Pensions were hit by a double dose of bad news yesterday which could affect the retirement income of millions. Proposals to change how inflation rates are calculated could have a huge impact on beleaguered pension funds and drastically reduce their rate of growth. At the same time, new research has revealed that one in 10 of Britain’s biggest firms has pension debts greater than the total value of their companies.
Daily Express, p.1
The debt storm in the eurozone and the looming ‘fiscal cliff’ in the US threaten to plunge the global economy into crisis, a leading watchdog warned last night. The International Monetary Fund said the outlook around the world has deteriorated as it took the axe to its growth forecast for developed and developing countries alike, with Britain suffering the biggest downgrade in the West.
Daily Mail, p.66
The British housing market should end the year on slightly stronger foundations, with transaction levels expected to pick up and price falls predicted to slow, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors will say today. Helped by the prospect of greater mortgage availability on the back of recent government initiatives, the expectations of chartered surveyors for future property sales reached their highest level last month since May 2010.
The Times, p.31
Plans unveiled by George Osborne at the Conservative conference could see new workers asked to give up their rights over unfair dismissal, redundancy, requests for flexible working and time off for training in exchange for shares in the company. They would also be required to give twice as much notice of a firm date of return from maternity leave – 16 weeks instead of 8. The new “employee-owner” status will be optional for existing employees but will be a compulsory condition of employment for new hires.