.

At this event, ILC-UK launched a new paper, supported by the Friends Provident Foundation, which argues for the creation of a ‘financial citizenship’ framework. In the paper, by Dr Craig Berry and Valentina Serra, ILC-UK argue that whilst our livelihoods have never been more intimately engaged with the financial system, we lack any meaningful sense of what it means to be a citizen in a ‘financialised’ age. A ‘financial citizenship’ framework would outline the respective responsibilities of individuals and the state regarding saving.

Public policy-makers often assume that individuals have a responsibility to save, but the ILC-UK paper questions whether this should be accompanied by a stronger set of rights? The financial citizenship concept seems to complement the more prevalent notions of ‘financial inclusion’ and ‘financial education’ in that it involves addressing failures to interact with financial services (and a lack of capability in relation to, or knowledge about, financial services). Yet citizenship suggests a more expansive or ambitious form of participation, include the right to participate in collective decision-making around the operations of the financial system.

ILC-UK presented “Financial citizenship - Rethinking the state’s role in enabling individuals to save” at this event. The presentation will be followed by a panel response and debate.

During the discussion, we will debate:

  •     When it comes to issues around debt and saving, what exactly are our obligations as responsible members of society?
  •     What kind of resources are we entitled to in order to fulfil our responsibilities?
  •     Do we get a say in how rights and responsibilities are determined?

Agenda from the event

16:15 - 16:30

16:30 - 16:40  
Welcome and introduction: Baroness Sally Greengross

16:40 - 17:00 
Financial Citizenship and Saving: Dr Craig Berry

17:00 - 17:30 
Panel response and debate
Danielle Walker Palmour, Friends Provident Foundation
David Budworth, The Times

17:30 - 18:15
Discussion and debate

18:15 - 18:20
Closing remarks: Baroness Sally Greengross

18:20 -19:00
Drinks reception

A copy of the think-piece, Financial Citizehship, can be found here