We have a very complicated British pension system. Just look at some horrifying statistics:
Only pensioners in Latvia, Spain and Cyprus are statistically more likely to fall into poverty than those pensioners in the UK;
2.5 million older people in the UK now live on less than 60% of the average national income;
Up to 9 million people working today have no other pension provision than the means-tested state pension of around £124 a week;
The average pension fund a UK employee builds up in the most common kind of private-sector personal pension scheme is only £25,000, which will give a single man of 65 an annual annuities income of just £1,960;
Even if you save up a whole lot more in your pension fund, £100,000, that will currently buy you, at 65, an annual pension annuity income of only £4,500;
Over the last 30-odd years, because wages are always slightly ahead of inflation, the actual value of Britain’s basic state pension has plunged by maybe around 50%;
In the year to from October 2007, we paid a total of £6.7bn into our pension funds, but they are worth £157bn less because of the stockmarket crash than they were before;
Once we’ve finally extracted our pension pot, we are obliged to use it to buy a pension annuity (a monthly income for life). We do that, naturally, from an insurer, which costs us a fee and, with interest rates falling (leading to lower pensions annuities) and life expectancies rising, ensures we can expect less and less for our money;
5 million people lost around £13bn in the private pensions mis-selling scandal;
The basic state pension in the UK is only 31% of average working pay (the lowest in Europe).
There’s probably more, but, hey, it’s Christmas.