Retirement dying in England, too

Monday, June 26, 2006 at 06:14 PM

As an American, you have less and less chance of retiring on a solid, reliable, company pension.  Especially if you're younger.  You probably don't have adequate savings to tide you over. You can take some comfort--if you're that kind of petty person--in the fact that thngs look equally bleak for the English.

More employers to shut final pension schemes to all staff

· Unions and MPs say whole system is in crisis
· Thousands will be forced to quit for cheaper options

Phillip Inman
Tuesday June 27, 2006
The Guardian

A sharp rise in the number of employers shutting their final salary schemes to all staff is set to accelerate over the next three years, according to a report yesterday.

Almost three in every 10 company schemes will be closed to both new and existing staff by 2009, if current trends continue, according to Aon Consulting. The move will force tens of thousands of employees to leave their guaranteed occupational retirement schemes for cheaper options linked to stock market performance.

It will prove a huge blow to ministers who are attempting to restore faith in the British pension system ahead of planned reforms in 2012. John Hutton, the secretary of state for work and pensions, wants employees without an occupational pension to join a new National Pension Saving Scheme, which he plans to open in 2012.

And to make matters worse for the government, a survey for Scottish Widows has revealed a deteriorating picture for private saving, with the number of people putting aside enough towards retirement falling by almost 20% during the past year from 55% in 2005 to 46% this year.

Rapid loss of pensions.  Inadequate savings.  Heaps of credit debt.  Yes, England and America remain linked at their free marketeer belly buttons.