‘Pension ball in government’s court’

 Lord Turner’s final report on pension reforms, released yesterday, revealed
that the government could fund the pensions deficit, but it remains to be seen
if Whitehall will take that route, Richard Harwood, head of pensions at Grant
Thornton said.

The report confirmed that proposals for a more generous state pension would
lead to a higher proportion of the nation’s finances being devoted to pensions.

Harwood said the ball was now ‘firmly in the government’s court’.

‘Turner has shown that funding the pensions deficit is possible, but
unfortunately successive governments have failed to take the initiative. It is
tempting for any government to continuously defer the ultimate costs,’ Harwood

He said the report should help shape the forthcoming pensions White Paper,
but said that ‘many will wait with hope rather than expectation’.

On the proposal to establish a national pensions savings scheme, Harwood said
there would need to be some sort of ‘soft compulsion’.

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