Last year, UK companies raised just £1.3bn in new equity, net of buy-backs and acquisitions.
As my research has shown, we pay about £80 billion a year into UK pensions funds.
So for £80 billion invested at a cost of £36 billion we got £1.3 billion of net new investment in the UK economy.
What happened to the rest? Well, charges take a big slug. And then the residue was speculated by the City – resulting in more charges arising for the benefit of the City, and not pensioners. You can see this easily enough for yourself: the fact that the FTSE has risen so steadily when there is no obvious reason for it to do so given the mess we’re in is in no small part down to the fact that this wall of pension money arrives month in, month out to keep the City going.
But hardly a penny goes into the UK’s productive eco0nomy that will keep people at work until they reach their new, extended, retirement ages. The money goes into City bonuses in the main.
That’s the scandal of the UK pension industry.
And it’s why I say one quarter of all UK pension contributions should be used to invest in new jobs as a condition of the tax relief given. In the last year that would have released almost £20 billion of new funds to British business. Think what that would do for growth! What can be said with certainty is that it would be a lot more than speculation ever will contribute.