Overheard on the Web, and other Web links From The Herald's Research Editor
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
For more on how the privitization of the British equivalent of Social Security has gone, here's A Bloody Mess by a senior Financial Times writer, in The American Prospect. Not good, it seems:
" ...the government was spending much more than it was saving by bribing people to leave SERPS (State Earnings-Related Pension Scheme). What had once been a £1.6-billion surplus in the National Insurance Fund vanished completely. Worst of all, many workers left good occupational plans and faced being worse off, not better off, in retirement by depending on the privatized schemes."
It apparently makes our current system look better and better:
"And so, at the exact moment that America contemplates replicating this disaster, many in Britain -- some conservatives included -- are looking more and more kindly on American Social Security as a model for reform. The National Association of Pension Funds, a group of employers who sponsor the nation's largest schemes, is urging government not to expect the private sector to shoulder the burden of keeping the nation's elderly from poverty. Chief executive Christine Farnish notes that it's "actually cheaper for the state to carry the risk," adding that in looking for a system that offers the best combination of modest guaranteed retirement benefits delivered at low cost, the U.S. Social Security program seems the best model. "It doesn't have to make a proﬁt, and it delivers efficiencies of scale that most companies would die for," she says."
Elisabeth (Liz) Donovan was a Herald librarian for 10 years, and Research Editor for 13 years. She came to The Herald in 1981, following several years at the
Washington Post. She started blogging in 2000, with a news research blog, followed by the blog at Herald.com in 2003. A frequent speaker and writer on news research, she was honored in 2004 by the
News Division of the Special Libraries Association for her contributions to