The removal of the tax credit in 1997 was very unhelpful. But it was only one of several reasons why workplace pensions have come under pressure in recent years. Some of these pressures were beyond anyone’s control, such as increasing longevity and the fall in equity markets. But others were man made, such as the introduction of new accounting rules (FRS17) and the decision by successive Government’s to increase pensions regulation.
Just as an aside does anyone think that such a hard landing in the equity markets was avoidable? Given that many fund managers were privately sceptical about the value of the TMT stocks they felt compelled (because of the need to generate competitive relative returns) to shovel clients' money into, isn't there an argument that if they had played the arbitrage role efficient markets theory suggests they should that the bubble could have been deflated less dramatically?