March 5, 2014 / 3:50 PM / 4 years ago

BlackRock boss calls for compulsory pension saving in UK

LONDON, March 5 (Reuters) - Britain should make saving for retirement compulsory and deny workers the right to opt out of employer schemes, the head of the world’s largest investment manager said.

Speaking at a pension industry conference in Scotland on Wednesday, Larry Fink, Chief Executive of BlackRock said giving people the option to opt out of retirement schemes means many will not put enough money away to fund their old age.

“I would recommend simply making an appropriate level of retirement savings mandatory here in the UK, without the opportunity to opt-out,” he said.

“There is too much risk that people will either opt out, or not put enough away even if they remain in a plan.”

Britain introduced a system of automatic enrolment of workers onto their company pension schemes in 2012 but allows people to opt out.

Fink highlighted the example of Australia, where retirement saving is mandatory, as “extremely effective.”

His views echo the findings of a report published in January by right-leaning think tank Policy Exchange, that also called for Britain to force all workers into employer schemes.

Policy Exchange warned that 40 per cent of working Britons - 11 million people - were in danger of not building up big enough pension pots to ensure a comfortable old age.

Reporting by Chris Vellacott; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle

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