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Pensions: The problems of today and tomorrow. A summary of the Report published by the Institute of Actuaries and of the discussion at Staple Inn on 11 June 1985

  • S. Haberman


From the very outset of the formation of pensions schemes in the United Kingdom, actuaries have been involved in their design, investment, valuation and solvency. A review of issues of the Journal of the Institute of Actuaries in England and the Transactions of the Faculty of Actuaries in Scotland over the last 40 years would show how schemes have become more complicated and more comprehensive, how the economic and equity problems have increased and how the actuarial profession has successfully adapted its theory and practice to accommodate change. After World War II the rapid growth in occupational pension schemes together with the post-Beveridge expansion in State social security led to concerns about the overall effect on the national economy. As a consequence, in 1954 a report on “The growth of pension rights and their impact on the national economy” was presented to both the Institute and the Faculty of Actuaries by Bernard Benjamin, Francis Bacon and Donald Elphinstone.



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(1) Bacon, F. W., Benjamin, B. & Elphinstone, M. D. W. (1954). The Growth of Pension Rights and their Impact on the National Economy. J.I.A. 80, 141202 (with discussion).
(2) Committee on Economic and Financial Problems of Old Age (1954). Cmnd 933. H.M.S.O., London.
(3) Lyon, C. S. S. (1983) Presidential Address: The Outlook for Pensioning. J.I.A., 110, 116.
(4) Benjamin, B. & Overton, E. (1981). Prospects for Mortality Decline in England and Wales. Population Trends, 23, 2228.
(5) Joshi, H. E., Layard, R. & Owen, S. J. (1985). Why are More Women Working in Britain? Journal of Labour Economics, 3, 147176 (S).
(6) Joshi, H. E. & Owen, S. J. (1983). How Many Pensionable Years? The Lifetime Earnings History of Men and Women. Govt Economic Service Working Paper No. 65. Economic Advisers' Office. D.H.S.S.
(7) Occupational Pension Schemes 1979 (1981). Sixth Survey by the Government Actuary. H.M.S.O., London.
(8) Field, J. L. (1983). Projections of the Costs of Occupational and State Pensions. J.I.A., 110, 243270.
(9) National Insurance Fund Long Term Financial Estimates (1982). Report by the Government Actuary on the First Quinquennial Review. H.M.S.O., London.
(10) The Mineworkers Pension Scheme Case—Judgement by Sir Robert Megarry, April, 1984.
(11) Reform of Social Security (1985). Volumes 1–3. Cmnd 9517, 9518, 9519. H.M.S.O., London.


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