Officers at Connect, the trade union for professionals in communications, thought that the Pensions Champions project addressed some of the problems in the telecommunications industry and would appeal to their members. They were proved right after a note about it in their magazine, Connected, circular produced nearly 50 respondents who wanted to become champions.
Discussions between Connect and TUC tutors at the College of North East London produced a customised version of the course materials, targeting members in British Telecoms (BT). Ben Marshall, Head of Industrial Relations officer for the union and Jennifer Schofield, EC member and Chair of Connect’s Pensions Committee attended the course and provided detailed information on the BT pensions schemes.
Further progress in setting up pensions champions training was made last week when Terry and Craig Hawkins ran a briefing on the Pensions Champions course and website for a dozen TUC tutors. The focus was mainly on using the website and the Pensions Doctor in particular. All agreed that it was a valuable resource for both the pensions champions training and other pensions courses. Already the statistics gathered on website usage show that plenty of individuals are also logging on to make use of the information provided.
The first Pensions Champions at work course was held last week at Congress House. We had 9 reps attending who had varying pensions experience, from barely any at all to others who had been member nominated trustees of the pension schemes for some while. All agreed that the course met their different needs including basic pension provision, changes and improvements that are likely, and working with members. The liveliest session was probably the one testing out this new website and preparing prescriptions for individual members.
We'd like to announce our new Pensions Doctor tool, built in partnership with workSMART.org.uk.