Connected Research

Union policy research in the 21st century

CBI adds voice to urgency over pensions

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The Confederation of British Industry last week added its institutional voice to those of others (e.g. industry body the NAPF) calling for urgent action on pensions.

The CBI has an eight-point action plan, some of which is simply not supportable from a trade union viewpoint while some appears to be politically motivated, but, at the headline level, this does include a call on the Pensions Regulator to allow schemes to operate a fifteen-year recovery plan for pensions deficits rather than the ten years which is the point at which the Regulator would currently step in. The ability to deal with a deficit over a longer timeframe should, in the meantime, allow the use of existing resources in a way that preserves jobs and investment. This would seem to be an eminently sensible way of dealing with deficits, much of which have arisen as a consequence of what has happened to asset values and liabilities as a result of the economic circumstances and something which reflects the Regulator’s own view, during the recession, that a viable employer is the best security for a pension scheme. The return to a long-term view on pensions, while recognising that deficits are a serious matter which need to be tackled, is something that should be welcomed.

The CBI also calls for signs of stronger support for defined benefit provision from the government, for which Connect has also called regularly as part of its submissions to Department of Work and Pensions consultation documents – see, most recently, here. In these headline areas, at least, Connect would seem to be able to find common ground with the CBI and the NAPF before it.

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Written by Calvin

01/06/2009 at 1:52 pm

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