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Blunkett says pension woes are global

Work and Pensions Secretary David Blunkett says countries around the world face the same challenges on pensions.

Blunkett told a Centre for American Progress event in Washington that although countries may have different pension dilemmas they all face the same fundamental challenges. He said across the European Union, the working population is set to fall by 7 per cent over the next 25 years and emotive issues must be faced to deliver long-term change.

Governments need to establish the role of the state in delivering affordable and sustainable social security, find the best way to protect employer-based pensions and support individuals in planning and building their own retirement security, said Blunkett.

He highlighted the issue of women’s pensions, saying something has to be done to reform a system based on the 1940s’ view of society.

Blunkett’s trip to the US and Canada includes meetings with pension ministers and is part of a detailed examination of North American pension policies and welfare to work strategies.

He discussed the role that assets should play in retirement provision to prevent future disadvantage and people falling into dependence when circumstances change.

Blunkett said: “The debates in the US and the UK are of a slightly different nature but they are about the same fundamental challenges.”

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