29 JANUARY 1972, Page 24

Pension schemes

There can be no doubt that the nit ment's pension proposals — which, swc‘ radical departure in pensions provia' Sion interests and the parliarneeo Britain. Their essential characteristicij switch the main burden of providing „LI to the exigencies of negotiation With ti timetable, should be law by 1973 sions from the present semi-insia'i semi-taxation based state sYstfi: by Custos (1.4 private, occupational schemes. J" mense opportunity, and an immense lenge therefore opens up for the org of private schemes. Occupational pension schemes under the envisaged system, be reclt!in gain government approval. They sodas to have considerable proofing I'd inflation — the bugbear of all ro schemes. They will certainly provide, with employers, preservat'oo pensions — that is, on changing worker's pension rights will be froZe_.,t'o a small sum based on their capital eal' paid on his retirement. Preservation is unsatisfactory, ifl means a pension may be paid in a 1.04 of small sums. Transferability — tn,,01 a pension fund follows a worker tr",,,o' to job, and mounts up into a sinr , payable regularly on retirement much more desirable objective, but , tremely difficult to achieve. There is little doubt about the ness, or the capacity, of the pensi° dustry to meet the challenge set th the Government. What is more lematical is whether employers andi unions will respond with equal 8' If the new plan is to work, and if the try's labour force is to gain advanteg it, pensions will have to become a AO subject of union-management negn;10 and the companies organising oectIPii pension funds will themsleves have participants in those negotiations. Whatever its advantages, tb,e4 scheme that has existed for so lv'09 been seriously inadequate, both becil its charge on taxation, and becauSet ( failure to provide even the decetloi imum provision planned at its fo,_11,11„d Continually, pensioners are benwil, national income, and behind inflati?to challenge offered by the goverminerl"cli private schemes is to break that let inadequacy not, as hitherto, for a 5,e.fp numerous segment of the populell for virtually everybody.