Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, yesterday called for fresh thinking on the future of pension provision. In a Parliamentary debate, which Peter Lilley initiated, he argued that everyone should be enabled to build their own funded pension and choose when to retire.

    Peter Lilley said after the debate:

    “We face a huge task in the years ahead to improve funded private pensions. Many occupational schemes are in crisis because of the underlying problem of longevity, which has been accentuated in recent years by the decline in investment returns. However Gordon Brown?s tax on funded pensions and new regulatory burdens have contributed to the uncomfortable situation we face today.

    “I would like to see the Government make it automatic for everybody to build up their own personal pension fund with rebates from their national insurance contributions, at least equal in value to the state second pension. This would allow people to choose when to retire – once they could afford an adequate pension. As life expectancy for those reaching retirement age has risen by about one month each year for the past few decades. Many people would choose to work a little longer, giving themselves more time to save and enabling them to buy a higher pension at a lower cost.

    “If the Government doesn?t do this, they will inevitably have to raise the state pension age by about a month per year. It is time that they launch a national debate about the future of the state pension age.?