John Maynard Keynes once said that the importance of money flows from it being a link between the present and the future. Nowhere is this observation more relevant than when thinking about pensions. And yet, despite the need to plan for their future financial security and wellbeing, British people are woefully unprepared. Gone are the days where saving is the norm. Today, around 11 million people are failing to save enough to achieve a pension income they are likely to want or expect in retirement.
In part, this shift in attitude has been the result of low unemployment, falling interest rates and the influx of cheap credit in the 1990s. But other
factors are also at play: higher education fees, a chaotic jobs market and the rising cost of housing have influenced perceptions of the affordability
of saving, while the economic crisis, mis-selling of products and fixing of interest rates have impacted upon trust and confidence in private finance
To assess how to address the pensions challenge, New Statesman, in partnership with Aviva, hosted a series of party conference fringe events.
However, as the panellists were to discover, there was no easy answer.