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Work, pensions and poverty: A better deal under the next government

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore how the next government could develop a better deal in relation to work, pensions and poverty. The paper argues that given the changing face of poverty, the next government should focus on creating better jobs if it is really to encourage people to work longer and save more for retirement. Furthermore, it could do more to support those who are currently under-saving for retirement. Design/methodology/approach – The paper draws on evidence from a number of recent qualitative and quantitative JRF research reports and government statistical data. Findings – The paper suggests policy recommendations for the next government focused on creating better jobs and helping those on lower incomes increase their pension pots. This includes: ensuring that the minimum wages is set with regard to the changing price of essentials and changing average earnings; raising awareness of the Living Wage and playing a leadership role; industrial strategies for low paid sectors; mid-life career reviews and increased rights for those aged 60 and over; the redistribution of tax relief on pension contributions and the auto-escalation of workplace pensions. Originality/value – This paper looks at the issue of an ageing society, work and pensions through a poverty lens.