The impossibility of pensions – Can society support a retired population in the style to which it aspires?

The current consensus, among the practitioners if not the general population, is that people must save more for their retirement unless they are willing to work until they are very old. While a sensible course of action for an individual, can this be done in aggregate? In this paper, our Thinking Ahead Group takes a step back from the sophisticated asset-liability models and actuarial calculations used for individual asset pools and uses some simple calculations to observe the ‘pension problem’ from a macro-economic perspective.