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Far-sighted Brits ahead of Europe.

People in the UK are making far more provision for retirement than in any other country in Europe, according to a report out this week.

Your Pension magazine argues that the miserly state pension in Britain is a blessing in disguise because it has encouraged private investment.

The UK has about pounds 600 billion invested in private pensions.

This represents more than the rest of Europe put together.

In countries such as Italy and Germany, state pensions are linked to wage inflation and are therefore more generous, so people trust to the state rather than make their own plans, says the report.

As a result of an ageing population across Europe, workers in many countries will soon find increasing pressure on them to fund retirement schemes.

In the UK today there are four people working for every retired person, but by 2030 there will be just three workers for every pensioner.

In Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, however, there will be only two workers to every pensioner.

Editor of Your Pension, Paula John, said: "It seems that the miserly basic British pension is a blessing in disguise, since the pay-outs are encouraging many to take responsibility for finances in retirement.

"In much of Europe, the current generous pension schemes leave little incentive for workers to sort out their own finances."

Future generations of workers in the affected European countries will have to pay much higher contributions to their pension schemes, to fund the benefits given to their pensioners.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Aug 7, 1999
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