Shropshire Star

Star comment: Uncertainty over the future including pensions

1953 was simpler time, in many ways.

France pension protests

Although the country was still scarred by war, there was a stability in that people knew when they would retire and how they would be supported.

Move on 50 years and the good news is that we are expected to live a good 10 years longer than our counterparts who celebrated the coronation of Elizabeth.

Unfortunately that leads to societal issues that we must all face. Far more people are around to take advantage of a state pension than there once were - and they’ll be taking that money for longer. That inevitably means a shift in the way the state pension is given, with the pension age rising.

We have seen the opposition in France to similar plans, where people have taken to the streets in protest. Surprisingly, in the UK, people have been supplicant as they’ve accepted the need for change.

As society changes and as provision for social care becomes increasingly insecure, the advice is to act early by saving privately for later life.

Those who can afford it should squirrel away money for a later day, using reliable pensions to ensure they are provided for.

And yet, with a cost of living crisis, with students unable to pay back punitive loans and with the value of savings being eroded by inflation, few find themselves in that position.

The advice to save and invest in pensions is good advice, but for those hit by the cost of living crisis, surviving the here and now is the main concern.

We are poorer as a society and have fewer choices as we endure a squeeze that shows no sign of ending. The 1950s was an era of make do and mend, it seems that the 2020s are becoming that too.


From sending wild flower seeds to children to caring about the environment long before it was fashionable, and from making friends and influencing people across the continent to using his soft power to repair Britain’s standing in the world; King Charles III has barely put a foot wrong since his ascension to the throne.

The man who has spent a lifetime preparing to be king has spoken German in Germany and dazzled the locals in Liverpool. He has shown the sort of dedication to duty and service that Queen Elizabeth II exercised during her extraordinary reign.

Charles III is far from perfect, of course, and through his life he has made many mistakes, not least those surrounding Princess Diana. However, he cares passionately about his country and its people and has shown a welcome openness since becoming King. He is a force for good.