2/3/04 Pensions Bill

John Robertson (Glasgow, Anniesland) (Lab): In the 1950s, when Richard Titmuss analysed the post-war welfare state, he drew a distinction between state and occupational welfare-the benefits that people derived from the state in which they are citizens and those that accrue through their employment. The growth of private pensions in recent decades has established that as a false dichotomy. Our population is ageing, and by 2021, about 20 per cent. of the population will be over 65. In my constituency, the figure will be closer to 40 per cent. More private pensions alleviate some of the projected welfare costs of an ageing population, but they do not reduce the state’s responsibility to ensure that all our citizens have the opportunity to have pensions sufficient to maintain their dignity in retirement.

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