In a nutshell: the 'intergenerational wealth gap' and why policymakers want your views
With so many conflicting reports about millennials and their money in the news (are we overspending on cappuccinos or saving more than ever?), some think it’s time to get to the bottom of it all.
That’s including the UK’s regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, which has today published a paper seeking views on ‘intergenerational fairness’.
They want to know, in a nutshell, who are worse off… the baby boomers, generation X or millennials? It might sound a bit like generations are being pitted against each other. Everyone’s obsessed with who has had it hardest and millennials are getting tired of the avocado jokes. Something has to be done.
Why is the UK regulator seeking views on ‘intergenerational fairness’?
Because a House of Lords Committee on Intergenerational Fairness and Provision called on the Government to ‘take steps to deliver a fairer society by supporting younger people’. It was referring to the housing and employment market, in-work training and preparing the country for the coming 100-year life span.
Sorry for getting a bit doom and gloom, but it’s widely accepted now that millennials are facing challenges compared to baby boomers. Our parents’ generation bought property far more cheaply than it is possible to today, and baby boomers are also more likely to have defined benefit pensions, for a start.
But what exactly are policymakers supposed to do about this, how can financial services companies and advisers help, and how can they do it fairly? It’s not actually a case of pitting us against each other – and certainly shouldn’t be – but establishing the best course of action.