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Steve Bee quizzes the shadow pensions minister

Pensions guru and Citywire columnist Steve Bee talks to Nigel Waterson about the challenge of providing workplace pensions for millions of employees. 

Steve Bee quizzes the shadow pensions minister

Pensions guru and Citywire columnist Steve Bee talks to Nigel Waterson, the shadow minister for work and pensions, about the challenge of providing workplace pensions for millions of employees.

Player not working? Download the MP3 here.

In the first of a new monthly Retirement Radio series, host Stephen Ballard quizzes Bee and Waterson about the challenges of delivering such a huge scheme.

The acid test for the government’s plans for workplace pension provision is not whether the number of savers increases, Waterson says, but whether it increases the level of savings.

The trio also discuss the problem with means testing and uncertainty surrounding pension saving.

What topics should Stephen and Steve cover next? Leave a comment in the box below.

Steve Bee is managing pensions partner at Paradigm Pensions, and claims to be the only person ever to have submitted evidence to a Commons Select Committee in cartoon-strip format. Visit or follow him on Twitter.

8 comments so far. Why not have your say?

Richard Ellis

Feb 25, 2010 at 12:38

Why so you only recsive an annuity marginally better than investing the money yourself and the Insurance companies keep your capital.

They should either be giving a much higher return or give back your capital on your death to your estate.

Why aren't the conservatives making a fuss about godon brown taxing our pensions.

Create a tax free allowance on pensions up to say £25,ooo to help people survive and to make pensions interesting again.

I look forward to hearing direct answers

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Glyn Evans

Feb 25, 2010 at 13:36

MP's have very generous pension arrangements which they have arranged for themselvs (along with their salaries and expenses) which the country can no longer afford. I suggest they are all contracted into a D.C scheme, that should sort the problem out before 2015

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Feb 25, 2010 at 19:21

Yes, MP's are fantastic at creating wonderful pension schemes....for THEMSELVES.

I will happily sign up to join a similar scheme....that is what's being offered...isn't it ?????

Ummmm....thought so.

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Michael Hellman

Feb 25, 2010 at 20:26

8% contribution will I fear become the default contribution and what is the point if pension credit exists? Why bother. How can anyone sell this to an employee. Great idea in principle and if the state pension is altered so that a flat rate is paid to all, then what ever anyone has saved in a NEST they wont be penalised for having saved.

But im assuming in years to come means testing wont exist. As im hoping a higher flat rate pension will be paid to all. The DWP say that this is already cost neutral. And if that is not correct, someone from the DWP please reply

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Feb 26, 2010 at 17:58

I would like to hear a discussion on the new monthly retirement radio about how the retired community might get a fair hearing with any of the major political parties. Those on fixed incomes are being raped by the present attempt to kick start an economy comatose from overdosing on credit.

The retired community representsa a large interest group and one which we are told is most inclined to use their vote. None of the major parties appears to be courting this vote and one can only conclude that they are taking for granted this group will repeat their previous voting patterns. The major parties seem obsessed with protecting mortgage holders in terms of keeping their payments low and the price of houses high and unaffordable to many.

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Stephen Tiley

Mar 01, 2010 at 21:29

I wish you could get someone from the pensions industry to talk about pensions!

For decades the insurance companies and financial advisers have skimmed off so much from personal pension holders and that is the real scandal.

NEST may not be perfect but it will enable an economical way for many to save with a contribution from their employers.

To protect the insurance industry and existing provision there will be maximum contribution of £3,600 pa (2005 prices). That was the big compromise - this gives Bee and his ilk a target market still.

Means testing will fizzle out eventually due to a greater targeting of low earners with S2P becoming flat rate eventually - it's changing but not being phased out!

Why should tax payers have to foot the bill for means testing anyway if people can save? Isn't it the responsibility of us all to save for retirement?

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Patrick Moore

Mar 02, 2010 at 21:53

The levelling down issue is critical.

The move from DB to DC schemes surely shows the way that employers will think especially when legislation forces unrealistic accounting projections which in turn hit the share price and 'possible' pension commitments force lower shareholder returns ane hence lower pensions etc. etc. thus we enter a vicious circle

A similar problem has occurred with minimum wage which has forced lower wages down to the basic level and removed the market aspect of employers being required to value a new employee rather than pay the going rate knowing that most other emploeyrs will only be paying that minimum rate. I am sure that this has affected social mobility and created the wealth gap.

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Philip Toft

Mar 29, 2010 at 15:34

it's high time something was done about the vetry high public service pensions.

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