After five months of "consultation" - bickering, but some hard thinking, too - by pretty well everyone concerned with making things happen in Britain, Lord Turner has concluded that he was right to start with.

Indeed, he goes further now, insisting his vision is all of a piece, stitched together.

Logically it is.

If modestly paid people are to be lured by stealth into saving for a pension (with a compulsory top-up from employers who may win back the cost equally stealthily by trimming other benefits) they must on no account be penalised at the end of it by Gordon Brown's means tests for pension tax credits.

So the tax credits must be pared right back and the basic state pension raised decisively and linked to earnings. To make the cost of that remotely bearable for taxpayers the starting age for the state pension must go up to 68 or 69.

Start cherry-picking just the bits you like out of that, says Lord Turner, and the whole thing comes unstitched.

That, of course, is precisely what is about to happen. Mr Brown won't wear the cost, which he puts at £16 billion a year, at least 4p on standard rate income tax and double Lord Turner's estimate. He is in no mood, anyway, to dump the tax credits he spent years crafting.

Tony Blair is billed to make this the great sticking point where he finally gets to show who is boss and face down his obdurate Chancellor on an issue involving taxes and spending.

Win or lose, the chance of Lord Turner's harsh logic becoming law is minimal. We may not get French-style riots to defend 65 as the state pension age. After the way the Government caved in the instant the public sector unions said 'boo' when it wanted to raise the age for civil service pensions, a vague threat of a strike could put paid to this idea, too.

One way and another that may look unpromising.

But to judge from reactions yesterday, this pensions report is not going to be comprehensively pigeon-holed like its predecessors. It is going to be cherry-picked.

But employers will be in no position to choose. If Lord Turner's National Pensions Savings Scheme only half catches on, companies which now offer an occupational scheme could find themselves contributing for much larger numbers of people.

Tony Bailey at the actuaries Hewitt Associates reckons that less than half the employees now eligible for a company pension actually join it.

Existing schemes cost employers far bigger percentages of pay than Lord Turn-er's three per cent. There must be a risk that if lots of peoples join the new NPSS, hard-pressed employers may drop their more generous existing schemes to average down the cost saying "If three per cent is enough for Lord Turner, it is enough for me".

There is a plausible danger that the 4.5 million employ-ees in private sector occupational schemes could be the losers in all this - paradoxically alongside those mostly smallish employers who don't run a pension scheme because they cannot afford it. For them this will be just another tax.