Muslims to be offered Sharia-compliant pensions by Government
Muslims are to be offered Sharia-compliant pension funds by a new Government body.
By Martin Beckford, Social Affairs Correspondent
Last Updated: 3:35PM GMT 21 Nov 2008
The scheme to provide retirement funds for millions who do not already have a company pension is likely to include a special option that would not invest in companies deemed sinful under Islam.
Ministers are keen to get Muslims saving with the Personal Accounts Delivery Authority, as many who have low-paid jobs or who have moved to Britain in recent decades are unlikely to have put away much for their old age.
The decision to provide a Sharia-compliant pension fund is another sign of the growing influence of Islamic law in British public life and in particular the country’s finance industry.
The prospect of some aspects of Sharia law such as divorce proceedings and dispute resolution being enshrined in the English legal system – raised by the Archbishop of Canterbury and Lord Chief Justice this year – remains highly controversial because of fears that the system discriminates against women and that a two-tier approach would be divisive.
But more and more financial products are being tailored to cater for Britain’s population of 2million Muslims.