Progressive Futures

Towards a new pensions settlement

21st March 2016

This volume presents the recent experiences of pension reform in seven countries

Gregg McClymont
Andy Tarrant

Australia, Canada, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Faced with common problems of ageing societies and constraints on taxation levels, all are increasingly passing responsibility for saving for retirement to citizens. However, there is enormous variety between countries in the degree to which the state intervenes to mitigate the risks which the individual can face in saving for a pension.

What conclusions are reached with regards to the future of the UK system? Gregg McClymont and Andy Tarrant warn that the government is over reliant on the hope that ‘market forces’ will satisfactorily resolve any issues of market failure. They argue that regulatory change in the last parliament appeared to be “a piecemeal reaction to political pressure”.

While the Department of Work and Pensions and the Pensions Regulator both appear to accept the necessity of quality requirements to underpin the defined contribution system, it remains to be seen whether they have a strategic vision to introduce adequate regulation.

Photo credit: Robert Kneschke /