Jersey is a small island with about 90,000 souls. It is fiercely independent and manages its own social security system without recourse to the UK Treasury.
Like mainland Britain, its workforce is split between public sector employees (mainly in the States of Jersey Pension Scheme) and those working in the private sector- mostly well off but a substantial number disconnected from the financial services and legal industry and largely dependent on social security.
As I’ve explained in a previous blog, the States of Jersey have capped their pension liabilities by turning their Local Government Scheme into a defined contribution arrangement with defined benefits which may have to be reduced over time if the actuarially set targets are not met.
Because of the connectivity between everyone on the island, issues of wealth redistribution both between the current generations and on an inter generational basis are keenly fealt and much disputed.
From an anthropoligcial point of view, Jersey is a kind of micro-site from which behavioural financiers can observe the impact of demographic and economic change much more easily than with larger social groups.
I’m following the interractions between Jersey’s stakeholders with great interest. The island has much to offer the mainland (and Europe) as a test bed for pension reform.
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