Free University Education? For whom?
5% went to University (free or otherwise) in 1960, 15% in 1988, now 40%.
Home ownership is certainly expensive now, and has been in the past, but it's not reasonable to assume it will remain so for the next 3 decades.
Pension pots are already sharply devalued thanks to low interest rates and QE, this is affecting the baby boomers living off savings/pensions/annuities and is barely relevant to their children proposing to retire in 3 or 4 decades time.
Free University education for whom? ALL of us who went.
Shame about the rest of them, eh? (Which was the great majority.)
House prices? Well it is right now that they want to buy a house. Their parents had laid deposits by that age. It was not reasonable to assume the house prices would carry on rising 20 years ago but they did! As the generation who own the housing stock are in control they will keep it that way.
20 years ago house prices were falling.
If you bought your first house at the end of 1989 (probably a baby boomer) in Yorkshire, you'd still be in negative equity a decade later. Taking the UK as a whole, it wasn't until 2002 that real house prices reached their 1989 peak.
I'm not sure exactly the point where house price mania took over the UK, but it certainly wasn't 20 years ago, when houses were just a place to live, relatively affordable, and not a tool for dinner party chatter and speculation - closer to 10 years.
I agree that it was a pity that 'no return to boom and bust' Brown presided over such diastrous inflation of house prices, but it had happened before and is likely to happen again. There's no reason to believe it's a systemic change.
Pension pots devalued, maybee but they have a long way to fall yet before they get anywhere near as low as future ones are going to be. The conditions of the pensions are getting worse every year. Old pensions are far better than new ones.
Certainly a defined benefit scheme is a fantastic deal, in retrospect. As you can see here http://www.opalliance.org.uk/decline.htm
these have declined from 5.5 million to less than half that number. However clearly as with free university education it was still a minority that benefited from these.
As for defined contribution schemes, the payout is determined by the available investment return, taxation treatment, and life expectancy. All of these conditions are reducing or have reduced payout, but the investment return is not something we can speculate about 3 decades into the future.
How can it not be relevant to compare the generations pension incomes through annuities etc? That is the whole point of this discussion that you and I are having.
It's not really relevant to say what current annuity payouts are because as mentioned above, if investment returns increase, so will annuity returns. Current annuity returns are already dreadful, and these are being paid out to those baby boomers with contribution-based pensions. Their children, contributing to their own pensions (or not), might find annuity returns are substantially higher when they are retired. We don't know, for instance, that life expectancy will continue to grow (it's already priced into today's annuity rates), investment returns are more likely to improve than get worse (just based on the fact that they cannot get that much lower), and we have no idea about tax treatment. So while we know that today's retirees get a poor return from a given £1000 of pension pot, we can't say that the current generation will do so.