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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > May 2017 > Nudges and NEST eggs

Nudges and NEST eggs

Whether it’s a nudge or a hard shove, governments around the world have resorted to varying degrees of compulsion to get their citizens preparing adequately for retirement.

Australia, Chile and Sweden have opted for “hard” compulsion by forcing employees or employers, or both, to contribute to workplace pensions. In contrast, the UK and New Zealand have plumped for a softer approach, which sees employees nudged, or defaulted, into pension schemes chosen by their employer, but free to opt out if they wish. So far, the British system of soft compulsion, known as automatic enrolment, has proved a success—with seven million people auto-enrolled by more than 300,000 employers since the policy was launched in 2012.

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In Prospect’s May issue: Neal Ascherson, Simon Jenkins, John Curtice and Frances Cairncross examine the growing divide between England and Scotland. Ascherson argues that England has become Scotland’s “neurotic neighbour,” while Jenkins says we should learn from history and prepare for Scotland to leave the Union. Cairncross and Curtice debate whether Scotland could afford to break with England and whether a fresh referendum on independence is actually winnable. Also in this issue: Jason Burke questions whether the world will be a safer place after the downfall of Islamic State, Paul Hilder examines how politics got tangled in the web and Michael White reviews a new book charting the history of the Daily Mail