The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) is the latest representative body to compile a response to the Turner Commission's report on the state of UK pension provision. At the heart of the CBI's response is its opposition to compulsory employer contribution to the state pension.
The influential lobby group said that it supported other key tenets of Lord Turner’s controversial reforms, announced before Christmas 2005. The CBI says that an improved state pension and a higher standard retirement age were both necessary to rescue the country from its pension plight.
However the body diverged from Lord Turner’s blueprint on compulsory contributions from employers. The CBI believes that compelling employers to put 3% of salary in to their staff’s pension fund could prove too severe a burden for small businesses in particular.
John Cridland, the CBI’s deputy director general, was quoted by the Independent newspaper as saying: Forcing employers to contribute is neither fair, nor equitable or sensible. As the Pensions Commission says, it is not right to tell a 21 year old striving to pay off his student debts, or saving for a deposit for a flat, that he must first save for a pension. So why should a small company be forced to pay into a pension scheme if doing so could put it out of business or prevent the creation of new jobs?
The UK government will release a white paper on pension reform later this year, and the document is likely to incorporate the various responses to the Turner report from the insurance industry.