LETTER : Practical preparations for Britain's ageing population

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From Mrs Sarah Turff

Sir: I am 50. I have worked since I was 17, paying my taxes, helping to fund all the pensions of previous generations. Today I am told there will be insufficient taxpayers among younger generations to fund my pension. I must make my own provision.

In other words, I and my generation are caught in a trap: we must pay for the elderly now and make provision for our old age. I am attempting to do so but, quite apart from the obvious unfairness, what really sticks in the craw is the total lack of any guarantee that there will be a pension for me to collect.

The latest illustration from my pension company of the lump sum I can expect at 65 shows a fall of pounds l0,000 on the same illustration a year before. The only answer, it appears, is to invest yet more money. We shall, all of us, be hit because the pension companies are going to have to reimburse all those to whom they gave bad advice; and where is that money coming from - our pensions, of course.

Until the Government introduces proper regulation to safeguard pensions and to ensure that what we invest will be worth having at retirement, few of us are likely to save more, Grandpa.

Yours faithfully,

Sarah Turff

King's Lynn, Norfolk