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Social Policy Review 28Analysis and Debate in Social Policy, 2016$
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Menno Fenger, John Hudson, and Catherine Needham

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781447331797

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447331797.001.0001

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Behaviour, choice, and British pension policy

Behaviour, choice, and British pension policy

(p.3) One Behaviour, choice, and British pension policy
Social Policy Review 28

Gordon L. Clark

Policy Press

Over the past decade, the British pension system has been turned upside-down. Once lauded as a viable, long-term mix of public and private institutions, each element has been challenged as to its efficacy. Notably, private sector occupational pensions have been discounted by employers, just as ‘mis-selling’ scandals in the financial service sector have eroded trust in long-term savings products. Lord Turner’s model for the future was influenced by the behavioural revolution in cognitive science and behavioural psychology. In this paper, the key elements of the behavioural revolution are identified and linked to new forms of British occupational pension saving. While supportive of this research programme, there remain significant shortcomings. The penultimate section of the paper shifts attention to the Chancellor’s budget announcement prior to the 2015 general election providing individuals access to their retirement savings. In conclusion, implications are drawn for understanding the future of the structured-choice pension policy regime.

Keywords:   behavioural psychology, British pension system, pensions, structured-choice pension, private sector

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