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Reforming pensions

Reformers of state pensions are attracted by the high returns of private pension funds made in strong equity markets. But private funds are costly to run and equity returns are destined to decline-staying with the state makes sense

By Malcolm Crawford   October 1998

The government’s “fundamental review” of pensions, which was to have been completed early this year, is now timetabled for a green paper in the autumn. It has been delayed twice and, along with other aspects of welfare reform, has cost the jobs of two senior ministers. But it was a delusion to think that so complex a review could be done quickly. For a policy whose effects are so long-lasting and affect nearly everyone, speed is not a priority. Getting it right is more important. It is too early to tell whether the government will, but the thoroughness of the…

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