Author Archives: Hugh Pemberton

Thatcher’s Pension Reforms – Witness Seminar, 6 Dec 2017

The Thatcher’s Pension Reforms project is very pleased to announce a witness seminar to be held on 6 December in association with the Institute and Faculty of ActuariesArts and Humanities Research Council, and the University of Bristol.

The Fowler Inquiry and the Pension Reforms of 1986

Staple Inn, High Holborn, London, 6 December 2017 from 5.30 pm to 7.30 pm. Registration (with refreshments) from 5 pm. Buffet supper 7.30-8.30 pm.
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Chris Daykin
Marshall Field
Lord Fowler
Sir Nicholas Montagu
Sir Adam Ridley

Chair: Gregg McClymont, Head of Retirement Savings, Aberdeen Asset Management.


If you wish to attend the conference please register here

Background briefings

Two briefings are available:

  1. A short (2-page) summary of the Inquiry and the ensuing reforms, with key questions.
  2. A longer (16-page) background briefing setting out the context to the Inquiry and the reforms and outlining some key developments in the development of policy.

Women Against State Pensions Inequality – some history

Women Against State Pensions Inequality (‘WASPI’) are using the general election to wage a very successful campaign pressuring candidates to sign the ‘WASPI pledge’ to support compensation for women born in the 1950s who find that their state pension age is not 60, as many had expected. But though WASPI complains about the short notice of the increase in pension age for this generation of women, it has been a long time in the making. Hugh Pemberton has written a background piece for the History and Policy website which traces the long history of equalisation. That history goes back to the late-1970s (when Barbara Castle was put off by the staggering cost of equalising downwards to age 60) and the early-80 (when Margaret Thatcher was warned that it was an awful lot easier to give a benefit to someone than to take it away). Legislation finally came in 1995, but history indicates that it was both understood as a step towards gender equality and much more publicly discussed than WASPI alleges.

Josephine Cumbo joins project board

We are pleased to report that Josephine Cumbo, Pensions correspondent of the Financial Times, has joined the advisory board of the Thatcher’s Pension Reforms project.

In 2015 Josephine was the Society of Pensions Professional’s ‘journalist of the year’ for the second year in succession and also won the ‘Personal Finance Education Award’ at the 2015 Santander Personal Finance Media awards (for her investigations into the lack of transparency in the drawdown market — the fastest growing area of the market following April’s pensions freedoms — plus her campaigning work on inequalities in the new state pension). She was also awarded ‘Financial Journalist of the Year’ and ‘Personal Finance Journalist of the Year’ by the Association of British Insurers in 2014 and 2012 respectively.  In addition to reporting, Josephine is also involved in the FT pension plan’s governance committee as a member representative.