New statistics on private pension contributions, published last week by the Office of National Statistics reveal that contributions to private pensions have gone into reverse (2008) after increasing for many years. ONS also reviewed last week that the old age dependency ratio (1) will continue to rise over the next twenty years.(2)

The International Longevity Centre-UK (ILC-UK) has responded to these new statistics by publishing a new policy paper 'Where next for pension reform? How can we encourage people to save?'(3) which, amongst other things calls on a future Government to:

  • Support employers in providing advice to employees
  • Work with all stakeholders together to attack the continuing problem of pensioner poverty.
  • Explore the case for extending matched saving either as an addition to or replacement for tax relief (up to a certain limit).
  • Take steps to deliver a ‘decent’ universal state pension
  • Ensure individuals have access to impartial and accurate information and advice.
  • Create a Permanent Independent Pensions Commission
  • Abolish the Default Retirement Age so as to remove a barrier to older people working longer.
  • Support a regulatory environment which supports successful decumulation
  • Deliver pension reform which works as a solution for all generations and does not result in intergenerational unfairness.

Baroness Greengross said “Over the last ten years we have, with some success, begun to build a consensus on the way forward for pension reform. It is important that this consensus continues into the new Parliament. Further pension reform is not going to be easy. But if we are to continue with progress to tackle pensioner poverty then it is a consensus worth seeking”.


This Policy paper was produced by ILC-UK following a dinner debate supported by Aviva.

  1. The dependency ratio measures the proportion of people above state pension age to those below.
  2. Pension Trends (Chapter 2 Population Change; and Chapter 8 Pension Contributions) were published on 9th April 2010. See for more detail.
  3. 'Where next for pension reform? How can we encourage people to save? has been produced by ILC-UK following a dinner debate, held on 22nd February and sponsored by Aviva to discuss pension reform and saving. It is available here.

ILC-UK are organising a debate on Pensions reform after the election: can consensus be maintained? on Tuesday 15th June at the Actuarial Institute. Further details are available from


ILC-UK are once again looking for someone to speak for 10 minutes on the plenary platform in front of 250 people at our annual Future of Ageing Conference (29th November, London).

“Auto-enrolment has successfully led to millions more saving each month towards a pension, but the Committee is right to call for action to get people saving more. We are pleased they support our recommendations to consider automatic escalation of pension contributions for some individuals, and we agree that a strategy is needed to automatically-enrol the self-employed."

Dr Brian Beach, Senior Research Fellow at ILC-UK and who gave oral evidence to the Committee, welcomes the Committee’s call for stronger action by Government and EHRC and says it’s crucial that employers understand what ageism really is.

“The latest Fiscal Sustainability Report makes it very clear that we are facing an uncertain future. Demographic pressures are set to continue to dominate the agenda, with health, pension and adult social care spending all set to rise as a proportion of total GDP."

Are you looking for a short-term paid role in a think tank over the summer?
The independent think tank the International Longevity Centre – UK (ILC-UK) is seeking a summer intern to start on Monday 23 July. The intern would work 4 days a week for a period of 4 weeks, with the possibility of extension.

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