In a recent survey of pensions in developed countries carried out by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, only Mexico had a relatively worse state pension than Britain.
Here we get only one third of the average wage. In Mexico the figure is 28.5 per cent, in Australia and France it is more than half and in Italy, where there are moves to increase the pension age to 67, 70 per cent.
British workers can only reach the average state pension level of the nations investigated by topping up with private pensions, at a time when the number in occupational pensions has fallen to 8.5 million or 35 per cent of the workforce.
Meanwhile, government plans to increase state pensions and to “auto enrol” workers into private pensions, with a higher contribution rate and lower employer’s contribution than most occupational schemes, would put workers at the mercy of annuity providers. Think tank Civitas goes further: it is recommending that the state pension be means tested! ■