Letter: Private provision not needed to defuse the pensions 'time bomb'

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From Mr Avner Offer

Sir: Hamish McRae writes ("Now we can see how old age looks", 24 January):

I do not think we trust governments sufficiently to give them more of our money.

I agree. But do we trust private pension providers any more than the Government? The recent records of some of them are just as bad.

Dependence on the private sector is not the same as self-reliance. We do not have sufficient information to select a private provider. Once we make our choice, we become its captives. And if government is to guarantee our private pensions, then we are in the hands of government once again, and private providers have even greater licence to take liberties with our money.

The problem of old age provision is even more difficult than it seems.

Yours sincerely,

Avner Offer

Reader in Recent Social

and Economic History

Nuffield College