Stephen Williams MP - working hard for Bristol West

Government Failing to Prevent Pensions Crisis - Stephen Williams MP

11.53.04am BST (GMT +0100) Thu 20th Oct 2005

Stephen Williams and pensioner Rosmarie Quinnell with £25 worth of shopping (photography: Tim Pollard)

Stephen Williams MP, today slammed the Government over new figures showing that pension saving has fallen since 1997 so that more than half of the working age population (56%) are now relying on their partners or the state to provide for them in retirement.

These figures would suggest that in Bristol West constituency 40,652 people, are making no occupational or personal pension contributions.

While 52% of men are not saving, the problem is worse amongst women - 60% of whom are not saving. In Bristol West constituency that suggests that 20,580 women are not saving and 20,072 men.

Stephen Williams MP, said:

"This level of under saving could prove very significant in future years as people become aware of how much they have to survive on in their retirement. Survey after survey shows that people overestimate the level of income they will have in retirement and underestimate how long they will live for.

"What is more disturbing is that the trend is worsening and the Government rather than tackle the challenge head on are making things worse.

"With the withering of the state pension and the spread of means-testing, people are no longer clear if it is worth their while saving or not. And with the growth in personal debt and the struggle to get on the housing ladder, pension saving inevitably takes on a low priority.

"The Government have said they are waiting for Adair Turner's Pension Commission to report at the end of November. But come December the Government must join the growing consensus that the only long term solution is a Citizen's Pension uprated in line with earnings and set at a level which would put an end to means-testing."

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Previous news story: Stephen Williams MP backs calls to scrap the licensing act (Sun 16th Oct 2005).

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