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“Pension privatisation and the emergence of the financial education project in the UK” provides an introduction to pension privatisation and pension financialisation in the UK. The chapter situates edu-regulatory programmes and policies within a broader historical, political and economic context. It describes how the Conservative government and, later, New Labour promoted private pensions and encouraged people’s direct and indirect participation in financial services markets. The chapter identifies and examines two major failures: pension mis-selling scandals of the late 1980s and the early 1990s, and the pension gap. It shows how the consumer was re-imagined and re-conceptualised into a responsibilised subject, who lacks information and knowledge to participate effectively and safely in the financial services market. The chapter’s principal argument is that consumer financial education was introduced by New Labour to respond to the failures of pension privatisation. Besides tax-favoured reforms in the pensions market, financial literacy education was used by New Labour to strengthen the processes and practices of financialisation. The democratisation of consumer access to financial information, financial education and financial advice was articulated by the UK government and the FCA as a necessary project for consumer protection as well as for the smooth and stable functioning of the social welfare system.
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- Pension Privatisation and the Emergence of the Financial Education Project in the UK
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