New Scientist: ‘Tsunami’ pensions have reached record levels
In a world where the financial crisis has become so severe that many governments have cut back on their pensions, one pension fund has just exceeded its annual earnings target.
In the past year, the UK’s Pensions Regulator has posted a surplus of £1.7bn in pension payments, which is more than double the £739m it was expecting to collect.
The UK’s pension scheme, the Pension Protection Fund, has a projected shortfall of £5.3bn for the year to 2019, up from the £4.2bn forecast at the end of last year.
That has led to a surge in pensioner claims in the last year, reaching a record level of 5.3 million.
That number is almost double the total claim in the preceding year, which was 5.1 million.
The figure is also nearly double the 1.5 million claims the regulator recorded in the first half of this year, and is well above the 2.6 million claims recorded in 2010.
Pensioners in the UK are also experiencing the consequences of a severe financial crisis, with the average pensioner paying £4,700 a year more than the previous year.
The average pension is now £8,100 more than in 2010, and the gap between what pensioners are being paid and what the government is spending is growing, according to a report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
The government’s Pension Protection Plan (PPP) is the UKs largest pension fund.
It is a major contributor to the pension payments of UK public sector workers, with about half of the PPP’s £1bn of contributions made by private sector employees.
Pensions are also set to be a major part of the budget in the upcoming Budget, which will also see a major reduction in public sector pay and a major increase in private sector pay.
The Government has already cut pensioners’ contributions to the PPA, reducing the total amount of pension contributions they are entitled to.
The pension fund was set up in 1998 as a means of protecting the retirement savings of the public sector, and has now emerged as a major financial pillar in the health service and other sectors of the economy.