Private Pensions, Corporate Welfare and Growing Insecurity
By Richard Minns with Sarah Sexton
This pamphlet was first published in 2006, by Corner House. It is possible to update the figures but the arguments remain and have become even more important as pensions have collapsed in the Anglo-American heartland. The advocates of privatisation express no remorse. The pamphlet tries to explain why this situation arose and what are the real interests involved.
“The main problem, we are told, is how to pay the pensions of so many older people. The World Bank has warned of state budget crises if countries have to pay an extra 9-16 per cent GDP to meet their old-age benefit promises – an “unprecedented economic burden on working age people”.
One proposed solution is to raise the pension age, another to raise the retirement age or to abandon it entirely. A third – and the topic of this briefing – is to persuade people, even compel, people to save for their old age so that they rely less on the state. The savings in question would not be stuffed under the mattress or hoarded in a bank vault. Instead, people would be encouraged to put them in pension funds run by private financial institutions, which would invest the money, primarily in stock markets � But more than a decade since this idea was endorsed by the World Bank in its influential 1994 report, Averting the Old Age Crisis, the evidence that it will work remains unconvincing.”
From the Introduction