Guernsey Press

No end to pension problems

WE OFTEN hear that growing old is a privilege – but that privilege comes with a price.


Average life expectancy in Guernsey is about 83 year old. That might not sound particularly impressive compared to the Queen’s 96 years but, to put it into perspective, CIA World Factbook ranked Guernsey in the top 10 for highest life expectancy rates across the world back in 2018. So it’s not bad.

Of course, on an individual level, the fact that we are living longer and healthier lives is a positive thing.

But on a societal level, it’s not as straightforward.

As more and more people reach pension age and enjoy longer and longer retirements, of 20 or 30 years in many cases, paying those pensions is proving increasingly expensive.

Employment & Social Security’s proposal, reported today, to double-lock pensions comes with the accompanying news that the Guernsey Insurance Fund deficit is estimated to grow to £25.8m. next year.

Pensions drawn from the fund have already increased from £128.7m. in 2019 to an expected £154.8m. next year.

But since 65% of people have no personal pension plans in place, this money is very much needed.

Which is why the idea of secondary pensions, which means islanders would not have to rely on the States old age pension, makes sense. If only the States would stop delaying debate and agree.