The Tories wrecked the pension system

The pensions crisis in Britain is almost entirely the fault of the Thatcher government. It was elected on the promise that it would cut taxes without cutting services, but it then broke the link between earnings and state pensions to fund tax cuts. This was despite the fact that it received unprecedented (and unrepeatable) revenues from North Sea oil and the sale of nationalised industries. It allowed companies to take 'contributions holidays' at a time when profits were high, leading to the later underfunding of most company pension schemes. It also introduced a lax regulatory regime which led to one gigantic financial swindle after another: private pension mis-selling; endowment mortgage mis-selling; the Maxwell Mirror pension fraud; the Equitable Life scandal; etc. Many people suffered enormous financial losses and many other also lost faith in the pensions and savings industry. That is why people are not saving enough for their retirement.

At first, the decline of the birth rate in the Sixties was seen as a short-term dip. It was only in Thatcher's reign that it was publicly acknowledged that this was a long-term trend which would cause problems for the state pension system. Thatcher could have helped combat the decline in the birth rate by introducing "family friendly" policies which make life easier for parents. However this went against her rigid laisse-faire ideology.

Thatcher's obsession with tax cuts and deregulation thus directly caused most of the current problems with the state, private and company pension schemes. And yet, if we were stupid enough to vote them back into power, the Tories are still saying they would carry out more tax cuts and deregulation!