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Godfrey may have found solution to pension dilemma

So, the pension debate rumbles on over how to reach out to the great

unpensioned. Most of those in the know advocate some form of compulsory

contribution as the only way to achieve this goal.

Meanwhile, the Government&#39s answer- stakeholder – appears to be foundering

before our very eyes, with at least two companies, Clerical Medical,

although temporarily, and Scottish Amicable already effectively giving up

the ghost two months before the compulsion deadline for firms with five or

more employees.

To the Government, compulsion represents one of its biggest dilemmas. Just

how do you get re-elected in five years after imposing a new tax on the

majority of your voters? Because that is exactly what compulsory

contributions would be – a tax on the poor, those without access to a good

occupational scheme. However, there could be an answer and it comes from an

unlikely source – AITC director general Daniel Godfrey.

He is proposing that the Government raises money today by increasing the

national debt. The capital raised could then be used to fund a stakeholder

for every one of today&#39s workers while we continue to fund today&#39s

pensioners through current taxation.

The benefits of the scheme would be an eventual reduction in the burden on

the state, which could be used to repay the debt, while the debt itself

could provide the answer to the shortage of long-dated gilts, solving the

annuity funding crisis.

What better way for the Government to ensure stakeholder is a success by

giving everyone a free plan? It all sounds far too simple and easy to be

taken seriously.

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