Throughout the research project we will produce regular project briefings to report on our activities and findings. Our first briefing describes the purpose of our research into the Thatcher pension reforms, and discusses some of the key issues which we hope to address over the next three years.
Based at the University of Bristol, and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), this three-year research project will explore the roots, implementation, and consequences of the Thatcher governments’ reforms, and reveal the ways in which they contributed to Britain’s twenty-first century ‘pensions crisis’.
It will mine a rich seam of hitherto unexplored records and data: a combination of newly released archival material available as a result of the government’s decision to move from a 30-year to a 20-year rule for record release backed up by additional freedom of information requests, oral history interviews, ‘witness seminars’, and a rich array of other primary sources.
The project will be led by Dr Hugh Pemberton from Bristol’s Department of Historical Studies in the School of Humanities, with Professor Roger Middleton as co-investigator. Dr Pemberton is an expert on the history of postwar Britain. Formerly a business analyst in the life and pensions industry, he has published on the history of Britain’s system of pension provision, both public and private, as well as on the history of postwar British governance.