Thursday, 29 November 2012

The History of the Pension - The Pensions Timebomb

Depending who you ask there is a pension crisis. Government provided universal pensions have become unaffordable in an age of austerity and fiscal and sovereign debt crises. With people expected to live much longer than history in developed economies the projected cost of the pension system has ballooned. But what is the solution? Do you raise the age of entitlement? Do you shift more of the onus to save money for retirement onto employers and individuals? Each country must find its own mix of solutions to funding retirement for the growing aging population. But even the private pension industry has come under pressure in recent years. The financial crisis saw market values plummet, and spooked many to shift portfolio allocations away from equities and growth assets into bonds and income assets. But the problem is we have had a massive bull market in bonds, and that wont last forever - indeed with bond yields so low the private and public pension industries will struggle to produce sufficient returns on their assets; with old assumptions no longer being true. Whether you believe in personal responsibility or government provided, retirement savings and pensions are an issue that affects us all; directly and indirectly.

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