From the TUC

Nigel Stanley's Articles

Pensions – where next?

25 Mar 2014, by in Pensions & Investment

I worried that I might be a lone voice in my concern about the pensions changes announced in the budget, but if anything criticism has grown in recent days. I have also realised that I share a common agenda with at least some of those who have been cheering the Chancellor for ending compulsory annuities…

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A pensions disaster in the making?

21 Mar 2014, by in Pensions & Investment

I am more and more concerned about the budget changes to pensions. My initial reaction was one of worry – now I am both alarmed and angry. The policy proposals are worrying because they take pensions policy in entirely the wrong direction – back to the 1980s. The policy process rips up a painfully constructed…

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This is not a pensions strategy

19 Mar 2014, by in Pensions & Investment

There is a big shake-up of pensions in the budget, particularly for defined contribution or DC pensions, which are set to grow in importance as auto-enrolment spreads. (DC pensions build up an investment pot while people are working, which then have to be turned into pension income when people retire.) Janet has already looked at…

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Budget 2014: Winners and losers

19 Mar 2014, by in Economics

The Treasury does a helpful breakdown of the overall effect of tax and benefit changes. Here is the key chart. It shows people in the three bottom deciles (and the top one)  lose. All the deciles that gain are above median income. If I were a cynic I might say that I suspect a graph…

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Why wages have fallen

19 Mar 2014, by in Labour market

Even the Daily Mail was sceptical about the government’s claim yesterday that real wages went up in 2010 and 2012.  And it was a really bad idea to publish this research on the same day that the Institute of Fiscal Studies published their own more thorough analysis. (Incidentally, while newspapers have the Treasury analysis, it…

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Tracking opinion on spending cuts

26 Feb 2014, by in Economics

Every so often I look at the YouGov series on economic policy commissioned by the Sun. The great advantage of this is that they keep asking the same questions so that you can track how public opinion has moved since the general election. I would have chosen a slightly different set of questions, but these…

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Can we make the annuity market work?

17 Feb 2014, by in Pensions & Investment

People who save in a Defined Contribution pension scheme build up a savings pot while they are working and contributing. When they retire they need to turn their savings into pension income. Most do so by buying an annuity from an insurance company. An annuity is a promise to pay a steady income until death.…

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Boris’ strange strike ballot maths

06 Feb 2014, by in Working Life

London Mayor Boris Johnson has repeated his call for tougher rules on strike ballots. But when you look at the detail the maths are bizarre. He says: We need a ballot threshold – so that at least 50% of the relevant workforce has to take the trouble to vote, or else the ballot is void.…

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A welcome for collective DC

30 Jan 2014, by in Pensions & Investment

In recent days pensions Minister Steve Webb has got into difficulties on pensions charges, but has also made a positive commitment to collective DC pensions. After a few words about charges, this post explains what collective DC is and why it should be of interest to unions.

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