date: Tuesday 29 November 2005
embargo: 00:01 hours Wednesday 30 November 2005
When given the chance to be pensions minister for a day by the TUC's world of work website workSMART.org.uk, a big majority are opting for better state pensions from 65 and compelling employers and employees to save more for retirement.
People are more evenly split on three further big questions on the future of pensions. Cutting tax incentives for the better off to help pay for fairer pensions only narrowly beats increasing tax breaks. A narrow majority favour keeping the state second pension and a slightly bigger majority want to move to a universal state pension based on residence, rather than one based on National Insurance contributions.
There is also big support for making retirement more flexible. People back ending a fixed retirement age and think employers should have to respond to reasonable requests by workers approaching retirement for changed hours or lighter duties.
'Be Pensions Minister for a Day' is hosted at the TUC's world of work website workSMART at www.worksmart.org.uk/pensionsminister . 'People's pensions ministers' are asked to answer ten questions on the future of pensions and are told which lobby groups they will have pleased or offended, how brave they have been and how much they will need to persuade the Treasury to fund. These results are based on more than 700 questionnaires completed in the last week.
TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said, 'Of course this is just a bit of on-line fun, but the overwhelming support for a radical pensions package based on better state pensions and compulsory saving is a further indication that people are ready for the government to take brave decisions on the future of pensions when the Turner Report is published.'
I think the state pension age should stay at 65: 66%
I think the state pension age should increase to at least 67: 33%
I think employers should lose the right to set a retirement age: 68%
I think employers should keep the right to set a retirement age: 31%
I think employees should have more rights to retire flexibly such as making employers consider requests for reduced hours and/or lighter duties: 87%
I don't think that there should be new obligations on employers to help people retire flexibly: 12%
I support a universal pension: 55%
I want to stick with the current system: 47%
I want to see the state retirement pension increase to the minimum income guarantee level: 81%
I don't want to see the state retirement pension increase to the minimum income guarantee level: 19%
I think the state pension should go up in line with earnings in future: 66%
I think the state pension should continue to go up in line with prices in future: 34%
I think the state second pension should be abolished: 46%
I think the state second pension should continue: 54%
We should increase incentives to save for a pension: 42%
We should keep the current system of pensions incentives: 13%
We should be prepared to reduce incentives for the better off to help fund other pensions reforms: 45%
Do you think employers should be able to compel their staff to join their pension scheme? 55%
Do you think staff should keep the right to opt-out of their employers pension scheme if they wish? 45%
I want to compel employers and employees to contribute to a pension: 78%
I do not want to compel employers and employees to contribute to a pension: 21%
NOTES TO EDITORS:
- After the Pensions Commission report is published tomorrow (30 Nov), the TUC will have three spokespeople available for broadcast interviews: TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber, TUC Assistant General Secretary Kay Carberry and TUC Pensions Officer Michelle Lewis. Pension officers will also be available for briefings on policy details.
Media enquiries: Ben Hurley T: 020 7467 1248; M: 07881 622416 ; E: [email protected]
Issued: 30 November, 2005