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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

The ‘last chance saloon’ for voluntarism?

The Employer Task Force on Pensions presented on 13 December its report into occupational pension schemes to Alan Johnson, secretary of state for work and pensions, with a clear warning that action needs to be taken if we wish to maintain the current voluntary system rather than face compulsion in future. (More at www.employertaskforce.org.uk.)

The taskforce was set up by the government in July 2003. An employer-led body with union representation, its role is to consider how employers can help increase pension provision within a voluntary framework and to advise the secretary of state on the role of employers in the pensions partnership. The recommendations of the taskforce, including particularly that companies should aim to achieve over time combined employer/employee contribution levels of around 10–15%, with employers ideally providing two-thirds of this, were quickly endorsed by the Association of Consulting Actuaries.