News from Hodge Bank

Leading pension expert will speak at this year's annual lecture in Cardiff

With pensions and annuity reform back on the political agenda, Nicholas Barr, Professor of Public Economics at the London School of Economics, will present his thoughts on pensions at April's Julian Hodge Institute of Applied Macroeconomics annual lecture in Cardiff.

Nicholas Barr

Nicholas Barr

Prof Barr, whose experience includes working at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, will tell an audience of some 180 guests from the Wales business, banking, legal and higher education communities, what is right and wrong with pensions in the UK.

The author of over 20 books, including The Economics of the Welfare State and Pension Reform: A Short Guide (co-authored with Peter Diamond), his lecture will look at recent developments in economic theory and explain why funded pensions are not necessarily a solution to demographic change.

Drawing on experience reviewing pensions for governments in Chile, China, Finland, Sweden and South Africa, Prof Barr will then go on to criticise pension freedom and too-frequent pension reform and suggest a longer-term view and what action is needed to improve the operation of annuities markets.

The holder of a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, Prof Barr (pictured) has also served as a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Demographic Shifts and the Global Agenda Council on Ageing Societies.

Though not discussed in the lecture, Prof Barr also has a long involvement in the debate about higher education finance, arguing that students' living costs and tuition fees should be fully covered by income-contingent loans.

The Julian Hodge Institute of Applied Macroeconomics was established 17 years ago in association with the Cardiff Business School. Its aim is to carry out research into the UK economy and the UK's relationship with other European economies.

Its director is Prof Patrick Minford of Cardiff Business School, who is also economic adviser to Hodge Bank. The lecture takes place on April 27 at Jurys Hotel, Cardiff.

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