Pensions, savings and investments

The Chancellor has delivered one of the most important Budgets in years against a backdrop of rising unemployment, soaring government borrowing and quite possibly the hardest hitting recession since the Second World War.

When Alistair Darling stands up in the House of Commons on 22 April, he will be delivering his Budget speech against the backdrop of one of the worst post-war recessions, if not the worst.

The collective shortfall in the UK’s defined-benefit pension schemes has reached £242 billion.

Plans have been mooted to raise the amounts that employers pay to protect company pension funds during periods of economic growth in order to balance a fall in the sums they pay during bad times.

Savers who deposit large sums into their accounts could get a short-term increase in the level of protection guaranteed their money should the bank or building society get into difficulty.

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