The amazing saga of the pension scandal was the most outrageously imposed retrospective legislation one has ever seen.
But regulators conveniently overlooked Mrs Thatcher's Government's advertising campaign of an imitation Hulk breaking out of chains strapped around him, advising the public to break out of the restrictive chains of an occupational pension scheme and organise their own personal pension plan (or words to that effect).
It was also overlooked that practically every life office that dealt in personal pensions followed the Government line by issuing their own leaflets along the same lines and encouraging their agents to advise their clients to break away from the restrictions of an occupational pension scheme.
Mrs Thatcher's advisers were not as subtle as the spin doctors advising our present Government. If one takes the time to step back and look at the current pension scene, regulators have introduced many daunting new regulations and rehashed the mandatory methods of accountancy.
This now makes it more or less impossible for any employer to continue offering a defined-benefit occupational pension scheme to their employees. Even to the extent that a number of our own industry leaders have not made “defined benefits” available to new employees but have moved to defined contributions.
This was cleverly followed up by the present Government with the introduction of stakeholder pensions.
A majority of employers who thought the matter through and had some concern for their employees took the group personal pension plan route or the contracted-in money-purchase route.
The nation was eventually successfully led down the pre-defined path set by Mrs Thatcher many years ago. And do not forget Gordon Brown's help in stopping dividend relief.
B M Pickering
Heather, Moor & Edgecomb, Chippenham, Wiltshire